Financial Aid - Graduate Students

Graduate Students

Financial Aid

Graduate students may apply for federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Salve Regina's school code is 003411.
  • The FAFSA must be filed for each academic year (July 1 to June 30).
  • The FAFSA requires tax information from two years prior. For example, the 2024-2025 form asks for 2022 tax information.
  • You must sign the FAFSA electronically using the FSA ID you create through the Department of Education website. Learn how to create an FSA ID.


To be eligible for financial aid at Salve Regina, graduate students must:

  • Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (three credits per semester) and accepted to a degree- or certificate-granting program at the University (conditionally accepted students are eligible for a maximum of two semesters).
  • Make satisfactory progress toward the completion of the course of study.
  • Not be in default on federal loans.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Required Steps

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The federal form for graduate students to apply for financial aid.
  • Master promissory note: A legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees. The master promissory note is usually valid for up to 10 years.
  • Entrance counseling: Ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. Required if you have not previously received a Direct Unsubsidized Loan or Direct PLUS Loan.
  • Register for courses: Graduate students must be enrolled at least half time (three credits) each semester to be eligible for federal financial aid. Doctoral candidates enrolled in the dissertation research and writing course also qualify.
  • Graduate intended enrollment form: Newly accepted students should submit this form to notify our office of your intended enrollment for the upcoming academic year to request that your eligibility for aid be evaluated.

Please note: If you are less than half time or not registered for a given semester, you are considered to be on a leave of absence and your grace period for your loans will begin after your last date of attendance.

Loan Amounts

Loan amounts are calculated as follows:

  • Tuition charges for the current semester (or term), calculated per credits enrolled plus the registration fee.
  • If you need additional funds to cover books and/or supplemental living expenses, complete the graduate book/living expense request form. Suggested amounts are $100 per course for books and $1,500 per course for living expenses, with a maximum of $4,500 per semester. For summer courses, suggested living expenses are $500 per course. You should only request additional funds if you cannot cover program costs such as books, travel and related expenses, as this increases your overall debt to be repaid.

The maximum amount you can borrow under the federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program is $10,250 per semester ($20,500 per academic year.) This includes all summer sessions. The federal aggregate loan limit for graduate students is $138,500. If you have unpaid loans from undergraduate degrees and/or other graduate programs, you may check the totals of your federal loans at

If you wish to decline or reduce any part of your loan, complete the student loan reduction/decline request form or notify your counselor from your Salve Regina email address.

You may not borrow a graduate PLUS loan until you have met your limit for federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans each semester. Once you have reached your limit, visit to complete the application, master promissory note and entrance counseling for graduate PLUS loans if you wish to borrow additional funds.

Additional Financing Options

  • Graduate PLUS loan: A federal loan for graduate students, available after you have met your limit for federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans each semester. Once you have reached your limit, visit to complete the PLUS application and master promissory note for Direct PLUS Loans.
  • Private student loans: The private loan application process is initiated by the borrower. If you are selecting from Salve Regina's list of frequently used private loan vendors, simply click on the lender and complete the application process, including the cosigner addendum, disclosure approval and self-certification. Once you have been approved, the lender will send us a certification request and we will certify the request electronically. After the application clears the final approval process, the funds will be disbursed to your account. When considering an alternative loan, carefully research factors such as interest rates, fees, APR, borrower benefits and loan repayment options. In many cases, lenders will run a credit check to offer pre-approval. Requesting information from several lenders can result in numerous credit inquiries that may adversely affect your credit. Applying too early may cause the credit approval to expire and will also result in additional credit inquiries.
  • Payment plan: Our interest-free monthly payment plans, offered in partnership with Nelnet, are an alternative to large annual or term payments and help to limit borrowing. Nelnet offers several monthly payment options. For more information, or to enroll in a monthly payment plan, visit your My Salve account and follow the "Payment Plan and Billing" link, call (800) 609-8056 and speak with an education payment counselor or contact the Business Office for additional guidance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for a graduate degree or certificate. If your cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, you will be on academic probation for the following semester. In order to be eligible for federal loans during this period, you must send a letter of appeal to the director of financial aid to request consideration for a probationary semester of financial aid. If approved, you will receive one additional semester of loans if you meet other qualifications.