Students may rely upon a variety of financial aid sources to fund their education. Financial aid for graduate students is primarily in the form of federal loans. MSP participates in the federal Direct Loan program. Grants and scholarships may also be available. Student loans at MSP are borrower initiated. The student begins the process by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then by completing an online loan application.
Requirements for student loan eligibility include US Citizenship or permanent residency, no previous loan default, maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (during enrollment), and minimum half-time enrollment status as defined by the academic policy.
To log into FAFSA.gov or StudentAid.gov you must create an FSA ID if you have not already done so. There is a link to create an FSA ID located below the Log In button at StudentAid.gov. The Department of Education has nice videos with instruction regarding how to create an FSA ID and for step-by-step completion of the FAFSA online. Or see this how to video for completion of the FAFSA via the myStudentAid mobile app, available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android.
Download the myStudentAid app and complete the FAFSA using your smartphone. Or the StudentAid.gov website provides a link to the FAFSA application found on the Considering School and In School tabs.
Submission of the FAFSA notifies the school of your interest in receiving information about federal loans. At the graduate level, there are no Pell grants. Completion of the FAFSA does not secure loans. FAFSA verifies your identification and citizenship information between the Social Security Administration and Department of Education to report your eligibility status to the school.
Steps to Apply
Create an FSA ID if you don’t have one (see above video link). Then use the myStudentAid mobile app or go to StudentAid.gov to complete these steps in sequential order:
Students must complete a new FAFSA each calendar year for the upcoming fall. The MSP school code is G21989. Graduate students are independent and do not need to complete “Parent” sections.
- Entrance Counseling
Loan entrance counseling is required for all borrowers attending MSP for the first time. Failure to complete this step will result in a delay in loan processing.
- Master Promissory Note For Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Students must electronically sign a promise to pay and include two references.
- Complete PLUS Application
(Applies only if cost of attendance/enrollment permits an additional loan.)
Dependent upon loan coverage needed, this step may be skipped. This step is two-part involving a credit check (request a PLUS loan step) and electronically signing a Graduate PLUS Promissory Note.
- Award Letter
Return a signed/dated copy of your award letter to confirm your acceptance of a Direct Unsubsidized loan or accept your loans online via the Empower web portal. Loan funds are applied to pay your MSP bill first. After paying institutional charges for tuition and fees, excess funds are sent via direct deposit to the bank or credit union designated by the student, or a refund check is issued and mailed to the student. The MSP disbursement and refund calendar may be found here.