Aid Options and How to Apply

About Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Students accepted into a degree program can apply for financial aid.  Students enrolled in most graduate certificate programs* can also apply for aid.  See additional terms of eligibility for each specific type of aid below. 

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 215-572-4034 for additional information.  

Federal Direct Stafford 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 Stafford Loan. You may be eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per year, depending upon your cost of attendance (Note: interest will accrue during the in-school/grace period).  For Federal Direct Stafford Loans for Graduate Students disbursed July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the interest rate is 6%.  The interest rate will be "variable-fixed," meaning students will receive a new rate with each new loan, but then that rate will be fixed for the life of the loan. The Direct Loan origination fee is 1.066% for Stafford Loans first disbursed October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. 


You borrow a $20,500 Federal Direct Stafford Loan for the year. Net proceeds you will receive on a $20,500 Stafford Loan = $20,281.00 split over two or three disbursements, once the 1.066% origination fee is deducted. 

Repayment Estimator

How to Apply For Aid for Summer 2018/Fall 2018/Spring 2019

  1. Complete the 2018-2019 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at, listing Arcadia, school code 003235, as a recipient school. Apply for a FSA ID first to serve as your e-signature.
  2. Complete the Arcadia Financial Aid Application for Graduate Students online.
  3. Complete the Arcadia Graduate Stafford Loan Acceptance Form online.
  4. Complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan MPN* at FSA ID required.
  5. Complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling session* at 

*Required only for first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers.

Receipt of Loan Funds

Loan funds* will be disbursed to your student account ten days before the start of each semester, assuming all paperwork is received and you are enrolled at least half-time (6+ credits), with the exception of summer semester loans for certain part-time students as noted below.** If loans result in a 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.

** Please note: for those part-time graduate students taking one course each Summer session, because half-time enrollment is required, any Summer loan funds will be issued in two disbursements. The first disbursement will occur ten days before Summer session 1 and the second disbursement will occur on the first day of classes for Summer session 2. Please review the Summer tuition refund policy for withdrawals at If a credit is created on student's account after tuition for ALL summer sessions is deducted (including tuition for future summer sessions student is registered for), a refund will be issued within 2 weeks of the credit appearing on the students 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 repayment period is ten years.  Federal Direct GradPLUS Loans have "variable-fixed" interest rates, meaning you would receive a new interest rate with each new loan, but then that rate remains fixed for the life of the loan.    For loans with first disbursements July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the interest rate is 7%.  Effective for PLUS loans first disbursed October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018, the origination fee is 4.264%. 

How to Apply for Fall 2018/Spring 2019:   
  1. Complete a 2018-2019 Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Pre-Approval Form.  This enables the University to perform a credit-check on borrower's behalf.
  2. Complete a Federal Direct PLUS MPN* (Master Promissory Note) online at FSA ID required.

If approved, you will receive an email notification as well as a revised award letter reflecting the PLUS Loan. Those denied on the basis of credit will receive an email notification from the University as well.

*Only required for first-time Federal Direct PLUS borrowers. MPN is good for up to ten years.

Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships

Arcadia University offers several scholarships to its top applicants in each of the full-time programs. Scholarship decisions are made by the chairperson of the respective department. Graduate Assistantships are available on the Arcadia University campus to full-time (those taking 9 or more credits/semester) graduate students. Through an assistantship, a student can work a set amount of hours per week for a department on campus. More information.

Federal Teach Grant Program

The Federal Teach Grant Program, created to benefit prospective teachers, offers annual awards of up to $4,000 (small reduction on maximum award amount will be applied as a result of Federal Sequestration cuts).  

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 borrower's credit history. More information.

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. More information.

Summer Courses

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