Financial Aid FAQs

FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application that the Department of Education uses to determine eligibility for federal student aid/loans. The FAFSA must be filed annually.

Do I need to include my social security number (SSN) in my application for admission to be eligible for aid
Yes, your SSN must be included in your application for admission so your FAFSA can be downloaded by Fordham. If you already submitted your application without your SSN, please submit a copy of your social security at my.fordham.edu/fasubmitdocs and email the Office of Student Financial Services letting them know you have filed a FAFSA.

As a graduate student, will I have to provide financial information from my parents on the FAFSA?
No. Matriculating graduate students will not have to provide parent financial information.

When should I complete the FAFSA?
If you wish to borrow a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, it should be completed along with our loan request form at least two to four weeks before you need loan proceeds. You will need your Fordham IT ID credentials to submit an online loan request. The lifetime limit is $138,500 for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, including undergraduate direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Keep in mind that the summer term is a “trailer,” meaning that the summer 2018 term is part of the 2017–18 school year. You must have a valid 2017–18 FAFSA to receive aid and loans for summer 2018. The 2017–18 FAFSA is available only until June 30, 2018.

Will I need to fill out the FAFSA each year?
Yes, the FAFSA needs to be completed each academic year. Federal student aid eligibility does not carry over from one award year to the next.

What types of federal student aid are available to graduate students?
Graduate students can apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct PLUS Loan.

General Federal Direct Loan Eligibility

To be eligible for any Federal Direct Loan, you must:

  • Have filed a valid FAFSA
    • Provide acceptable documentation to clarify any existing data conflicts from your FAFSA (only upon request from Fordham).
  • Be enrolled at least half-time.*
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).**

*If you are involved in other degree requirements (dissertation, comprehensive exam preparation, etc.) with a credit equivalency that will raise your enrollment to at least half-time, you can file an enrollment certification form with your school or department to become eligible. This certification must be processed by Academic Records before you can receive loan proceeds.

**The criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are defined differently by each of the graduate schools. You will be notified before the start of the fall term if you are not making SAP and given options on how to appeal your status.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

How do I apply for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan?
To apply, you must submit a valid FAFSA as well as a Federal Direct Graduate Unsubsidized Loan Request Form. If this is your first time borrowing at Fordham as a graduate student, you should complete a Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note) and Entrance Counseling Session at studentloans.gov.

Are there limits on how much I can borrow?
The annual limit is $20,500. Keep in mind that your annual limit is reduced by any borrowing at another institution during the same academic year. The lifetime limit is $138,500 for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. To be eligible to borrow as a graduate student, you must also not have exceeded the undergraduate aggregate loan limits of $31,000 for dependent students or $57,500 for independent or students whose parents have been denied access to a Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

What are the fees and interest rate associated with Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan?
The interest rate is fixed at 6 percent for the 2017–18 academic year with a 1.066 percent origination fee deducted at disbursement.

How will my loan be disbursed to my student account?
The timing of your loan disbursements depends on the loan period you choose. Your total loan amount is spread across the number of semesters or trimesters you plan to attend. For example:

  • If you choose to have your loan cover the fall, spring, and summer terms, it will have three disbursements. One third of your loan will disburse at the beginning of each term.
  • If you are attending only one term, there will be one disbursement at the beginning of the term and your total loan amount will be sent to Fordham in one payment.

The loan period you request should cover all the semesters or trimesters you plan to attend.

Can I increase or decrease my Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan throughout the academic year?
Yes, you can request additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding by submitting another online Unsubsidized Loan Request. If you would like to decrease your Unsubsidized Loan or have loan proceeds returned, email us at financialaid@fordham.edu. Your email should come from your Fordham email address, include your Fordham ID, and tell us how much funding you would like returned.

What are my repayment options?
There are multiple repayment options to consider. We encourage using the Federal Repayment Estimator before making a decision. You may change your repayment plan at any time.

Do I have to repay federal student loans while I'm enrolled?
Your federal loans will be in deferment status while you are enrolled at least half-time. Your federal loans will go into repayment after you have completed your program or dropped your enrollment status to less than half-time.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Am I eligible to receive a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?
To be eligible for any Federal Direct Loan, you must:

*If you are involved in other degree requirements (dissertation, comprehensive exam preparation, etc.) with a credit equivalency that will raise your enrollment to at least half-time, you can file an enrollment certification form with your school or department to become eligible. This certification must be processed by Academic Records before you can receive loan proceeds.

**The criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are defined differently by each of the graduate schools. You will be notified before the start of the fall term if you are not making SAP and given options on how to appeal your status.

If I have to borrow, should I take a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?
Graduate students should apply for their $20,500 Unsubsidized eligibility at a 6 percent interest rate before applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan at 7 percent interest. There is also a lower origination fee associated with the Unsubsidized Loan (1.066%) as opposed to the Graduate PLUS Loan (4.264%). If more than $20,500 is needed, we encourage considering the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan in addition to the unsubsidized loan.

What are the credit approval criteria for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?
You must NOT have an adverse credit history as determined by credit check at studentloans.gov. You are considered to have an adverse credit history if you have one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent, or that have been placed in collection or charged off during the previous two years. See further details on adverse credit history.

How do I apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

  • Log in to studentloans.gov and select the “Request PLUS Loan” link.
  • Select “Graduate PLUS” as your loan type and complete the credit check.
  • Select the Award Year (summer 2018 is part of the 2017–18 aid year).
  • Continue to step two if you are approved. See options below if you are denied.

Step two: Complete an Entrance Counseling Session and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov if you have not previously completed them.

Step three: Submit your Grad PLUS Request. If you are credit denied, you have two options:

  1. Appeal*: Log in to studentloans.gov and select “Document Extenuating Circumstances.”
  2. Secure an Endorser (cosigner)*: Provide your endorser with the “Endorser Code” provided to you with your credit decision. Have your endorser log in to studentloans.gov and select “Endorse PLUS Loan” to begin the process.

* Students subsequently approved must complete a “PLUS Counseling” session at studentloans.gov.

Are there limits on how much I can borrow?
You may borrow up to your full cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive. We encourage you to limit borrowing to only what is necessary to cover educational expenses.

What are the fees and interest rate associated with Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?
The interest rate is fixed at 7 percent for the 2017–18 academic year with a 4.264 percent origination fee deducted at disbursement.

How will my loan be disbursed to my student account?
The timing of your loan disbursements depends on the loan period you choose. Your total loan amount is spread across the number of semesters or trimesters you plan to attend. For example:

  • If you choose to have your loan cover the fall, spring, and summer terms, it will have three disbursements. One third of your loan will disburse at the beginning of each term.
  • If you are attending only one term, there will be one disbursement at the beginning of the term and your total loan amount will be sent to Fordham in one payment.

The loan period you request should cover all the semesters or trimesters you plan to attend.

What are my repayment options?
There are multiple repayment options to consider. We encourage using the Federal Repayment Estimator before making a decision. You may change your repayment plan at any time.

Do I have to repay federal student loans while I'm enrolled?
Your federal loans will be in deferment status while you are enrolled at least half-time. Your federal loans will go into repayment after you have completed your program or dropped your enrollment status to less than half-time.

Can I increase or decrease my Graduate PLUS Loan throughout the academic year?
Yes, you can request additional Federal Direct Graduate PLUS funding by submitting another online Graduate PLUS Request. If you would like to decrease your Graduate PLUS Loan or have loan proceeds returned, email us at financialaid@fordham.edu. Your email should come from your Fordham email address, include your Fordham ID, and tell us how much funding you would like returned.

Private Education Loans

Can I borrow a Private Education Loan to pay all or a portion of my balance?
Yes. We suggest you use ELM Select as a research tool to help you compare lenders and make an informed decision. The lenders listed on ELM Select are lenders Fordham has worked with in the past and are offered for your convenience. You are not limited to these lenders, and you may choose any lender you wish.

Billing

Can I use financial aid to pay my deposit?
No.

How do my employers go about paying the school?
Students who receive a voucher from their employer to finance their education must present it to the Office of Student Accounts. We must receive the voucher by the initial bill due date for the semester. If the voucher is received past the bill due date, the student will be responsible for any late fees incurred. This voucher must include the following student information:

  • student name
  • Fordham Identification Number (FIDN)
  • semester
  • courses
  • amount to be paid

The voucher must also include the following company information:

  • company name
  • billing address
  • contact information

Subsequent to the receipt of your voucher, the Office of Student Accounts will send an invoice to your employer. The company will remit payment directly to the University.

How does billing work?
Fall invoices are produced in mid-June and early July. The payment due date will be approximately three weeks from the date of the invoice. All registered students and/or those who have incurred housing charges will receive a separate invoice. Spring invoices are mailed in December, with payment due in the beginning of January. Payment is due by the “Due Date,” which is prior to the start of classes. Fordham utilizes electronic billing (E-Bill) for generating invoices. In addition to viewing invoices, students can authorize a third party (parents, sponsors, etc.) to view their bill. Students are required to provide the email address of the user they want to authorize.

How do I pay my bill?
For your convenience, we offer various payment methods that will assist you in paying your tuition and fees. The options include electronic, credit cards (application and deposit fees only), check and money orders, in person, third party billing, wire transfer information (both domestic and international), monthly payment plan, tuition reimbursement, and tuition stabilization plan.

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