Graduate & Doctoral Students

Graduate & Doctoral Students

Various forms of student assistance are available for graduate and doctoral students.  The Federal Direct Student Loan Program, Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan Program, and Federal Work-Study Program, require you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Information on graduate assistantships is available through the School of Graduate Studies (212 Centennial Hall)  570-389-4015. 

In order to receive federal assistance, you must meet eligibility requirements.  In addition you must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (5 graduate/doctoral credits per semester) in a degree granting program.   IMPORTANT:  If you are required to take undergraduate credits to meet deficiency requirements for your graduate program, please contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine how this may affect current and future financial aid eligibility.

Educational Loan Programs

Federal Direct Student Loans are available to help meet educational expenses.  Graduate/doctoral students may borrow up to $20,500 each academic year (summer, fall, spring).   The loan amount will be entirely unsubsidized.

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loans are available to graduate/doctoral students who have exhausted their Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility.  In addition to the eligibility requirements discussed previously, students must be credit worthy to receive this loan.  The maximum students may borrow in Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan per academic year is the difference between cost of education minus other financial aid received.  Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan repayment for both the principal and the interest generally begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.  There is no grace period for these loans.  This means interest starts to accrue as soon as the first disbursement is made. The student may qualify for an in-school deferment as long as they are enrolled at least on a half-time (five graduate credits per semester) basis.

Federal regulations require that first time Federal Direct Student/GradPLUS Loan recipients must complete entrance counseling requirements before receiving their loan funds.  Federal regulations also require a student to complete exit counseling prior to graduation or at the time a student either drops to less-than half-time enrollment or withdraws from Bloomsburg University.  Exit counseling can provide you with valuable information on loan repayment.

State Loans and Private Educational Alternative Loans may be available to graduate/doctoral students but it is highly recommended that students utilize the Federal Direct Student/GradPLUS Loans as their first borrowing option.

Student Employment

There are two employment programs that may be of interest to graduate/doctoral students who do not have a graduate assistantship.  These are the Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP) and Institutional State Student Employment.  FWSP is based on financial need as defined by the FAFSA.   A work-study award is an opportunity for employment but not a guarantee of placement.  For all employment programs, students are responsible for securing their own positions but placement assistance is available.  Wages are paid directly to the student every two weeks.  Both types of employment programs permit working up to 20 hours per week during period of enrollment and 37.5 hours per week when classes are not in session.

Enrollment Status

Graduate/doctoral students must register for at least five graduate/doctoral credits per semester in order to be considered a half-time student, which is the minimum allowable for receipt of Federal Direct Student/GradPLUS Loan and deferment of repayment on previous student loans.  Full-time status is nine graduate/doctoral credits per semester. 

Requests for enrollment verification should be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar (150 Warren Student Services Center) 570-389-4263 along with the name and address of the agency or institution that is to receive the information.

Refunds of Student Aid

All student aid funds, with the exception of earnings, are applied directly to your account.  Refunds are generated by the Bursar Office (Waller Administration) 570-389-4013.  Please refer to Availability of Funds for more information.

Additional Assistance

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for student aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid (119 Warren Student Services Center) 570-389-4297 for assistance.  The office is open Monday through Friday during regular university business hours.