Financial Aid Opportunities for Graduate Students

Graduate students not enrolled in a full-time graduate program have the option of attending on a part-time or full-time basis.  Students that are 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 a 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: Principal K-12, Superintendent, Child and Family Therapy, Educational Leadership, DPT Readiness Cert and Family Planning Services.  Please call 215-572-4034 for additional information.  

Federal Direct Stafford Loans 

A Federal Direct Stafford Loan is available to matriculating (those accepted into a degree or certificate* program) graduate students taking at least 6 credits/semester, regardless of financial need.  Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 annually in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (interest will accrue during the in-school/grace period).  For Federal Direct Stafford Loans for Graduate Students disbursed July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, the interest rate will be 5.41%.  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 1.072% for Stafford Loans first disbursed July 1, 2013 and after.  Students must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be considered for federal financial aid.

For the 2014-15 year, a graduate student borrows a $20,500 Federal Direct Stafford Loan for the year.  Net proceeds a student will receive on a $20,500 Stafford Loan=$20,280.00 split over two or three disbursements, once the 1.072% origination fee is deducted. 

 Calculate your monthly Federal Direct Loan Payments upon graduation\completion

 To Apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan for the 2014-15 academic year (summer 2014, fall 2014, spring 2015):

1.  You must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on-line at  Apply for a federal pin number first to serve as your e-signature.

2.  We suggest that you also submit the Arcadia Financial Aid Application for Graduate Students on-line. 

3.  We suggest that you complete a Graduate Student Federal Direct Stafford Loan Acceptance Form at so we process your loan for the appropriate amount and for the appropriate semesters.

4.  Complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan MPN* at  Federal PIN required.

5.  Complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling session* at

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

Loan funds* are typically disbursed to student accounts ten days before the start of each semester, assuming all paperwork is received and students are enrolled at least half-time (6+ credits), with the exception of Summer loans for certain part-time students as noted below**. If loans result in a credit after tuition and fees are paid, a student's loan refund will be distributed at approximately the 2nd week of classes each semester.  
The Business Office processes refunds via PNC Bank. PNC mails refund checks to the address that the Registrar has on file for a student, unless they have set up direct deposit via the PNC Bank Refund Portal (it can be deposited into a checking account with any bank, not just PNC). If you are enrolled as a current student and you did not receive information in your Arcadia e-mail about setting up Direct Deposit via PNC Bank, please call PNC directly at 1-800-745-7577 and let them know that you are an Arcadia student in need of an activation code.

** 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 

These federal, educational loans are available to credit-worthy graduate students enrolled at least half-time, regardless of financial need, and are borrowed directly through the University and the U.S. Department of Education once one's Stafford Loan eligibility for the year has been exhausted.  Students 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.  Effective for loans disbursed July 1, 2013 and after, the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan interest rate will be "variable-fixed," meaning parents/graduate students would receive a new rate with each new loan, but then that rate would be fixed for the life of the loan.  The PLUS interest rate is set at 6.41% for loans with first disbursements between July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.  Effective for PLUS loans disbursed July 1, 2013 and after, the origination fee will be 4.288%.

 To apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan:

1.  Complete a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Pre-Approval Form at (Loan Applications).  (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  Federal PIN required. 

Those approved on a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan 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.

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


Graduate Assistantships 

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.  Students are paid monthly for hours worked.  To find out more, or to obtain an application for an assistantship, please contact the College of Graduate Studies at 215-572-2512.  Applications are also available at  

Federal Teach Grant Program

Arcadia University participates in the federal TEACH Grant program.  This federal grant program was created to benefit prospective teachers.  To receive the maximum $4,000 annual award, students must be currently completing coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching, or plan on completing coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching. Because of the very specific requirements associated with receiving TEACH funds, it is critical that you read an important fact sheet created by the U.S. Department of Education: What You Need to Know before You Get a TEACH Grant.  The grant must be repaid as Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan if student does not fulfill ALL of the requirements of the program and the interest will accrue from date(s) of original disbursement.  A graduate student can receive a maximum of $4,000 per year ($8,000 aggregate total).  The annual award amount is pro-rated based on enrollment status (example: full-time undergraduate award=$4,000; three-quarter time (9-11 credits/semester) undergraduate award:  $3,000; half-time (6-8 credits/semester) undergraduate award=$2,000; less than half-time undergraduate award=$1,000.)  Doctoral in Education students are not eligible for TEACH Grants.  Visit to learn more, including how to apply for a TEACH Grant. Please note that there is a mandatory reduction on TEACH Grant amounts as a result of the federal sequestration.  


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. Visit to see a comparison of the various alternative loan programs offered by five different lenders who currently offer alternative loans. Students are not required to borrow through one of these lenders and may choose any lender of their choice.  See Arcadia's Lender Partnership Code of Conduct for more information.

The 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.  This program allows post-secondary institutions in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the V.A. (Veteran's Administration) to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.  More about the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Financial Aid Sources is a very informative web site that provides links to sources for information about obtaining financial aid.  You can visit the site at 

Other free scholarship Search Websites:

Need More Information? 

Our Enrollment Management Office has only one purpose-to make it possible for students to obtain a Arcadia University education. We're here to help. We'll answer your questions by phone or E-mail or meet with you personally.


  • Graduate Students enrolled in Physician Assistant, Genetic Counseling, M.B.A., Ed.D. in Special Ed, Ed.D. in Leadership, or all other part-time graduate program students whose last name begins A-J: Your counselor is Grace Taylor (215-572-4034);
  • Graduate Students enrolled in Physical Therapy, IPCR, Forensic Science, or all other part-time graduate  program students whose last name begins with K-Z:  Your counselor is Wendy McLaughlin (267-620-4829);

    Call toll-free: 1-877-ARCADIA (1-877-272-2342)
    215-572-4049 Fax E-mail
    Arcadia University
    Office of Enrollment Management
    450 S. Easton Road
    Glenside, PA 19038


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