Michigan School of Psychology logo

Apply for Financial Aid


Financial aid for graduate students is primarily in the form of federal loans. MSP participates in the federal Direct Loan program. The student begins the process by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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 with 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. 

The StudentAid.gov website provides a link to the FAFSA application found on the FAFSA Form dropdown menu at the very top of the page and on the In School tab a bit further down the page.

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.

Detailed information on federal loans, MSP’s Financial Aid policies & procedures, and tuition & fee billing are found in the MSP Financial Aid Handbook.

Applying for Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Unsub)

The first tier of federal direct loan programs is the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Unsub). Of the two federal direct loan programs, it has the lower interest rate and processing fees. The Unsub loan should therefore be fully utilized before borrowing additional funds from the Graduate PLUS Loan. The Unsub is triggered by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Subsidized federal student loans are only available at the undergraduate level. Graduate students borrow unsubsidized loans.

Create an FSA ID if you don’t have one (see above video link). Then go to StudentAid.gov to complete these requirements:

  1. FAFSA
    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is completed once per year that you will enroll and desire federal loans. Students usually complete the FAFSA between January & May for the academic year beginning in the fall.  The MSP school code is G21989.
  2. Entrance Counseling
    Loan entrance counseling is required for all borrowers attending MSP for the first time. The counseling is nothing more than consumer awareness. The federal government wants you to be an informed borrower and understand how federal loans work from the point of application through repayment.
  3. Master Promissory Note (MPN) For Direct Unsubsidized Loans
    Students complete a loan agreement (MPN) which is your promise to repay the loan.
  4. Loan Acceptance
    You must confirm your acceptance of a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Unsub). Loans are accepted or declined 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.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (Grad Plus)

If the Unsub loan is insufficient to cover your needs for the tuition bill and/or personal expenses while you are a student, after you have borrowed the maximum via the Unsub loan (triggered by completion of the FAFSA), additional federal direct loan funds are accessed via the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (Grad PLUS) program. The Grad PLUS loan has the following requirements which are completed at the StudentAid.gov website:
  1. Grad PLUS Application
    Follow the link at the above website titled Apply for PLUS Loan for Graduate School. A credit check will be performed as a part of the application process.
  2. Entrance Counseling
    As in Step 2 for the FAFSA/Unsub loan process, loan entrance counseling must be completed. To be eligible to have your Grad PLUS loan eligibility determined you must do loan entrance counseling answering questions including PLUS loans. It is recommended that when you complete the loan entrance counseling for the Unsub loan process that you simply answer questions for both loan programs – Unsub and PLUS, and then you are covered for both.
  3. Master Promissory Note (MPN) For Direct Unsubsidized Loans
    Students who wish to borrow a Grad PLUS loan must complete a loan agreement (MPN) particular to the Grad PLUS Loan program. The MPN is your promise to repay the loan.


Want more information about our programs? Have a question you need answered? Click here to have our team answer your questions.

Apply To MSP

Your future is just a click away. Start the application process to join the MSP family!

Newsletter Signup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Student Spotlight

Ellie Jeffrey Headshot

MA Spotlight

Read More »