What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is any resource that is available to assist you with paying for your educationally related expenses. Financial aid includes resources awarded by St. Thomas, a private scholarship organization, a governmental agency or your employer (tuition reimbursement). Financial aid also includes student loans provided by the federal government, state government or private lenders.

Financial aid is awarded based on the average costs for a student attending specific graduate programs and the financial aid types for which an individual student is eligible. Some financial aid awards are determined by the academic departments and reported to the Graduate Financial Aid Office. In no case can the total dollar amount of all combined financial aid awards exceed the total cost of attendance budget for the program as determined by the Graduate Financial Aid Office.

Types of financial aid:

  • Grants (Degree seeking students only): The Graduate Access Grant ($300-$3000) is available to students seeking a degree that demonstrate financial need and complete the Graduate Diversity Application and FAFSA. Graduate students are not eligible for Pell Grants, Minnesota State Grants or most other types of grant funds awarded to undergraduate students.
  • Department Scholarships & Grants: Most graduate departments have scholarships and grants to award to students. Contact your academic department for more information.
  • Federal Work Study (Degree seeking students only): Federal Work Study is available on a student request basis. If you are interested in Federal Work Study, you are encouraged to contact a graduate financial aid counselor to discuss your options.
  • Federal Direct Loans (Degree seeking students only): Federal Direct Loans are the primary source of financing for graduate students seeking a degree. These are fixed interest rate loans with repayment that begin six months after you are no longer enrolled half time. While your credit history is not a factor in determining eligibility for this loan, you must not be in default on a prior federal loan.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (Degree seeking students only): This federal loan is available to students that have no adverse credit. Repayment begins six months after you are no longer enrolled half time.
  • Private Educational Loans: Repayment periods begin six to nine months following graduation from your program. Eligibility for these loans is based on your credit history.