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Financial Aid

Financial Aid For Graduate Students

Most communications from the Office of Student Financial Assistance will be sent electronically to your University E-Mail account. Please monitor this account regularly or enable your mail to be forwarded to another account to avoid missing important notifications regarding your financial aid status at The George Washington University.

The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree or approved graduate certificate programs. The information found in this section of the website provides a brief description of our loan programs as well as an overview of the process involved in applying for these types of loans.

The processing of aid for students enrolled in distance education (DE) programs is based on current federal regulations. The cost of attendance for DE students includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, and an allowance for required on campus experience (living expenses are not included).

Continuing students can view their personal financial aid and student account information, as well as other personal records, by visiting GWeb.

Loan Options

The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree or approved graduate certificate programs. Following are brief descriptions of the loan programs, as well as an overview of the process involved in applying for these types of loans.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Graduate students at The George Washington University may borrow up to $20,500 in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds per academic year; the loan amount is based on the number of credit hours the students plan to take. Those who feel they need more than the $20,500 maximum may seek a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan or private alternative loans to further cover their educational costs.

The difference between a Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan and an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is that the federal government pays the interest that accrues on the subsidized loan provided a student is enrolled in a degree-seeking program at least half time. Conversely, while in school, the student is responsible for the interest that accrues on the unsubsidized loan. Federal Direct Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent as set by the federal government. Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility is, in part, determined by information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan is a federally sponsored education loan for graduate students. You are eligible to borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, living, book and transportation expenses, less any financial assistance received. We will not be able to certify your Federal Direct Graduate PLUS application until you apply for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent as set by the federal government for the 2010 - 2011 Academic Year, so you can borrow for your education without worrying about increases in interest rates or changes in monthly payments. A minimum credit check is required for all Federal Direct Graduate PLUS borrowers. If you are not eligible based on your own credit rating, you may become eligible if you obtain an endorser for the loan.

Private Alternative Loans

Private alternative loans are available to graduate students who feel they will need more than the $20,500 maximum available from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program or students enrolled in certificate programs that are not Stafford eligible. Most private alternative loans allow a student to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid.

For more information on financial aid for graduate students at The George Washington University, please visit: http://gwired.gwu.edu/finaid-g/FinancialAidForGraduateStudents