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Financial Aid for your Graduate Education

Amy Gooden




Starting your graduate education is a big decision. It is a major investment of your time, money, and energy. Aside from focusing on coursework, many students must find a way to pay for their graduate education. I am here to take the hassle out of the financial aid process so you may focus on more important obligations.


Amy Gooden, Graduate Financial Aid Counselor

Below you will find helpful information regarding the financial aid process. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. You may reach me at 740-826-8139 or agooden@muskingum.edu. My office is located in Montgomery Hall, Room 109.

Who is eligible?

How do I apply?

What types of aid may I receive?

What are the costs?

Is there a payment plan available?

How will I be notified of my aid eligibility?

Can I borrow more than I need to cover my tuition costs?

Completing the Master Promissory Note and Agreement to Serve

Additional Steps for the Direct Loan and TEACH Grant

Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs

Who is eligible?

Students who are enrolled in the Master of Arts in Education, the Master of Arts in Teaching, MISST programs, Education Specialist, or those who are pursuing teacher licensure, may be eligible for Federal Loans to assist with their costs. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Full-time enrollment is 9 credit hours per term and half-time is 4.5 credit hours per term. Students not enrolled at least half-time or who have used up their yearly or lifetime Direct Loan aggregates may borrow in a Private Education Loan or a Federal Graduate PLUS loan.

HQT Classes (651,652,653,654) are not eligible to be funded by Direct Loans; however, if you are taking one or more HQT classes in addition to at least 5 credit hours in your master's or licensure program, you may be eligible to borrow a Direct Loan and may be eligible to borrow extra to pay for the HQT classes.

How do I apply?

To apply for the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. You may file the FAFSA at https://fafsa.gov. You must also file the FAFSA if you are interested in the Graduate PLUS loan.

For the 2016-2017 academic year (Summer and Fall 2016, and Spring I and II 2017), you will file the 2016-2017 FAFSA. Summer 2017 will start a new academic year and a new FAFSA application.

To add Muskingum to your FAFSA, so we may receive your information, please add our school code: 003084

What types of aid may I receive?

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

Graduate students may receive an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. The maximum Federal Direct Loan amount for which the student is eligible will be reflected on the financial aid notice. Unsubsidzed loans begin accruing interest as soon as the loan is credited to the students account. Interest rates are variable and are set every July. Origination fees will be taken out of the amount borrowed. A student has the right to cancel their Federal Direct Loan within 14 days by contacting Student Financial Services. For information on current Direct Loan interest rates and origination fees please go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates#rates.

Federal TEACH Grant

The Teach Grant program provides up to $3724 per year (dependent on enrollment status) in grant assistance ($8,000 total) to graduate students enrolled in the MAE or MAT programs (students in a graduate licensure program are not eligible); who are enrolled in an eligible program and agrees to teach in a high-need field, at a low-income elementary or secondary school for at least four years within eight years of completing the program for which the TEACH grant was awarded. A TEACH Grant recipient who does not complete their required teaching within a specified time frame or fails to meet certain other requirements of the TEACH Grant program will be required to repay the TEACH Grant as a Direct Unsubsidized loan. The student must have a 3.25 GPA to be eligible and keep a 3.25 GPA for renewal.

To apply for the TEACH grant go to www.teach-ats.ed.gov. You will need to complete the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Counseling. You will also need to have filed the FAFSA.

To review a listing of low income schools please visit: https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp

To review a listing of high need fields please visit:


Graduate PLUS Loans

Graduate students that need to borrow more than the Federal Direct Loan can provide, may consider borrowing a Grad PLUS Loan. Upon credit approval, a student may borrow up to the cost of education less any financial aid received per academic year. Repayment begins within 60 days of full disbursement. Some loan deferral options are available. For information on current Grad PLUS interest rates and origination fees please go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates#rates.

To apply go to https://studentloans.gov. Login and click on “Apply for PLUS Loan”, then choose the Grad PLUS option. Upon credit approval you will be prompted to complete a Master Promissory Note. Student Financial Services will receive your application information and contact you regarding the Grad PLUS loan process.

Private Loans

Private loans are education loans offered by banks and other lending institutions. Private loans can be used to cover any educational expenses not covered by financial aid. This type of loan can be used if you are not interested in filing the FAFSA or will be enrolled less than half-time (4.5 credit hours). Based on the credit history of the borrower, a credit-worthy cosigner may be required. Students may borrow up to the cost of education minus financial aid. In some cases students may borrow to cover a previous balance.

Students may obtain a private loan through the lender of their choice, though the following information may help you choose a loan. We offer a comparison of Private Loan Options that we are most familiar with, and that are most commonly used by Muskingum students. We review this list regularly to ensure these lenders are reputable and continue to meet the needs of Muskingum students. You will be able to compare interest rates, borrower benefits, APRs, and repayment options to help you find the private loan that best meets your needs. Your credit is checked as part of the application process once you have selected a loan.

What are the costs?

2016-17 Award Year

Summer 2016

$490 per credit hour

Fall 2016

$510 per credit hour

Spring 2017

$510 per credit hour

Is there a payment plan available?

Students may qualify for a payment plan rather than taking a loan. To find out if you are eligible contact Janet Nesselroad in the Student Accounts Office at 740-826-8118 or email janetn@muskingum.edu.

Students must have either made payment for a term or have made satisfactory arrangements with the Student Accounts Office in order to register for the subsequent academic term. Students must have cleared balance for all terms in order for a transcript to be issued or to receive or view grades.

How will I be notified of my aid eligibility?

Once you have registered for classes and have we have received your FAFSA, we will contact you regarding your enrollment plans for the current and upcoming terms. Your enrollment plans will help us determine your charges and loan eligibility.

You will receive an email with an attached financial aid notice. The email will be sent to the email address listed on your FAFSA and to your Muskingum University email account. The notice will list your charges and loan eligibility. The loan eligibility will be based on the maximum amount of loan available. Once you have decided how much of the loan you would like to borrow just reply to the email with the amount. We will then notify you of when the loan will be disbursed and if there is any additional information that needs completed before we process the loan.

Can I borrow more than I need to cover my tuition costs?

Students who borrow more than what they owe for tuition may have the remaining credit balance refunded to them to help pay for other educational expenses. Once the loan creates a credit on the student account, the Business Office will issue a refund. Generally a refund is issued within 14 days of receipt of the loan. Refunds are issued by check, or if the student has signed up for Muskingum E-Pay, will have their refund deposited into their checking or savings account.

Refunds for students starting in summer:

The full amount you borrow for summer/fall semester will be disbursed to you during the summer term. This will include any money that you may have borrowed to cover fall. Since registration for fall occurs later in the summer, charges for fall will not be on your account. You will need to reserve some or all of your refund to cover fall.

Refunds for students starting in fall:

If you expect a refund for your fall courses, you will be issued a refund within 14 days after your loan is disbursed to your account

Refunds for students starting in spring I:

The full amount you borrow for Spring will be disbursed to you during the Spring 1 term. If you register for Spring 2 at the time you register for Spring 1, you will be charged for your Spring 2 classes at that time. If you are uncertain whether you will register for additional courses in Spring 2 make sure that you reserve some of your loan refund to cover your Spring 2 charges when you register.

Additional Steps for the Direct Loan and TEACH Grant

How to apply for the Federal Direct Loan:

If you have been awarded a Federal Direct Student Loan there are 3 steps you need to complete in order for Muskingum to be able to process your loan if you do not have an active Direct Loan MPN on file (you will be notified if you need to complete this process).

1. To complete your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) go to https://studentloans.gov and sign in with your FSA ID (FAFSA username and password). After you are signed in, select Complete MPN, then choose the Subsidized/Unsubsidized option.

2. If you have never borrowed a Federal Direct Loan as a college student (at Muskingum or elsewhere), you will need to complete Entrance Counseling on the same web site: https://studentloans.gov. Sign in and select Complete Counseling, then choose the Entrance Counseling option.

How to apply for the TEACH Grant:

If you qualify for the TEACH Grant you will need to complete the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Counseling. Go to www.teach-ats.ed.gov and use your FSA ID to login.

Exit Counseling and Loan Repayment

TEACH Exit Counseling

All TEACH recipients who graduate, withdraw, or otherwise cease to attend in a term as at least half-time are required to complete TEACH Exit Counseling. It is very important that you complete the exit counseling as it will remind you of the TEACH grant requirements and obligations. It will also explain how to keep in contact with the Department of Education regarding your teaching status.

Direct Loan Exit Counseling

All loan borrowers at Muskingum University who graduate, withdraw, or otherwise cease to attend at least half-time study are required to complete Exit Counseling. During counseling you will receive information about repayment of your loans. Go to https://studentloans.gov and click on Exit Counseling under Tools and Resources.

The Department of Education has also created an EXIT Counseling Guide for Federal Student Loan Borrowers (pdf)which provides you with the information you need to successfully repay your federal student loans.

Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs

Student Loans are serious obligations which must be repaid. Repayment of principal begins after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment. There is a six-month grace period between the time a student’s enrollment stops and repayment begins. During your grace period you should prepare to enter repayment by following these 3 steps to ensure successful repayment of you loans:

1. Know who you owe and how much. Visit nslds.ed.gov to find out your federal loan servicer and how much you have borrowed. To see how much you borrowed in private loans, go to annualcreditreport.com to receive a listing of your private loans on a free credit report. (There is a fee if you want to view your FICO score.)

2. Determine the right repayment plan. For more specific information regarding repayment of loans including available repayment options go to studentloans.gov. You may also visit www.ibrinfo.org for information on income-based repayment. If you are interested in consolidating your loans, you may be able to extend your repayment period up to 30 years. Consolidation will reduce your monthly payments but will greatly increase the total amount of interest you will pay.Visit studentloans.gov for more information.

3. Stay on top of your loans. Stay in contact with your loan servicer to update your contact information or to change your repayment plan. If you are having trouble making a payment contact your servicer to see if a deferment or forbearance is available. DO NOT SKIP A PAYMENT!

Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers and those in Public Service

You may be eligible for loan forgiveness if you meet certain criteria. For more information visit:http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts

Cohort Default Rate

The FY 2013 three-year cohort default rate (the most recent data available) is a snapshot of the cohort of borrowers whose first loan repayments came due between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014, and who defaulted on or before Sept. 30, 2015.

The FY 2013 three-year national student loan cohort default rate is 11.3%.

Muskingum's FY 2013 draft three-year cohort default rate is 6.3%.

Student Loan Indebtedness

The average amount of debt incurred by our graduate students, for their masters degree program at Muskingum, who graduated in the spring of 2016 was $28,296 (federal and private loans included).

Cost of Attendance Budgets

Budgets are constructed for each term, using tuition and average loan fees. The budget also includes  $100 per credit hour for books and $7500 per 10 weeks for all other expenses.