Financial Aid for Graduate and Professional Students 

Chicago State University recommends that prospective graduate students begin to plan early for financing their education. To start the application process in order to establish eligibility for various federal, state and institutional funding, students must complete the FAFSA. For information on completing the FAFSA process, please access our Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) web page. If selected for Verification by the U.S. Department of Education or CSU, students are required to complete the process, except as noted below.

Graduate and Professional Classifications

The following courses of study are classified as Graduate and Professional programs at Chicago State University:

  • Masters
  • Masters – Admitted with Conditions
  • Ed. D.
  • Pharm D.
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate

While all of the above are classified as Graduate or Professional programs, eligibility for financial aid funding varies for each program as follows:

 

-Degree Seeking (not At-Large status) Masters,

Masters – Admitted with Conditions, and Ed.D. Candidates-

 

Degree seeking (not At-Large status) Masters, Masters – Admitted with Conditions, and Ed.D. candidates may be eligible for the following:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Eligibility: Annual eligibility: up to $20,500 ($138,500 lifetime limit including all prior Undergraduate and Graduate borrowing)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: Awarded on an annual basis  up to the student budget (Cost of Attendance) minus any other financial aid funds received. Note: Eligibility for this loan is based on an individual's credit history.
  • Veterans/Military Educational Benefits: May be eligible for the Illinois Veterans Grant, Post 9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill. Visit our Veterans Affairs web page for more information.
  • TEACH Grant: The Teacher Education for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a federal grant program. The Teach grant provides up to $4,000 per academic year for students enrolled in an eligible major program. Please visit the Federal TEACH Grant web page for further information. 
  • Graduate Assistantships: Award amount varies. Contact the Chairperson of your major department for details.
  • Private (Alternative) Education Loans: Students are awarded up to the full student Budget (Cost of Attendance) minus any other funding received.  Eligibility for this type of loan is based on an individual's credit history. Please visit our Apply for Loans web page for details.

 

-Verification Exceptions-

If selected for the Verification process by the U.S. Department of Education, Graduate Students enrolled in Masters, Ed. D. and/or Pharm D. programs are not required to complete the process unless they intend to apply for a Federal Perkins Loan or seek employment under the Federal Work-study program. Additionally, if a Financial Aid Advisor has reason to believe that the information contained on a FAFSA may be incorrect, the Financial Aid Advisor has the obligation to require that the Verification process be completed.

Students who are selected for Verification by the U.S. Department of Education are required to submit documentation necessary to verify the information submitted on the FAFSA. No federal aid can be credited to student accounts until Verification is completed.


Enrollment Requirements

Graduate Student Budgets (Cost of Attendance) are based on full-time enrollment (9 hours for fall/spring) for any semester during which a student may be enrolled.  Financial Aid funding is awarded up to the full amount of a Budget. However, students need only be enrolled half-time during any semester to qualify for federal student loans as follows:

    • During the Fall or Spring semesters half-time equivalency for the various Graduate programs are as follows:   Masters - 5 hours;  Ed.D.- 6 hours;  Pharmacy - 6 hours;
    • During the Summer semester half-time equivalency is as follows:  Masters - 3 hours;  Ed. D. - 3 hours;  Pharmacy - 6 hours 

 

Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Students enrolled in Masters, Masters-Admitted with Conditions, Ed. D. or Pharm D. programs must be enrolled at least half-time in graduate level courses that are required and can be applied to the graduate program requirements in which they are enrolled in order to be eligible for Federal Loans (Unsubsidized Stafford, Graduate PLUS and/or Federal Perkins).

Note: There are several graduate programs that require that students take specific undergraduate courses as part of fulfilling their degree requirements. In that instance those specific undergraduate courses may be substituted for the graduate level courses for determining loan eligibility. It is important for all students to recognize that this is not a license to incorporate any undergraduate course into their enrollment during any semester to achieve half-time status in order to establish eligibility for student loan funding. Only courses specified in the Graduate Catalog as requirements for the degree program in which they are enrolled, when a student was admitted to the program, may be included.

 

Change of Enrolled Hours

Any course dropped during the Add/Drop Period of a term, without another course being substituted, may result in a student’s enrollment status dropping below half-time status, causing the reversal of any loans already applied to a student’s account and/or a stop to the processing of any yet to be disbursed loans. In the event that this occurs, and a student later enrolls in an additional qualifying graduate course that brings him/her back to half-time status, the student must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid in order for the loans to be reprocessed.

 

 -Degree Seeking Pharm D. Candidates-

 

Degree Seeking Pharm D. Candidates may be eligible for:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Eligibility: Annual eligibility: up to $33,000  -  $37,167 for 4th year students ($224,000 lifetime limit including all prior Undergraduate and Graduate borrowing)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: Awarded on an annual basis up to the student budget (Cost of Attendance) minus any other financial aid funds received. Note: Eligibility for this loan is based on an individual's credit history.
  • Veterans/Military Educational Benefits: May be eligible for the Illinois Veterans Grant, Post 9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill. Visit our Veterans Affairs web page for more information.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Award amount varies. Contact the Chairperson of your major department for details.
  • Private (Alternative) Education Loans: Students are awarded up to the full student Budget (Cost of Attendance) minus any other funding received. Eligibility for this type of loan is based on an individual's credit history. Please visit our Apply for Loans web page for details. 

 

Enrollment Requirements

Student Budgets (Cost of Attendance) are based on full-time enrollment for any semester during which a student may be enrolled.  Financial Aid funding is awarded up to the full amount of a Budget. However, students need only be enrolled half-time during any semester to qualify for federal student loans. Half-time equivalency during  the Fall or Spring or Summer semesters  is  6 credit hours. 

Change of Enrolled Hours

Any course dropped during the Add/Drop Period of a term, without another course being substituted, may result in a student’s enrollment status dropping below half-time status, causing the reversal of any loans already applied to a student’s account and/or a stop to the processing of any yet to be disbursed loans. In the event that this occurs, and a student later enrolls in an additional qualifying graduate course that brings him/her back to half-time status, the student must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid in order for the loans to be reprocessed.

 

Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses

Pharm D. students must be enrolled at least half-time in professional level courses that are required and can be applied to the Pharm D. program requirements in order to be eligible for Federal Loans (Unsubsidized Stafford, Graduate PLUS and/or Federal Perkins).

Note: There may be an occasion where a Pharm D. student may be required to take specific undergraduate courses as part of fulfilling their degree requirements. In those instances those specific undergraduate courses may be substituted for the graduate level courses for determining half-time enrollment for loan eligibility. It is important for all students to recognize that this is not a license to incorporate any undergraduate course into their enrollment during any semester to achieve half-time status in order to establish eligibility for student loan funding. Only courses specified in the Graduate Catalog as requirements for the degree program in which they are enrolled, when a student was admitted to the program, may be included.

 
Post Baccalaureate Certificate 

Post Baccalaureate Certificate candidates, enrolled in approved* Post Baccalaureate Certificate programs, may be eligible for the following:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Eligibility: Annual eligibility: up to $10,500 ($57,500 lifetime limit including all prior Undergraduate borrowing)
  • Veterans/Military Educational Benefits: May be eligible for the Illinois Veterans Grant, Post 9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill. Visit our Veterans Affairs web page for more information.
  • Private (Alternative) Education Loans: Students are awarded up to the full student Budget (Cost of Attendance) minus any other funding received.  Eligibility for this type of loan is based on an individual's credit history. Please visit our Apply for Loans web page for details. 

Enrollment Requirements

Student Budgets (Cost of Attendance) are based on full-time enrollment for any semester during which a student may be enrolled.  Financial Aid funding is awarded up to the full amount of a Budget. However, students need only be enrolled half-time during any semester to qualify for federal student loans. Half-time equivalency during  the Fall or Spring or Summer semesters  is  6 credit hours. 

Change of Enrolled Hours

Any course dropped during the Add/Drop Period of a term, without another course being substituted, may result in a student’s enrollment status dropping below half-time status, causing the reversal of any loans already applied to a student’s account and/or a stop to the processing of any yet to be disbursed loans. In the event that this occurs, and a student later enrolls in an additional qualifying graduate course that brings him/her back to half-time status, the student must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid in order for the loans to be reprocessed.

*Approved by HLC (The Higher Learning Commission), IBHE (Illinois Board of Higher Education) and the U.S. Department of Education