Financing Your Education

Financial aid for graduate students.


Graduate students may apply for a Federal Stafford Loan package totaling the cost of their education each year, up to $20,500 ($10,500 for Post-Baccalaureate Certificate students).  Federal Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need, as determined by the federal government. For subsidized loans, the federal government pays interest on the loan until repayment begins and during authorized periods of deferment. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need.  Interest for unsubsidized loans is charged starting at disbursement until the loan is paid in full. 

To be eligible for a federal loan, you need to apply and be admitted to a graduate program. Students in term-based programs must enroll in at least 4 credits per term (6 credits per term is required for Post-Baccalaureate Certificate programs). Students in accelerated, non-term programs are eligible for aid based on enrolling in the program. 

To Begin the Financial Aid Process

To start the financial aid process, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Cardinal Stritch University’s school code is: 003837

After completing the FAFSA, you will be contacted by the Financial Aid Office in approximately two-four weeks. At this time you will be prompted to complete the following financial aid forms via our website:

  • Cardinal Stritch University Financial Aid Application
  • Master Promissory Note
  • Entrance Counseling

If additional information is needed, you will be contacted every two weeks until your file is complete. If no additional information is needed, your financial aid application is ready to be processed.    

Finally, once you are registered for classes, a financial award will be completed and you will be notified via mail.   

To begin the Financial Aid process, click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: As a graduate student, do I qualify for financial aid?

A: Yes, graduate students may apply for a Federal Stafford Loan package totaling the cost of their education each year, up to $20,500 ($10,500 for Post-Baccalaureate Certificate students). To be eligible for a federal loan, you need to apply and be admitted to a graduate program. Students in term-based programs must enroll in at least 4 credits per term (6 credits per term is required for Post-Baccalaureate Certificate programs). Students in accelerated non-term programs are eligible for aid based on enrolling in the program. 

Q: We are a dual income family household, will I qualify for financial aid?

A: Federal Stafford loans are not contingent on household income. The type of loan, subsidized vs. unsubsidized, varies based on need, as determined by the federal government.

Q: How much financial aid will I receive?

A: As long as you are enrolled in at least 4 credits in term-based programs or enrolled in an accelerated program you may receive up to $20,500. The actual amount will be determined at the time of awarding. Typically, loans cover all tuition and direct education expenses.

Q:  Does the University offer tuition payment plans other than or in addition to federal student loans?

A: Yes. A payment plan is an excellent way to make monthly payments to your statement of account. Cardinal Stritch University offers two acceptable payment plans.  Both payment plans allow you to make interest-free payments instead of having to make a lump-sum payment at the beginning of each term. There is a service fee to participate in the payment plans.

For further details on either payment plan, you may visit the Web address provided above. If you prefer, please feel free to contact a Business Office representative at (414) 410-4230 or toll free at (800) 347-8822, ext. 4230  

Q: Can I enroll in the monthly payment plan and receive student loans?

A: Yes, any combination of payments and financial aid can be used to pay for school.

Q: Can my previous student loans go into deferment while I am in graduate school?

A: Yes. The Registration Office can notify the National Clearinghouse of your enrollment. Notification will place your loans into an “in-school” deferment. 

Q: When do I have to start paying back the loans?

A: Typically, repayment begins six months after you have completed the program or dropped below half-time status.

Q: Is there a deadline for financial aid?

A: It is advised that you complete all paperwork prior to the first night of class. If you do not, processing is delayed. 

Q: What if I have started a program and realize I want financial aid, am I still eligible?

A: Students are eligible while enrolled in a program. You will need to speak with the Financial Aid Office about what classes could be included and possible award amounts.

Q:  Are there any grants or scholarships available?

A:  Unfortunately, no federal or state grants are available to graduate students. Institutional scholarships are limited and typically awarded to students after their first year in the program. We encourage you to talk to your employer regarding opportunities they offer (scholarships or employer reimbursement).

Q:  What is the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers? A:  This program forgives up to $17,500 for teachers in certain specialties, and up to $5,000 for other teachers who teach for five years in low-income schools and meet other requirements. To find out more about the eligibility requirements, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov

For additional questions regarding financial aid, please contact a Graduate Admissions counselor at (414) 410-4042 or gradadm@stritch.edu.