Frequently Asked Questions

Is financial aid available to graduate students?
Yes. If a student is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen attending Fairfield University, he/she is eligible to apply for federal student aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The only federal aid available for graduate students is through the Direct Loan program.

Are there any other financial aid or assistance opportunities available to graduate students beyond the federal student loan program?
Yes. There are a limited number of graduate assistantships available through various departments on campus. In addition, graduate students can apply for alternative student loans

Is there a deadline for completing the FAFSA?
While there is no specified deadline for completing the FAFSA, it is recommended that it be completed at least four weeks prior to the semester in which a graduate student may need financial aid.

Can I borrow student loans to cover my living expenses?
Yes. Student loans can cover a student's direct costs (tuition and fees) and indirect costs (books and supplies, personal, travel, and living expenses). The amount a graduate student is eligible to borrow is limited to what Fairfield University has determined to be the cost of attendance (COA) for graduate programs. 

When will my student loans be received by Fairfield University?
Generally, student loan proceeds will be credited to a student's account on the first day of the semester. The Office of the Bursar will use what is necessary from the loan proceeds to cover an account balance; if applicable, a student may be refunded excess loan proceeds shortly thereafter.

Are my student loans renewable each year?
No. Students must submit the FAFSA every year in order to qualify for student loans.  The Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a serial application and only needs to be completed once.

What is financial need?
Once the federal processing center receives a completed FAFSA, it follows established guidelines to calculate the contribution a student can be expected to make toward the cost of his/her education. The information provided on the FAFSA will be shared with all colleges as listed on the FAFSA.  A student's financial need is the difference between the expected family contribution (EFC) and the cost of attendance (COA), which is the amount Fairfield University estimates it will cost to participate in a graduate program for one academic year.  Effective July 1, 2012: Federal loans for graduate students are unsubsidized.

If I receive a graduate assistantship, does that affect my eligibility for financial aid?
Yes. Graduate assistantship benefits are counted as a source of financial assistance and will be used when determining a student's eligibility (financial need).

Will my application for student loans affect my application for admission?
No. Applications for admission are evaluated separately from requests for financial aid.

If I have more questions about financial aid at Fairfield University, who should I contact?
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid.  Our contact information, hours of operation, and counselor listing can be found HERE.  We look forward to working with you as you finance your education at Fairfield University!