As a graduate student you will approach and calculate financial aid differently than you did as an undergraduate student in with three key ways:
- Department Based
You will pursue merit-based assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships — the primary source of graduate aid — through your respective academic department, which makes selections based on your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score and other criteria.
- Federal Aid
You may also pursue federal grants, loans, and work-study by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. These awards will be administered by the Office of Financial Assistance, and coordinated with any department-level awards.
- Independent Status (FAFSA)
In most cases, as graduate and professional degree students you will be considered as an independent student and will not be required to supply parent income information on the FAFSA.
Private Aid for Graduate Study
FAFSA Graduate Deadline: April 15
Aside from university and federal aid, there are countless private sources. The Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies office maintains a database of funding and research opportunities for graduate students. Learn more about these resources.
FAFSA School Code: 001437
Assistantships and Scholarships
The Catholic University of America bases teaching assistantships and merit scholarships on your academic history and Graduate Record Exam results. In order to qualify for a university scholarship, you must submit a GRE score. The university-wide scholarship competition starts February 1st of each year and funds are awarded on a rolling basis after that deadline. Each academic school also has scholarship funds that are distributed to qualified applicants.
Federal Direct Loan Program
The Catholic University of America participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program for student and parent federal loans. This program replaced the Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) in which federal loans were obtained through private lenders. Your online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA
) may make you eligible for several graduate loans.
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program—This is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, Department of Education is your lender rather than a bank or other financial institution. There are two types of Direct Loans that graduate and professional degree students may receive:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans—Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 per school year. Graduate and professional students enrolled in certain health profession programs may receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan amounts each academic year. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for details.
- Direct PLUS Loans—Eligible graduate and professional degree students who need to borrow more than the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts to meet their education costs may apply for a PLUS loan. A credit check will be performed during the application process.
Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program— This is a school-based loan program for eligible students with exceptional financial need. You may qualify for a Perkins Loan of up to $8,000 each year depending on your financial need, the amount of other aid you receive, and the availability of funds at your school.
Direct Loan Forms
Graduate Federal Work Study
Stipends of $4,000 for 9 1/2 hours of work per week to $8,000 for 19 hours of work per week are available to a limited number of admitted graduate students. Students must have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet the federal need requirements for the award. In addition students must be accepted to the university, interview, and be selected by the hiring department with an approved work-study position on file with Career Services to be eligible to receive a stipend.