Financing Graduate School

 

Financing Graduate School

There are several factors to consider when attending graduate school.  Below we have outlined important information for graduate students and their advisors.

 

Step 1:  Calculate your anticipated costs for the academic year:

  • Focus on the direct costs you will owe to UNI
  • Consider any other education-related expenses you may need pay
    • Books and supplies
    • Rent
    • Utilities
    • Groceries
    • Car insurance and gas
    • Childcare
    • Cell Phone
  • Need more help?  Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid: (319) 273-2700, fin-aid@uni.edu

Step 2:  Consider any financial resources you already have:

  • Savings
  • Current Income if you are employed full- or part-time
  • Campus departmental and off-campus employment—visit the UNI job board
    • Graduate students enrolled at least half-time are eligible for work positions supported by departmental funds.
    • Note:  If you have a graduate assistantship, you cannot work as an hourly employee in the same department
    • The job board also lists openings for off-campus employers
  • There is an excellent budget calculator included in the Financial Awareness Counseling at  studentloans.gov

Step 3:  Apply for Assistantships and Scholarships:

  • Graduate Assistantship Salary—find more information at www.grad.uni.edu/assistantships
    • Graduate Assistants can work full-time (20 hours per week) or half-time (10 hours per week). 
    • There are approximately 300 Graduate Assistant positions in a variety of campus departments and offices
    • Only full-time students (enrolled in at least 9 hours per semester) are eligible for assistantships
    • Out-of-state students holding graduate assistantships may qualify for in-state tuition
    • Office of Student Financial Aid Graduate Assistantship Opportunity (filled for 2014-15)
  • Graduate College Tuition Scholarship—find more information at www.grad.uni.edu/assistantships
    • Covers up to the cost of tuition each semester.  Scholarship amounts may vary.
    • Does not cover student fees, books, or other expenses
    • Unlike graduate assistantship, there is no work obligation
  • Departmental Scholarships
    • Contact your academic department to learn if scholarships are available
  • Outside scholarships
    • There are numerous free websites where you can search for scholarships
    • Also look for scholarships from your home community, employer, etc.

Step 4: Explore Grants and Loans:

In order to receive financial aid, graduate students must be a degree seeking student and enrolled at least half-time (5 semester hours in the fall or spring or 4 hours in the summer). 

If you choose to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (available starting January 1), you may qualify for:

  • Grants
    • Limited funds are available to graduate students, so complete your FAFSA as early as possible to maximize the possibility of receiving grants
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Fixed interest rate of 5.41%
    • Borrowing limit of $20,500 per year
    • Available for all graduate students
    • Note: Direct Subsidized loans are no longer available for graduate students as of July 1, 2012
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students
    • Fixed interest rate of 6.41%
    • Available for graduate students who have exhausted their Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Borrower is subject to a credit check prior to approval
  • Private Education Loans
    • Offered through private banks and lenders
    • This is a last-resort option
    • Financial aid counseling is required with the Office of Student Financial Aid

Remember that you will be charged interest on your loans as soon as you receive them; you will be responsible for paying back the amount of your loan plus any interest that has accrued.

 

Other important information:

Deferment of Loans - Learn about how to defer payment on your previous student loans when you begin your graduate studies.

Specific Information for MBA Students - Due to the structure of their class schedule, MBA Students have specific considerations regarding financial aid.

Required Readings - Financial Aid Reference and Resource Guide

Graduate College - Includes information about graduate admissions, assistantships, and other opportunities for graduate students

 

 

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, located at 105 Gilchrist Hall.

Phone: (319) 273-2700 | Fax: (319) 273-6950 | Email: fin-aid@uni.edu