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Graduate student financial aid includes Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans, Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, student employment under the Federal Work Study program and graduate assistantships. Generally speaking federal and state grants are limited to students seeking a first bachelor's degree. For current costs, see USI graduate tuition and fees.

Application for Financial Aid

The process of applying for financial aid is the same for graduates as it is for undergraduates. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between October 1 and April 15 every year. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal, state, and University financial aid programs including the Direct (Student) Loan and Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.  

Finally, research graduate scholarships and/or assistantships. Visit Graduate Studies for information regarding university graduate scholarships and assistantships. Also, view a list of outside graduate scholarships you may apply for.


Graduate students receive Financial Aid Notification information through myUSI. Awards are subject to adjustment or cancellation due to changes in your FAFSA, your enrollment status, satisfactory academic progress, or other factors.

Check your myUSI on a regular basis for the most up-to-date and accurate information. Instructions are available to help you navigate myUSI to view your awards.

Completing Financial Aid Requirements

In addition to completing the FAFSA, you may be required to submit additional paperwork or make corrections to your FAFSA. All unsatisfied requirements must be met in order for USI to review, process, and disburse (pay) awards. Processing takes several weeks during peak periods of the year such as July and August, thus you are encouraged to submit documents as soon as requested. Complete all financial aid requirements by May 1 for timely processing. Through the myUSI portal online, you will be able to see any requirements you still need to complete. 

Instructions are available to help you navigate myUSI to view your requirements.

Report Outside Resources and Scholarships

Report all scholarships not awarded by the University, the state, and the federal government. You may either report outside scholarships on your myUSI or you may submit a copy of the scholarship letter to our office.

Failure to report scholarship information may result in the reduction of certain types of financial aid once the scholarship check/resource is received by the University.

Instructions are available to help you navigate myUSI to report/check outside resources and scholarships.

Accept, Decline or Reduce Direct (Student) Loan(s)
Accept, decline or reduce the Direct (Student) Loan on myUSI after July 1. Academic year loans apply to August - May and require two disbursements, one in fall and one in spring. Summer Direct Loans require a separate request form available late spring semester.

Instructions are available to help you navigate myUSI to accept, decline or reduce the Direct (Student) Loan. 

Enrollment Requirements

Full-time enrollment for graduate students is 6 credit hours or more of graduate level coursework and half-time enrollment is 3-5 credit hours of graduate level coursework. View specific enrollment requirements online.

Disbursement Procedures/Financial Responsibility

Student Financial Assistance begins disbursing funds to student's billing accounts beginning the middle of the second week of each semester (after the 100% refund period) for students with complete and processed financial aid. Financial aid (including student loans) is disbursed one semester at a time based on the hours students are attending at the time of each disbursement.

All financial aid funds are sent directly to USI. Once aid is disbursed, the Bursar's Office will begin sending refunds as early as the third week of the term for student's whose financial aid exceeds the billed costs.

Students who do not receive financial aid or have not completed all of the necessary requirements to receive financial aid must pay their fees by the bill due date. Failure to do so may result in a hold being placed on registration for future terms.

View more information about Disbursement Procedures online.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who receive federal or state student financial aid are required to make satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree program. Progress is measured by the number of credits successfully completed each semester and by the student's cumulative grade point average. View a copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy online.

Institutional Refund Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

Students who withdraw from or cease attendance at the University prior to the tenth week in fall or spring may be required to repay a portion of any financial aid which exceeded actual fees and books. Summer session refunds are calculated on the length of individual class schedules. View a copy of the Return of Title IV Federal Funds Institutional Policy online.

Note: Only credits that are required for successful completion of the student's degree program may be counted in the determination of enrollment status. Students who receive aid for courses not required for graduation will be required to repay all or a portion of such aid.