Guide to Graduate Financial Aid

The information this page is meant to be an overview of the graduate financial aid process. For general questions, contact the admissions office for your program of interest. For specific questions about your account, you need to contact the Office of Student Finance. The graduate school admissions offices do not have access to student account details. 

How Graduate Financial Aid Works

Unlike undergraduate financial aid, graduate students do not receive federal grants. Graduate funding comes from four main sources: institutional aid, federal aid, external funding, and private loans. We encourage you to create a student budget with your expenses and what you will need to pay them.

All domestic students (who are eligible US citizens and non-citizens) who plan to apply for federal aid, must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. You must complete the FAFSA each year you are enrolled to receive funding. Your award eligibility is based on your tax return from two years prior. For example, the 2019-2020 FAFSA will use the income tax return from 2017. The 2020-2021 FAFSA comes out October 1st and will use your 2018 income tax returns. The FAFSA school code is 002903.

International students are not eligible to submit a FAFSA but are eligible to receive Yeshiva University institutional aid.

Types of Financial Aid

Institutional Aid: Funding that comes from the university, typically in scholarships or graduate assistantships. At Yeshiva University, the funding options vary by program but are primarily merit-based, partial scholarships or assistantships. Contact the admissions office for more specific detail for aid opportunities for your program of interest.

Federal Aid: Funding that comes from the government, typically the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan.

External Funding: Funding that comes from a source outside of the university or government, such as a scholarship, grant, or fellowship. You find and apply for these on your own. Please note that grants may be paid to you directly and you are responsible for putting this money aside to pay your bill. You are required to report all outside aid to the Office of Student Finance.

Private Loans: Funding, in the form of loans, that comes from non-government sources. You find and apply for these on your own.

Also keep in mind that Yeshiva University also offers a payment plan. Read more about the payment plan.

Financial Aid for International Students

International students may be eligible for institutional aid, depending on your program of interest. Contact the admissions office for more details.

Curricular Practical Training
F-1 visa holders may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT): full- or part-time work directly related to your academic program. CPT can be paid or unpaid and must be completed while you are enrolled in your degree program. A YU designated school official (DSO) must approve your CPT and you must submit a signed agreement from your employer. Learn more about CPT.

Funding Resources for International Students
The government, companies, or other organizations within your home country may provide funding. There are also international organizations that offer financial aid to students across the globe.

Canadian students should also check with their province on availability of provincial loans and lenders on private, student lines of credit. The institution code for Yeshiva University is MWMZ.

How Federal Aid Works

You must complete the FAFSA if you want to apply for federal aid. Yeshiva University’s School Code is 002903. Please note that graduate students are not eligible for Pell Grants or Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans. Get more information about federal loans, including interest rates and timelines.

You can receive student loans for direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses include tuition and university fees. Indirect expenses may include health insurance, supplies, transportation, and other reasonable living expenses. Any loan amount, after fees, that exceeds the bill amount from the university will be issued to the student as a refund, which can be used to pay for indirect expenses.

The Department of Education requires that each university establish a “cost of attendance” for their programs. The amount allotted for scholarships and other funding, internal and external scholarships, and other forms of aid, cannot exceed this amount.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need. They do not require a credit check and include benefits such as a fixed annual interest rate, six month grace period, and deferment options to help you succeed in repayment. You can borrow up to $20,500 per academic year (summer, fall, and spring). There is also a loan origination fee that is taken out of your loan from the Department of Education prior to the university’s receipt of the funds. Learn more about federal loans.

Graduate Plus Loans require a credit check. You may borrow more than the amount of your university tuition and fees to cover costs such as books, lab fees, and other costs related to funding your education. Your borrowing may not exceed the cost of attendance for direct and indirect expenses established by the university. The Graduate PLUS Loan offers a fixed annual interest rate. If you are denied for Plus Loan due to adverse credit, you can add an “endorser” who is essentially a cosigner on the loan, or you can file an appeal with the Department of Education. They can inform you what needs to improve before they review your credit a second time. Typically, students obtain Graduate Plus Loans if they need to borrow more than $20,500 per year and they use GradPlus to fill the gap. There is also a loan origination fee that is taken out of your loan proceeds from the Department of Education, prior to the university’s receipt of the funds. Learn more about Grad Plus Loans.

Federal Aid Eligibility

To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be enrolled for at least half-time status each semester in a degree-seeking program (half-time status is typically 6 credits);
  • Complete the FAFSA each year;
  • Not be in default on previous federal loans or owe a refund on a federal grant (in order to get out of default, you would need to pay six consecutive payments of the amount allotted); and
  • Submit all required documentation within required timeframes.

How to Apply for Each Type of Aid

Institutional Aid
This process for applying for institutional aid varies depending on the graduate school to which you're applying. Contact the admissions office of that graduate school for detailed instructions.

Federal Aid: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Graduate Plus Loan
The Yeshiva University Office of Student Finance manages the federal aid process. This office can speak more specifically on federal financial aid and how their office works with graduate students. You can reach them at 212-960-5399. 

To apply:

  1. Complete the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA.
    1. Yeshiva University’s School Code is 002903
    2. If this is your first time filing a FAFSA, you will need to create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA AID).
  2. Visit the Office of Student Finance website for steps to apply for and accept your Unsubsidized Loan:
    1. Log into StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID (same as your FAFSA login information).
    2. Complete the Entrance Counseling
    3. Complete the Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN)
  3. Return to the YU website and complete the Federal Unsubsidized Loan Request Form
  4. Go back to StudentLoans.gov for the final steps (only if applying for a Graduate Plus Loan):
    1. Complete the Loan Agreement for a Graduate Plus Loan (MPN)
    2. Apply for a PLUS Loan
    3. Complete PLUS Credit Counseling
    4. Appeal Credit Decision (if needed)
  5. Receive approval for federal loans. Upon approval, you will see a set of instructions on your screen in the StudentLoans.gov portal.
    1. When you are approved, the YU Office of Student Finance is notified that your loans were approved and your account will be updated to reflect the loan information.
    2. The YU Office of Student Finance will process your financial aid, including tuition, scholarships, and federal loans, and post a bill to your account. See the Billing and Payment section for more detail.

External Funding
The list below includes some sources of external funding for which you may be eligible. You can also use this list of funding resources from the U.S. Department of Education. Please note we do not endorse any external funding source and cannot offer assistance in applying for these opportunities.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Loan repayment and forgiveness programs are ways to reduce or eliminate your student debt. Generally, people who work in eligible public service jobs continually for ten years and make 120 consecutive loan payments may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Eligible public service jobs typically include the following:

  • Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal);
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
  • Other types of not-for-profit organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, if their primary purpose is to provide certain types of qualifying public services; and
  • Full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer.

Please note that loan forgiveness only applied to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, not the GradPlus Loan or private loans. Since this loan forgiveness process is outside of YU (or any other university), you are responsible for making sure you meet the eligibility requirements, make the payments, and then apply for the loan forgiveness after 10 years. Additionally, since Congress enacted loan forgiveness, there’s always a risk that it could be repealed.

Learn more about Public Service Loan Forgiveness on the U.S. Department of Education website. Other types of loan forgiveness may be available from federal agencies or your state based on your major and public need.

Billing and Payment

Your MYYU portal keeps an updated record of your account. Think of it as checking or credit card account where charges are posted for payment. We recommend checking your MYYU portal everyday after you register for classes for your tuition bill. The bill will be posted to MYYU and then followed up with bill sent in the mail.

Bills are generated every 30 days and payment due dates are posted on the bills. However, you do not need to wait for a bill to make a payment on your account. Please note that tuition payments must be satisfied by the beginning of the semester or are subject to late fees.

If you receive a scholarship, the amount will be included in your admission letter. That amount is for the length of your program. It is dispersed on a per credit basis. For example, if you enrolled in a 30 credit program and receive a $10,000 scholarship, your scholarship will be dispersed at $333.33 per credit. This way, if the number of credits you take each semester fluctuates, the scholarship amount is distributed accordingly.

Each new FAFSA takes effect in the summer term and covers one academic year: summer, fall, and spring semesters, in that order. As such, federal loans cover one academic year: summer, fall, and spring. If your first semester is the fall, your FAFSA and federal loan will be processed for two semesters: fall and spring. Then, in your second year, your loan would be processed for the summer, fall and spring semesters.

Important Dates

  • October 1: New FAFSA is available for the following fall semester.

While there is no strict deadline, we suggest you complete the FAFSA, Entrance Counseling, and your Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) by March 1st to ensure you have enough time to figure out your financing before starting fall semester classes. Note that MPNs are valid for 10 years, Entrance Counseling is completed once, and the FAFSA is filed annually.

Budgeting for Your Graduate Degree

We strongly suggest creating a budget for your graduate degree prior to applying for loans so you can better estimate how much you’ll need to borrow. Additionally, outlining your budget may help better control your expenses over the course of your program. For a good place to start budgeting, complete this form to download our sample budget worksheet.