Financial Aid

View/Print PDF

Graduate students who are matriculated and enrolled at least half-time (4.5 credit hours or more per semester) are eligible to apply for financial aid. To qualify, all applicants must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at fafsa.ed.gov by our priority date of March 15. See our website for important processing dates. Southern Connecticut State University's (SCSU) school code is 001406. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) according to the University's SAP policy. (Go to SouthernCT.edu/financialaid to read the policy.)

The enrollment status of a graduate student will be determined by those attempted "graduate level" courses per semester as defined by the Registrar. Audited courses and undergraduate courses do not count toward attempted credits for financial aid purpose.

Graduate students seeking financial aid for the summer term must be formally admitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation by the beginning of May. OFAS reviews and processes all eligible students for summer financial aid up to the first day of Summer Session A.

Financial aid is not available for international students.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is based on federal guidelines that require each college and university to ensure that student aid applicants are progressing through their academic programs at an acceptable pace while maintaining an acceptable cumulative grade point average. The policy is separate and apart from other academic policies at the university.

Grade Point Average: (Qualitative) Graduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.

Credit Completion Rate (Quantitative): Graduate students are expected to successfully complete at least 67% of the credits attempted from the previous academic year attended or the last academic year attended at SCSU. Failed courses (F), audited courses (Z), courses which the student never attended (N), Incompletes (I), withdrawals (W, WF, and WP), course repetitions, non-credit remedial courses and grades not reported by a professor (R) will be included in this assessment. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining SAP.

Maximum Credit Hours: A student may receive financial aid for attempted credits in their program of study; however, the number of attempted credits cannot exceed 150% of the university's published credit hours for the educational program in which the student is enrolled.

Students failing one or more of the SAP standards are ineligible to receive financial aid from the following federal and state financial aid programs managed by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for the entire academic year (i.e., summer, fall and spring semesters) such as:

  • Federal Direct Loan (subsidized)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Work Study
  • Graduate Connecticut State University Grant
  • State Scholarship and Grant Programs
  • Other

After grades are posted in May, students who have not met the SAP standards will be notified in writing of their ineligibility to receive financial aid at SCSU.

If extenuating circumstances exist which caused the student to fail one of the SAP standards, the student can submit an appeal for reinstatement of his/her financial aid as determined by SCSU. SAP appeals may be based on factors such as: (1) the death of a relative; (2) an injury to or illness of the student; or (3) other special circumstances.

To file an appeal, the student must complete the SAP Appeal Form and attach a written statement that addresses why he/she failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow him/her to meet the SAP standards during the next academic year. The SAP Appeal Form, written statement and supporting documentation must be submitted per instructions posted on the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation website.

The School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation will review each appeal and determine one of the following:

  • The student's appeal may be denied thus making him/her ineligible for any Title IV funding and most other financial assistance for the next academic year. In this case, the student must regain eligibility without financial aid before consideration of a second appeal.
  • The student's appeal may be approved. This will allow the student to receive financial aid contingent upon the successful completion of the requirements set forth in the SAP contract. The student will be placed on financial aid probation. Financial aid probation is a status a school assigns to a student who is failing to make SAP and successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one semester.
    • A second appeal may be submitted in cases where a different extenuating circumstance, separate from the first appeal, has occurred and is documented. Approval is not guaranteed.

Student Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a loan available to matriculated graduate students who are registered for at least 4.5 credit hours or more per semester. The student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, and must comply with Selective Service regulations.

Graduate students may borrow under the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program, up to a maximum of $20,500 annually. (The federal government no longer offers Subsidized Loans to graduate students.) A graduate student's aggregate loan limit is $138,500 ($65,500 subsidized), including loans borrowed as an undergraduate. The interest rate on the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for the 2017-2018 year is 6% fixed and is subject to change. The borrower is responsible for making interest-only payments while attending school or interest on the loan will capitalize. Repayment of both principal and interest begins six months after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Loans are disbursed in two equal payments to the University. The Department of Education charges an origination fee of 1.066% (effective 10/1/2017) which is deducted proportionately from each disbursement.  The fee is subject to change.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students

Graduate students may apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students. The student must be matriculated and enrolled at least half-time, and must maintain SAP as determined by the University. The student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, may not be in default on an educational loan, or owe a refund for Federal PELL, SEOG or state grants. The amount a student may borrow is based on credit approval and cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus financial aid. The interest rate is 7% fixed and is subject to change. Repayment of the loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed to the University. The student can request a deferment, which will postpone payment obligations. The Department of Education charges an origination fee of 4.264% (effective 10/1/2017) which is deducted proportionately from each disbursement.  The fee is subject to change.

Federal Work Study Program (FWS)

FWS is a federal program that provides part-time employment opportunities for part-time and full-time matriculated students. Eligibility is based on need as determined by the federal processor. Employment opportunities on campus include jobs in the University's library, laboratories, facilities operations, health services, and various campus offices. Southern also places students in local, off-campus nonprofit agencies. Employment opportunities are numerous and can provide career-related experience. Students may work up to 20 hours a week while classes are in session, and 35 hours a week during holiday breaks and vacation periods.

Gainful Employment Disclosures

The university currently offers a variety of gainful employment programs. Please visit the Gainful Employment Disclosures website for more information about non-degree programs (i.e. certificate programs) graduation rates, median loan debt of students who complete the program, and other important information.

Graduate Connecticut State University Grant

SCSU has a limited number of institutional grants for eligible full-time and part-time graduate students. To be considered for this grant, the student needs to be registered full-time (9+ credit hours per semester) or part-time (4.5 - 8.5 credit hours per semester). Also, the student must demonstrate financial need according to the federal financial aid definition: Cost of attendance (financial aid budget) minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) per FAFSA equals Need.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP)

The purpose of the NFLP is to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty. The program offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers that graduate and serve as full- time nursing faculty for the prescribed period of time.

Students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet the following criteria to receive the NFLP loan:

Must be a U.S. citizen or national of the U.S., or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and its territories.
Must be enrolled as a full-time or part-time doctoral program that offers an education component to prepare qualified nurse faculty.
Must maintain enrollment for a minimum of two consecutive terms/semesters during an academic year.
Must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
Must not be in default on any federal loans.

The NFLP loan can help with the cost of tuition, fees, books and laboratory expenses. The NFLP loan cannot be used for room, board, personal, transportation and living expenses.

There is a limited amount of NFLP available. The NFLP is a non-need based loan program. The loan cannot exceed $35,500 per academic year, and not to exceed 5 years of support.

The grace period for NFLP loan repayment is 9 months and begins immediately after the individual ceases to pursue a course of study at the school of nursing. The interest rate of 3 percent begins 3-months after the borrower graduates from the program. The borrower will be given up to 10 years to repay the loan.

NFLP borrowers who fail to establish employment as a full-time nurse faculty at a school of nursing must begin repayment of the NFLP loan following the 9-month grace period at the prevailing market interest rate. The current interest rate is 10.5%.

The borrower must serve as full-time nurse faculty for a consecutive four-year period at an accredited school of nursing following graduation from the program to cancel the maximum amount of the loan.

The borrower may cancel:

20 percent of the principal and the interest on the amount of unpaid loan balance upon completion of each of the first, second, and third year of full-time employment; and
25 percent of the principal and the interest on the amount of the unpaid loan balance upon completion of the fourth year of full-time employment.
Students who are interested in the NFLP loans must complete the following:
Sign the award letter accepting the NFLP loan,
Attend an entrance counseling session,
Complete and sign the NFLP Loan Application,
Sign the borrower's rights and responsibilities statement,
Sign the NFLP Promissory Note,
Sign the NFLP Loan Disclosure,
Sign the self-certification forms.

Scholarships

It is important for students to research and apply for scholarships to help pay for their education.  The more scholarship money received, the less a student will have to borrow in student loans.  A complete list of available scholarships is available on the website of the Office of Financial Aid, which includes SCSU Foundation-based scholarships.

Graduate Assistantships and Graduate Internships

The purpose of graduate assistantships is to allow well qualified matriculated graduate students to participate in institutional activities academically relevant to the student's program of study. SCSU has three graduate assistantship programs: (1) an academic department graduate assistantship (GA); (2) a Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program; and (3) a Graduate School Graduate Assistantship (GSGA) program. The academic department graduate assistantship (GA) is administered under the auspices of the academic department. The GRF and GSGA programs are administered under the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation.


Academic Department Graduate Assistantship

Graduate assistants must be fully admitted to the Graduate School and pursuing work leading to a master 's degree, Ed.D, sixth-year certificate, post-master's planned program, or post-baccalaureate teacher certification. Graduate assistants are appointed by the dean of the school in which the graduate assistant (GA) is to be employed upon recommendation of the department chair where the GA is to be employed. GA's are expected to be enrolled in required courses within their planned program of graduate study and/or prerequisites necessary to offset any undergraduate deficiencies prior to undertaking the graduate program of study. To receive or maintain a GA position, a minimum GPA of 3.00 for all post-baccalaureate course work completed at SCSU is required. GA's may be required to meet other specific criteria within the department.

There are two levels of academic department graduate assistantships. Full-time graduate assistants appointed to provide 20 hours of service per week or 300 total hours of service per semester and half-time graduate assistants appointed to provide 10 hours of service per week or 150 hours of service per semester. Full-time graduate assistants will be compensated at the rate of $4,800 per semester. Half-time graduate assistants will be compensated at the rate of $2,400 per semester.

Full-time graduate assistants must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student (9 or more credit hours per semester). Half-time graduate assistants may be either a full-time graduate student, as defined above, or a part-time graduate student for this policy is defined as a graduate student enrolled for 1.0 or greater credit hours but fewer than 9 credit hours per semester. For both full-time and part-time graduate students, all credit hours for which the student is registered must be part of the approved program plan on file with the department and the Registrar 's office.

Academic department graduate assistantship appointments may be made for fall semester only, spring semester only, or fall and spring semesters. Graduate assistantships may be renewed for additional semesters at the discretion of the employing department or unit provided the student meets all eligibility criteria for that GA position, i.e., enrollment status, GPA, and any other departmental criteria.

Full-time and half-time graduate assistants who are full-time students will pay in-state or out-of-state tuition as defined in Board Policy and as stated in the current graduate catalog. Half-time graduate assistants who are part-time students will pay in-state or out-of-state tuition and all course fees including the General University Fee as defined in the Board Policy and as stated in the current graduate catalog. The following fees will be waived for both full-time and half-time graduate assistants: University Fee; University General Fee except for that portion attributable to student accident insurance; and the Student Activity Fee. The usual waiver policy for health insurance applies. It should be noted that half-time graduate assistants who are part-time students are not assessed these fees.

A student may be employed as a graduate assistant outside of the student's program of study, provided that the assistantship is academically relevant. When a student is employed outside of the student's program of study, notification should be provided to the department chair and both the school dean of the student's program of study and the graduate dean. Students cannot hold other University supported positions (such as graduate student worker; graduate research fellow; graduate teaching assistant; research administrative assistant; resident advisor; graduate intern, or adjunct faculty) while holding the GA position.

Annual review of full-time equivalent (FTE) graduate assistantships will take place between the dean of the school, the department chairperson, and the graduate coordinator as appropriate. One full-time equivalent graduate assistantship is defined as a full-time graduate assistant employed for both the fall and spring terms of an academic year (300 hours of service for two semesters receiving compensation of $9,600 for the two semesters.) During the annual review, the decision of the dean after consultation with the department may be made to hold the number of FTE graduate assistantships steady for the department, decrease the number of FTE graduate assistantships as dictated by the needs and size of the graduate program in the department, or request an increase in the number of FTE graduate assistantships as dictated by the needs and size of the graduate program for the department. The ability to maintain or increase FTE graduate assistantships will be dependent on the overall university budget allocation assigned to support graduate education for any academic year.

The University may provide, from other funds at their disposition, scholarships or grants to supplement the above stipends.


Graduate Research Fellowship

The Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) is a non-need based award administered through the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation and is contingent upon: (1) acceptance to a graduate degree or sixth-year certificate and (2) a minimum 3.2 grade point average for all undergraduate work. In addition, applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.75 for all completed graduate work.

Students must be enrolled either full-time or part-time during the year of the award. Students cannot hold other University supported positions (such as graduate student worker; graduate research fellow; graduate teaching assistant; research administrative assistant; resident advisor; graduate intern, or adjunct faculty) while holding the GRF award. During the academic year, the student engages in scholarly research related to the student's academic discipline. At the conclusion of each academic year, the fellows deliver oral presentations summarizing their research. Applications require departmental nomination and sponsorship by a member of the graduate faculty who will mentor the fellow during the year of the fellowship. The student's scholarly research must be of a quality that can be submitted for refereed publication, presentation, or in a refereed creative activity appropriate to the academic discipline.

Each GRF award involves a scholarship/stipend where the amount is determined based on the funds available in the academic year.  The number of awards is also based on the amount of funding in the academic year.


Graduate School Graduate Assistantship

The Graduate School Graduate Assistantship (GSGA) is a non-need based award administered through the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation and is contingent upon: (1) acceptance to a graduate degree or sixth-year certificate; (2) the achievement of a minimum 3.2 grade point average for all undergraduate coursework; and (3) a 3.75 grade point average for all graduate coursework.

Students must be enrolled either full-time or part-time during the year of the award. Students cannot hold other University supported positions (such as graduate student worker; graduate research fellow; graduate teaching assistant; research administrative assistant; resident advisor; graduate intern, or adjunct faculty) while holding the GSGA award.

GSGA awardees will be required to complete an average of 20 contact hours of work per week during the academic year. Specific activities will be dependent on the nature of the assistantship offered by the department/administrative unit and approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Innovation. Two types of GSGA's are: (1) graduate teaching assistantship; and (2) graduate research assistantship.

Each GSGA award involves a scholarship/stipend where the amount is determined based on the funds available in the academic year. The number of awards is also based on the amount of funding in the academic year.


Student Affairs Graduate Intern Opportunities

The graduate internship prepares students for a wide range of career opportunities in student services and co-curricular learning at the postsecondary level. This program provides students with an opportunity to develop first hand knowledge of student affairs' professions and gain hands-on experience in many areas with the Division of Student Affairs. The internships are designed to integrate with the student's program of study to create a strong theory to practice application.  These experiences will afford students the opportunity to analyze the functions of various administrative departments, to examine the relation of departments to each other and to the institution, and to understand contemporary societal issues and their impact from an institutional perspective.  Working with experienced student affairs administrators the interns will work to improve the quality of campus life, foster a safe, healthy and respectful environment, support academic achievement and success, and promote leadership and civic engagement. The interns also participate in University wide projects and professional development opportunities to begin developing a professional network.

Graduate Internships are 10 month positions (early August through May), 35 hours per week. Interns work with various offices within the Division of Student and University Affairs. In some instances summer work may be available. It is anticipated that internships will be offered for two consecutive academic years, however, due to funding and performance considerations positions are offered as a single year appointment--subject to renewa--and are contingent on an applicant being accepted and maintaining good standing in an appropriate graduate program at SCSU.


Compensation:

Part-time graduate students shall receive a waiver of part-time tuition and fees, including summer and winter session extension fees up to a total maximum of 18 credit hours, provided interns are enrolled in courses required for their degree program. Full-time graduate students shall be required to pay full-time tuition; however, the full-time fees will be waived, less the cost of accident/sickness insurance.

Remuneration of $15,000. Summer employment opportunities may be available.