Graduate Financial Aid

Investing in Graduate Education

The decision to pursue graduate study represents a significant commitment of time, energy and resources.

Graduate students at Western receive financial support from a variety of sources, including personal savings, loans, scholarships, fellowships and graduate assistantships. The majority of M.A. students fund their education primarily through loans and personal savings. Admits who are eligible are encouraged to fill out their FAFSA application as soon as possible.

Financial Aid Application Process

  1. Prospective students apply for admission to a master’s program. Applicants submit any department or program specific financial aid applications (if applicable) to be considered for any available department funding. Scholarships, fellowships and assistantships are administered by the program for which you have enrolled or applied. For more information on how, when or what criteria is used to award this funding, contact your program directly.
  2. All applicants are notified by the School of Graduate Studies of their admission decision. Programs send separate notifications of any specific type and amount of funding awarded.
  3. If additional financial assistance is needed, eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for federal student loans by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Eligible students who have been admitted will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid to review their loan eligibility on Banner Self-Service. U.S. domestic and international students can also apply for private educational loans directly through the private third-party lender.
  4. Students will be notified by the Financial Aid Office to complete any additional Federal student loan requirements. Students borrowing private educational loans should contact their loan servicer if any additional requirements are a needed after their approval.

No financial aid deadlines are imposed by the Financial Aid Office. However, students are encouraged to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or private educational loan applications well in advance of needing any loan resources to ensure that they have provided sufficient time for their applications to be reviewed and processed.

How To Finance Your Western Education

The Financial Aid Office and Cashier’s Office are available to provide information about financing options. There are a number of payment options and resources you may consider.

Western’s W-Pay Payment Plan: Managed by the Cashier’s Office, the W-Pay Payment Plan provides an interest-free option and splits your account balance into four equal payments for an enrollment fee of $40 per semester.

Federal Student Loans: The Direct Loan program provides low-interest loans to students to assist with paying for educational expenses. U.S citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to borrow either an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan up to $20,500 per academic year. Interest accrues on an unsubsidized loan starting with the initial disbursement. You can pay the interest while you are in school, during grace periods and deferment/forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan) upon entering repayment. Although you must file the FAFSA to be eligible, you are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. 

Federal Direct PLUS Loans: The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is available to assist graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in borrowing all or a portion of the cost of education.  

Private Student Loans: Private credit-based educational loans are offered by private lenders or state loan authorities to graduate students for the purpose of financing educational costs. More information and a list of private loans.