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Graduate students

Financing graduate school

If you choose to continue your college education beyond a bachelor’s degree, we applaud you. We know that navigating graduate school and the finances to pay for it can be complicated. There are so many choices, including how you’ll balance school and work, whether you’ll borrow money — and if you do borrow, how much. Making all of these decisions on your own can be a challenge.

The staff in our office of financial aid are experts in this area. We are here to help educate you on your financing options so that you can build a practical plan to pay for your graduate school tuition and other expenses.

What’s next?

Your first step is to apply and be accepted into one of our graduate programs: Master of Business Administration, Master of Liberal Studies or Master of Theological Studies. In addition, we recommend that you complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). Graduate students interested in borrowing federal student loans only need to enroll in three credits to be considered.

Many students choose to take advantage of our graduate semester payment plan, which allows them to divide each semester’s tuition and fees into three equal payments.

Types of aid

Available financial assistance includes loans and work-study. Any combination of these might make up your financial aid package, so it’s important for you to know what they are.

An educational loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Educational loans come in three major categories: federal student loans, federal graduate PLUS loans, and private student loans (offered through a private lender).

Federal student loans are often the most affordable loans available to students. They have fixed interest rates and their principal and interest payments are deferred until after graduation. There are other financing options (payment plans, PLUS loans, and private educational loans) you may also consider.

Graduate Loan Comparisons
Loan Type Federal Direct
Unsubsidized Loan 
Federal Direct Graduate /Professional PLUS Loan  Private Loan
Interest Rates 8.08% fixed rate (for loans disbursed from 7/1/24-6/30/25)  9.08% fixed rate (for loans disbursed from 7/1/24-6/30/25)

Eligibility  • Must complete FAFSA
• At least half time enrollment 
• Must complete FAFSA
• Must be a graduate or professional student
• At least half time enrollment
• Must be credit-worthy 

Lender U.S. Department of Education U.S. Department of Education

Loan Amount $20,500 Total cost of attendance minus all other accepted aid

Aggregate Limits • $138,500
• The graduate debt limit includes loans received for undergraduate study. 
None Varies
Fees 1.057% On or after Oct. 1, 2020, but before Oct. 1, 2024 4.228% On or after Oct. 1, 2020, but before Oct. 1, 2024

Principal Repayment 6 months after graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment  • 60 days after final disbursement per loan
• Current students may request an in-school deferment

Other Considerations • No co-signer needed
• May consolidate
• No credit check required
• Accrues interest while in school
• May postpone in-school-interest payments 
• Borrower must pass credit check
• If credit check fails, an endorser may be obtained
• Borrower is responsible for repayment
• May consolidate 

• Varies
• Please use FastChoice to review private loan programs 
Additional Information U.S. Department of Education U.S. Department of Education FastChoice: private alternative loan options 

Federal work-study: Administered by the office of financial aid, work-study funds allow you to secure a job on campus and are based on need. The dollar amount indicated in your award letter is the estimated amount you’ll be able to earn on campus during the academic year.

SNC student employment: We also offer employment opportunities funded by St. Norbert College that isn't based on need.

Wages for SNC student employment and federal work-study are paid bi-weekly based upon hours worked and can be credited to your bill if you complete a request in Workday, or can be directly deposited into a bank account through Workday.