Financial Aid for Graduate Students at CSU

Chicago State University recommends that prospective graduate students plan early for financing their education. Students must complete the FAFSA application process in order to establish eligibility for a federal student loan(s) or the federal TEACH Grant. For information on completing the FAFSA process, please access our Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) web page.

Degree seeking Graduate students (Masters, Ed. D. and Pharm D.) may be eligible for the following:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Eligibility: Annual eligibility: up to $20,500
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: Annual eligibility: 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: Graduate students 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. 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. Maintain 3.0 GPA or academic progress according to the academic discipline in which the student is enrolled [which may vary from 2.75 to 3.5]
  • Student employment: Visit the Student Employment web page for details
  • Private (Alternative) Education Loans: Students are awarded up to the full student Budget (Cost of Attendance) minus any other funding received.  Note: Eligibility for this type of loan is based on an individual's credit history

Please Note:  

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.

Enrollment Requirements

Graduate students are awarded based on full-time enrollment of (9 hours in the fall/spring).

Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses

Graduate 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 (in 5000 or higher  level courses) during any semester to qualify for federal student loans as follows:

Fall or Spring semesters half-time equivalency for the various Graduate programs are as follows Term

Part Time Hours
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 must be enrolled in at least part-time graduate courses (4 hours of 5000 or higher level courses in the fall/spring, 3 hours in the summer) must be graduate level coursed in order to receive financial aid.

Example 1: If enrolled in 6 hours of graduate courses and  a 3 hour undergraduate course which is a total of 9 hours, you will only be awarded based on the graduate hours enrolled.  Therefore in this scenario, you would be considered enrolled as a  part-time graduate student.

Example 2: If enrolled in 3 hours of graduate courses and  a 3 hour undergraduate course which is a total of 6 hours, you will not  be eligible for financial aid because you are not enrolled in at least 4 hours of graduate level courses (5000 or higher level courses).  Even if you received a financial aid award letter, keep in mind we are awarding you at he time assuming you will be enrolled in at leas the minimum graduate hours. 

Any graduate or undergraduate course dropped before census date which decreases enrollment hours to less than 4 credits for fall or spring (3 credits for summer) will require the Financial AId office to place the student in a less than halftime budget for that semester, often resulting in  a decreased aid eligibility.

 Aid and Certificate Programs

 Any graduate student enrolled in a certificate program cannot receive financial aid  unless also enrolled in a degree program at the graduate level.