Graduate students have unique financial needs and as such, have unique financial aid options which differ from undergraduate aid. At the graduate level, all students are considered independent of their parents and complete the FAFSA with only student data. In addition, borrowing limits on federal loans are much higher than at the undergraduate level. Students must be registered for graduate level coursework (courses numbering 600 and above) and be enrolled in a Graduate program. Graduate students are not eligible for federal or state grants, or subsidized loans.

Types of Aid for Graduate Students:

William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program:

  • Is also known as Federal Direct Stafford Loan.
  • Requires repayment over time (with interest) which begins when a student drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Accrues interest throughout the life of the loan for which the student/borrower is responsible. The interest accumulates and is later added to the principal balance of the loan.

Interest Rate for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan:
2016-2017 Academic Year: 3.76% fixed

Effective October 1, 2016 origination fees are 1.069% deducted by the federal government prior to disbursement.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be fully admitted into a Graduate program seeking a degree or certificate offered at Metropolitan State.
  • Students must be registered at least half time: 4 credits of Graduate level coursework. Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate coursework are not eligible (more on this subject below).
  • Students must be enrolled in courses required for the degree being sought.
  • Students must not have previously reached or exceeded any of the federal borrowing limits.
  • Students must not have previous federal student loans in default status.
  • Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Additional information about the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program.

How to apply for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program:
As with all federal student aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once a FAFSA is completed, the school will receive the response from within 3-5 business days. The federal school code for Metropolitan State University is: 010374 and will be needed to release FAFSA data to Metropolitan State University.

Once the FAFSA is received, students will receive either a Financial Aid Award Letter or a request for additional information from the Financial Aid Office. Complete and return any documents requested. Log in to Student eServices to view the official Award.

Accepting Your Loans:
Loan acceptance or loan requests are done online via student e-services. Students can make an online loan request by following the below instructions:

  • Visit Student eServices and log in.
  • On the left, click on "Financial Aid" and then "Loans".
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to submit the loan acceptance.
  • In 1-3 business days, the student's loan status will be updated to "Certified" status. Loan funds will be applied to the student's account on the scheduled disbursement date.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students

Also known and the GradPLUS Loan. This loan program is available to graduate students that need funding beyond their Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans. A student must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program before applying for a Direct Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS loan. This loan will also require a credit check. Repayment on the Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

Interest Rate for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan:
2016-2017 Academic Year: 6.31% fixed

Effective October 1, 2016 the origination fee is 4.276% deducted by the federal government prior to loan funds being disbursed by the school.

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan Eligibility Requirements:
Students must meet all requirements listed above for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program eligibility requirements, in addition to:

  • Student must pass a credit check.
  • Student must be a graduate student.
  • Student must have already requested their maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program.

How to apply for the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan:

  • Complete Graduate PLUS Loan MPN at
    Visit and complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and online application. The student will need to sign in to the site using their Federal PIN number. This is the same PIN used to sign the student's FAFSA.

Additional information about the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan.

Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses
Graduate students must be registered for graduate level coursework in order to be eligible for federal student aid with few exceptions. If a graduate student enrolls in undergraduate coursework, that student will not be eligible for federal financial aid during that term and will need to consider alternative methods of paying for the tuition. It is the Graduate student's responsibility to ensure that their course registration meets this requirement. It is highly recommended that any graduate student, before registering for undergraduate courses, consult with their academic advisor, and the Financial Aid Office to determine the eligibility of the courses for aid.

Private Educational Loans

Many banks and credit unions provide educational loan options, commonly referred to as private or alternative loans. These loans may have higher interest rates than federal loans and should only be considered as a borrowing option after all federal loan eligibility has been exhausted.

Selecting a lender is the sole right of the student.We provide FASTChoice as a way for you to compare loan options for a number of common lenders and choose the loan that best fits your needs. Metropolitan State University does not endorse any one lender; you may choose any lender you wish that currently offers an educational loan product.The lenders listed on the FASTChoice website are lenders who have most commonly provided private loans to Metropolitan State University students over the past three years. The lender list is updated each spring with the most current information.

Under the Truth in Lending Act rules, private education loans are subject to self certification, three consumer disclosures at specific times in the application process, and a three day delay in disbursement. Due to the number of steps involved in the private loan application process, applicants should allow a minimum of 3 weeks for processing.

Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program

New for 2016-2017 graduate/professional students will now be eligible to apply if they have completed a bachelor's degree and have completed less than 4 years of graduate/professional study. Applicants must meet the following to apply.

  • Meet Minnesota residency requirements
  • Not be recipients of MFIP
  • Be enrolled 1-6 credits per term graduate level coursework
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree and been enrolled full time less than eight semesters or the equivalent in a graduate or professional degree program.
  • Not be in default of any educational loan
  • Be making satisfactory progress
  • Not be receiving tuition reciprocity benefits from another state, and
  • Be pursuing a nonsectarian program or course of study that applies to an undergraduate or graduate degree, diploma or certificate.

The award is based upon the income of the applicant and spouse, the number in the applicant's family, the number of eligible children within the family who need child care, and the applicant's level of enrollment.

The maximum award amount is $2,800 per eligible child per academic year. The amount of the award cannot exceed 40 hours of child care per week per eligible child.

Complete the Minnesota Child Care form here.

MN Indian Scholarship Program

Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota resident students who are of one-fourth or more Indian ancestry and demonstrate financial need for an award. 

Apply today at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education website!