Aid Options and How to Apply

About Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Students accepted into a degree program and students enrolled in most graduate certificate programs* can apply for financial aid.  

Students enrolled in a certificate program independent of a degree program MAY be eligible for federal aid if they are in an Arcadia certificate program through which Arcadia awards the actual certificate. Those enrolled in a certification program through which P.D.E. (Pennsylvania Dept. of Education) alone confers certification will be eligible for federal aid only if they are pursuing a first/initial teacher certification, or are pursuing additional certification as part of a degree program.  Those pursuing certification beyond an initial teacher certification independent of a degree program, or those pursuing supervisory certification or endorsements independent of a degree program may not be eligible for federal aid.  

*Federal financial aid is not available for students enrolled in the following certificate programs outside of a master's program: Supervisory Certification, Principal K-12 Certification, Superintendent Certification, Health Policy, Educational Leadership, DPT Readiness Cert and Family Planning Services, DPT Post-Professional Program Certificate and Special Education. Please call 215-572-2980 for additional information.  

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

If you are a matriculating graduate student (accepted into a degree or certificate* program) and are taking at least 6 credits/semester, regardless of your financial need, you can apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. You may be eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per year, depending upon your cost of attendance. (Note: interest will accrue while you are enrolled and also during the six-month grace period).  For Federal Direct Loan interest rates, visit our Interest Rates page. 

Repayment Estimator

How to Apply For the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan: 

Forms for graduate students are available on our Financial Aid Forms page. 

Graduate students will complete:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Arcadia Graduate Financial Aid Application and Direct Loan Request Form
  • Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note*
  • Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling*

*required only for first-time loan borrowers at Arcadia.

Receipt of Loan Funds

Loan funds will be disbursed to your student account no earlier than ten days before the start of each semester, assuming all paperwork is received and you are enrolled at least half-time (6+ credits).  If loans result in credit after tuition and fees are paid, your loan refund will be issued approximately the 2nd week of classes each semester. Learn more about Student Loan Refunds.

During summer part-time graduate students taking one course, each summer session will receive loan funds in two disbursements, each no more than 10 days before the start of each summer semester course. Please review the Summer tuition refund policy for withdrawals on the Office of Student Accounts page. If a credit is created on the student's account after tuition for ALL summer sessions is deducted (including tuition for future summer sessions a student is registered for), a refund will be issued within 2 weeks of the credit appearing on the student account.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Available to credit-worthy graduate students enrolled at least half-time, regardless of financial need, once your Stafford Loan eligibility for the year has been exhausted.  You can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. Repayment begins six months following graduation (or the last date of half-time enrollment) and the repayment period is ten years.  For Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan interest rate and origination fee information see our Interest Rates page.  

To apply for a Graduate PLUS loan:

  1. Go to the Federal Student Aid website and log in using your FSA ID.
  2. Click on Apply for Aid and then select Apply for a Grad PLUS loan.   
  3. If approved, complete a Federal Direct PLUS MPN (Master Promissory Note) online at the Federal Student Aid website. FSA ID required. Only required for first-time Federal Direct PLUS borrowers.  MPN is good for ten years. 

Alternative Student Loans

Alternative, private educational student loans, based on variable interest rates (Prime and/or LIBOR rates) are available for matriculating students enrolled at least half-time if they qualify on the basis of credit. Credit-worthy cosigners may be required depending upon the borrower's credit history.  You can compare some private loan options using our online ELM Select portal.

Unsure on which loan option works best for you?  Check out our Grad PLUS vs. Private Alternative Loan comparison chart.

Federal Teach Grant Program

The Federal Teach Grant Program, created to benefit prospective teachers, offers annual awards of up to $4,000.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Arcadia is a participating Yellow Ribbon institution. The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.

Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program

Summer Courses

Graduate students taking at least six (6) credits combined over the course of all summer sessions are eligible for Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans and private, alternative student loans, provided they are matriculating in a degree or certificate program.