Loyola University Chicago

Financial Aid Office

Graduate Checklist

The steps below outline the major points in the financial aid process. Click on the links for more details about each step.


Determine if you are eligible for a GRE Fee Waiver.
Loyola participates in the GRE Fee Reduction Program, which allows institutions to make GRE Fee Reduction Certificates available to eligible college seniors and non-enrolled college graduates who meet the GRE Board guidelines.

Departmental Scholarships and Assistantships
Recipients of departmental scholarships and assistantships are selected by individual graduate departments. Contact your department for applications, requirements, and deadlines.

Armed Services Educational Benefits

Loyola participates in all applicable federal programs for veterans, servicepersons, and their dependents. Learn more about the details of these programs.

File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
For timely processing, file your FAFSA early (between January 1 and March 1) and be sure to include Loyola University Chicago's school code: 001710. You can complete the FAFSA online or call 1-800-4Fed-Aid to request a paper form be mailed to you.

Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

The U.S. Department of Education will process your FAFSA and send a SAR, normally within two weeks of filing online or four weeks of receipt of a paper FAFSA. Read the SAR cover letter and review your SAR for errors. Submit corrections to the U.S. Department of Education.

Find Out About Your Financial Assistance Package

Students who are admitted to Loyola and have filed a valid FAFSA listing Loyola's school code, will receive Financial Aid Award letters, which are mailed to graduate students beginning in late Spring.  Awards can include eligibility for Federal Stafford Loans; academic department scholarships and assistantships when graduate departments have notified OSFA; and other assistance for which OSFA has received notification. Award notifications to continuing graduate students are sent by e-mail to the student's University e-mail address. Awards are also posted for student review in LOCUS.

Revised Award letters are emailed by OSFA to graduate students, as needed, throughout the academic year. Revised Award letters are notifications of a change in your aid resulting from, for example, a change in your enrollment, a request from you to reduce or reject aid, or notification of addition assistance.

Be sure to review your award letters promptly and reduce/reject loans in LOCUS if you want to change the amount you need to borrow.

Federal Stafford Loans
The maximum Federal Stafford Loan amount per academic year (Loyola's academic year begins Fall Term, ends after the following Summer Term) is $20,500 for a graduate student.

To be considered for a Stafford Loan, you must file a FAFSA each year, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; not be in default on existing Federal Student Loans; and be at least a half-time student in an eligible degree-seeking program.

Additional Graduate Loan Eligibility
The amount on your financial aid listed as [Eligibility: Addl Grad Loan] in LOCUS is NOT an actual award but represents the maximum amount that you COULD borrow through a credit-based alternative or Graduate PLUS Loan. This amount reflects the estimated direct and indirect costs associated with your enrollment.  Loans may be borrowed to the cost of attendance less any financial aid (e.g., assistantships, fellowships, or Federal Stafford Loans).

If you decide to apply for a loan, you can begin the application process with the lender. Loyola will be notified electronically by the lender if you are approved so that we may certify your eligibility for this loan. You receive an email when Loyola receives the certification and when the University returns the information to the lender. You are encouraged to only borrow the amount that you actually determine that you need, rather than the maximum allowed, as indicated by the [Eligibility:Addl Grad Loan] item. 

Graduate PLUS Loans   

Graduate PLUS Loans accept borrowers with limited or no credit history. The interest rates is fixed at 7.9%. Loan fees may be as much as 4% of the original loan amount. Repayment can begin while you are in school, if you prefer, or will begin after you leave school. 

Alternative Student Loans   

The terms and conditions of alternative loans are set by the individual lenders and will vary. Interest rates are often variable and can change often while you are in-school and in repayment.  Eligibility is based on the creditworthiness of the applicant or co-signer. For tips on applying for a private loan, please click here

Entrance Loan Counseling/Master Promissory Note

To receive a federal loan, you must complete an entrance loan counseling session, which provides information about how to manage your student loans. Click here to learn more and complete entrance loan counseling online. 

You must also sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), a legal commitment to repay Unsubsidized or unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. Sign MPNs online here. 

Other Considerations
Scholarships: Potential resources may be available through your employer, religious and ethnic organizations, institutions affiliated with your field of study, your hometown chamber of commerce, city council, or local school district. Web sites such as www.fastweb.com or www.collegezone.com or https://www.chegg.com/scholarships may also be helpful. Promptly notify OSFA of any other assistance you will receive.

Payment Plans
Contact the Office of the Bursar for information regarding tuition payment plans that allow you to pay as you go. Contact your graduate department if your employer will reimburse your tuition; inquire about the Employer Reimbursement Plan through the Office of the Bursar which allows eligible students to defer tuition payment while awaiting reimbursement.

Monitor University Account for Disbursement

Beginning 10 days prior to the start of the term, university scholarships and assistantships are reflected on your account with the Office of the Bursar. For Federal Stafford Loans, funds transmitted appear as credits to your account after entrance counseling has been completed, the MPN has been submitted, and any requested documents have been submitted to and reviewed by OSFA.  Outside scholarships and/or other loans that come in the form of checks must be endorsed by the student at the Office of the Bursar.

We will send an e-mail to your Loyola account when loan disbursements arrive.

Excess Credit Refunds

If the financial aid credited to your account exceeds your university charges, the Office of the Bursar will process a refund of the excess credit.  During high-volume times such as the start of each term, expect credit refunds to take longer to process. Once processed, the credit refund must be picked up from the Office of the Bursar or can be deposited directly into your personal checking or savings account (sign up for direct deposit in Locus.)

Exit Loan Counseling 
Most students are required to complete exit loan counseling for each program they have borrowed/received funds from. Get more information here.

Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to some commonly asked questions about financial assistance here.

Use Locus to Get Your Financial Aid Information
If you are new to Locus, or need a refresher, learn about the basic financial aid screens here.

For more information about financial assistance, check out these publications: