Loans for Graduate Students

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs offers a step-by-step guide on how to apply for federal financial aid, including Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans.

Financial aid counselors can also advise you about applying for alternative and private loans, application procedures, eligibility criteria, loan and interest rate fees, timelines, and relevant deadlines.

For the purposes of need-based aid, federal regulations require the University to take into account all other sources of financial support for graduate study, including those from the University, e.g. fellowships, assistantships, or scholarships, and from private or government sources.

Apply for financial aid and loans

Federal Financial Aid

If you are interested in applying for Federal Direct Loans (U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens only), you should not wait for an admission decision before applying. You should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 and no later than July 1 for aid for the following academic year. If your graduate program begins or continues in the summer, you must also complete the FAFSA for the current academic year by May 1.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan: Graduate students are also eligible to apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan–a long-term, fixed-rate loan. It is recommended that students borrow their maximum eligibility in Federal Direct Loans before they apply for this loan program.

Private Education Loans

Alternative education loans offered through banks, many credit unions, and states are also available to help bridge the gap between financial aid and the cost of education. These private loans are not federally endorsed or guaranteed, but they must be certified (or approved) through the Syracuse University Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs to ensure that the loan does not exceed the cost of attendance (budget) minus all other financial aid. As a graduate student, you are eligible to borrow up to the full cost of attendance by using a combination of Federal Direct and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans. This makes alternative loans (with their higher fees and interest rates) unnecessary for most students.