Pursuing a graduate degree is about more than just enhancing your understanding of the world – it’s an investment in your future. We’re committed to helping you finance your graduate education as wisely as possible to ensure your investment goes as far as possible. We offer guidance as you explore the available options, from scholarships and student loans to on-campus jobs and external funding
All applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships, and recipients will be notified along with their admission decision.
Because many students will not be able to fund their graduate education through scholarships alone, we encourage you to review the Education Loan Programs to explore all loan options.
Loan Application Recommended Deadlines
Students should submit loan applications by the following dates for their funds to post by the billing due date, and for their refunds to be available as early as possible. Students can still submit loan applications after the deadline, but the loan may not post to the student account by the due date.
Fall Semester: Second week in July
Spring Semester: Second week in November
Summer Semester: First week in June
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are non–need-based guaranteed educational loans. The maximum amount in Unsubsidized Loans that a student may request in one academic or calendar year is $20,500 ($12,500 for postbaccalaureate students). The only two conditions that would preclude a student from eligibility for this loan would be (a) if a student has reached his or her maximum lifetime aggregate limit (currently $138,500), or (b) if a student is in default status for a previously awarded federal loan. Federal origination fees and interest rates are outlined in the tables below.
To be eligible for this loan, a student must meet all of the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
- Be accepted, and have matriculated, into a degree program within GPS;
- Be enrolled in at least two courses (six credits) in the term for which they want the loan;
- Have a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with Brandeis University and a completed Federal Direct Stafford Loan Application for GPS on file with Student Financial Services.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a student educational loan. It is not based on need. Loan capital is supplied directly by the federal government, which also serves as the guarantor. Interest begins to accrue the day of disbursement and may be deferred and capitalized. To review the current interest rate for this loan during this academic year, please review at Federal Direct Stafford Loan | Student Loans | Office of Student Financial Services | Brandeis University.
Federal Direct Loan Application Instructions
- Register for a Federal Student Aid ID. Your will need your FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA.
- Complete the FAFSA for the appropriate academic year of enrollment.
- The federal code for Brandeis University is 002133. This number is required on the FAFSA. Be sure to electronically sign your FAFSA using the FSA ID.
- Master’s and PhD students are considered independent and do not need to provide their parents’ financial information. Master’s and PhD students may request up to $20,500 in Federal Direct Loans per year ($41,000 for MAT). Postbaccalaureate students may request up to $12,500 in their first year only ($5,500 for dependent postbaccalaureate students).
- After submitting the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). When the SAR arrives, carefully check it for accuracy and make any necessary corrections. The SFS office will receive this information electronically.
- If you are selected for verification, you may be asked to complete additional paperwork or submit supporting documentation such as proof of citizenship or income tax forms. You will be notified by SFS you be required to do so.
- Complete Entrance Counseling. To begin your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Entrance Counseling session online, and click the green "Sign In" button at the top left of the screen. You will need your FSA ID in order to sign in. If you have not yet created your FSA ID, you should do so first.
- Sign Master Promissory Note (MPN). Once you have completed Entrance Counseling, you will need to sign your MPN.
- Please select "Brandeis University"; Do not select "Brandeis University-Graduate School of Arts and Sciences" on the Department of Education's website. Failure to sign your MPN will result in cancellation of this loan under federal regulations. If the cancellation of this loan causes a balance due on your account, a hold will be placed on your account.
- Complete a Stafford Loan Application. The application can be found by logging in to Workday and clicking the Financial Aid Dashboard from your homescreen. Please note that in order to receive a loan for a particular term, you must enroll in at least two courses that term. The loan amount will be divided evenly among each term you select unless you instruct otherwise.
- Once you have been approved for a Federal Direct Loan, SFS will send a loan letter to you outlining the amount and disbursement schedule for your loan.
- Once you have fulfilled all loan and course registration requirements, you may then file for a refund of your credit balance through your student account. The earliest loan credit can be released from your account is 10 days before classes begin.
The other type of federal loan for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents is the Graduate PLUS (GPLUS) loan. Students again will need to fill out the FAFSA as mentioned above and must use their Unsubsidized Stafford Loan eligibility first. Eligibility requirements for the GPLUS loan are the same as the Stafford Loan with an additional credit check requirement. If you are denied for this loan and choose to pursue an appeal of this decision and/or add an endorser, please notify the Office of Student Financial Services so that they can monitor the status of your loan.
To review the current interest rate for this loan during this academic year, please review at Federal Direct Plus Loan | Office of Student Financial Services | Brandeis University.
Students may borrow up to their cost of attendance per academic year minus all other forms of financial aid received. Repayment begins six months after a student has ceased at least half-time enrollment (six credits) in a degree program. You should exhaust all federal eligibility through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program before applying for a PLUS loan.
To request a Graduate PLUS Loan, please go to the Department of Education and select the “Sign In” button in the upper left-hand corner. (You will need your FSA ID to sign in. If you have not yet created an FSA ID, you should do so first.) Once you have logged in, you will need to complete three steps:
- Application: Once you have logged in using your FSA ID, you will be taken to the welcome screen with several options. Select the “Apply for a PLUS Loan" (third option in center of page). You will need to enter the amount of the loan you are requesting and choose Brandeis for the institution (Title IV school is 002133). DO NOT select Brandeis GSAS — this is an old selection and will not allow you to fill out the online application. Your credit will be checked to confirm your eligibility for a Graduate PLUS Loan. If you denied for a credit reason, you will be able to appeal or add a cosigner through this website.
- Entrance Counseling: Select the “Complete Counseling” option on the welcome page (this should be the first option). On the next screen, select the first option — Entrance Counseling — again by clicking on the "Start Entrance Counseling" button. Important: Do not select PLUS counseling — this is only required for individuals who have adverse credit and have obtained an endorser. During your entrance counseling, you will be provided with information regarding the terms and conditions associated with the Graduate PLUS Loan program, and you will need to complete a short quiz regarding what you have learned from this introduction.
- Master Promissory Note: Select the “Complete MPN” option from the left-hand column. You will be required to confirm your name and address, supply two references, and sign this form electronically. Important: Please select "Brandeis University"; do not select "Brandeis University-Graduate School of Arts and Sciences" on the Department of Education's website. Steps 2 and 3 will only need to be done the first time you borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan, as your promissory note is good for up to 10 years. This loan can only be posted to your SAGE account after all steps are completed.
Upon approval for Graduate PLUS Loan, SFS will send an award letter to you outlining the amount and disbursement schedule for your loans. You are not required to take this loan. If the cancellation of this loan will cause a balance due on your account, please first make other arrangements for your bill to avoid a hold being placed on your registration.
Once you have fulfilled all loan and course registration requirements, you may then file for a refund of your credit balance through your student account.
Alternative loans are available from private lenders such as banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. These loans are not guaranteed by the federal government. Before applying for a private loan, students are advised to first exhaust all of their federal loan eligibility.
In the past, our students have found the following website to be helpful in taking out additional loans: Student Financial Services Education Loan Programs
Please note that loans may be adjusted if additional monetary awards are granted to the student.
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