Graduate Financial Aid & Scholarships | Saint Mary's of MN Skip to Main Content
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Admissions
  4. /
  5. Graduate
  6. /
  7. Graduate Financial Aid &...

Graduate Financial Aid

Committed to Accessibility and Affordability

Advancing your education can be a major investment, but it is one that pays lifelong dividends in career improvement and life satisfaction. At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, we are committed to making that investment as accessible and affordable as possible for you.

Find financial support when you need it.

If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid. Loans and grants are possible components of a financial aid package.

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible to see if you are eligible.

If you are an active-duty service member, reservist, veteran, or a family member of someone who has served, we encourage you to reach out to our Office of Military and Veterans Services for financial aid options unique to your situation.

Trusted Partner Scholarships

We offer a scholarship to employees of our Trusted Partnership Program, thanks to our collaborations with numerous regional and national businesses, school districts, healthcare systems, professional associations, and other organizations. 

Check if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program to take advantage of the scholarship and to learn more about additional benefits of our partnerships 

Loans and Grants

Student loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid. Most are offered at low interest rates with repayment deferred until after graduation.

Participants in any loan program must be enrolled at half-time status or more. It is important to note that if you drop below half-time status during the semester, all or a portion of your loan funds for that semester may be returned to the lender. This may result in your owing money to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, if the university has to refund the money. You will owe money to the lending institution, if you have received a refund check.

Students in graduate-level programs are eligible to apply for the Federal Direct Loan (also known as the Federal Stafford Loan) subject to approval by the Financial Aid Office of Saint Mary’s. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed.

Financial Aid Office

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.

    • Minimum of half-time status
    • U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
    • Not in default on any student loan
    • Degree seeking
    • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
    • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
    Loan Amount
    • Click here to see the allowed amounts of Direct Unsubsidized Loans you are eligible to borrow.
    • Actual amount is based on cost of attendance.

  • Graduate students may borrow a loan in the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program. You must be at a half-time status in order to receive the PLUS Loan funds and must file a FAFSA form.

    For additional interest information, please visit

    • Repayment of the Graduate PLUS Loan will start 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan unless the deferment option is utilized.
    • To apply for this loan please visit and complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Process.

  • Private loans are used to bridge the gap between the cost of education and the amount of other financial aid received. You should exhaust all federal loan programs before applying for private loans.

    There are many different private loan programs offered; please take the time to compare the terms and conditions of all private loans you are considering. We have provided a Private Loan Options List as a service to students, and it is intended to assist in the selection of a lender. The selection of a lender is solely your choice and you may use any other lender outside of this list that may better suit your needs. Saint Mary’s does not endorse any one lender listed and will certify any private loan you are eligible to receive.

    Lender Options

    The lender options shown above are unaffiliated lenders who provide students with loan programs that have longevity in the loan industry, provide good customer service to borrowers, offer competitive interest rates, and may offer a look back feature for past due balances. These lenders are also compatible with FastChoice and ScholarNet to ensure efficient certification and disbursal of loan funds to Saint Mary’s. Lenders not associated with these loan programs will be processed by paper certification and paper check disbursal.

    Use the Electronic Lender List and Loan Comparison Chart to find the loan that best fits your needs.

    Code of Conduct for Lenders

    The Financial Aid Office of Saint Mary’s is committed to providing objective information about lenders in a professional manner in order to assist you and your family in making informed decisions. The Financial Aid Code of Conduct for Lenders describes how Saint Mary’s maintains this commitment and can be downloaded below. You may also view a hard copy in the Financial Aid Office.

    Lender List

    Code of Conduct

  • Institutions that enter into an agreement with a potential student or parent of a student regarding a Title IV loan are required to inform the student or parent that the loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by servicers, guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.  Students can access their information as well at

    In compliance with federal regulations under HEOA Sec. 489 amended Sec. 485B (d) (4) (20 U.S.C. 1092b) the College is required to notify you that approved loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by the U. S. Department of Education and will be accessible by servicers, guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system as determined by the U. S. Department of Education.

    Terms and conditions
    Terms and conditions of Title IV, HEA loans Terms and conditions of Federal Student Loans are listed on the Master Promissory Note signed by a borrower accepting the loan. The Stafford Promissory Note is completed online through

  • Before receiving a student loan, borrowers must complete an online entrance counseling session. This interactive counseling session will help you understand:

    1. How the loan process works;
    2. Managing your education expenses;
    3. Other financial resources to consider to help pay for your education; and
    4. Your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

    The online entrance counseling session will take you approximately 15-30 minutes to complete. To get started:

    1. Go to
    2. Log in using your FSA ID username and password
    3. Select “Complete Counseling”
    4. Select “Start Entrance Counseling”.
    5. Select “Minnesota” and “Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota” from drop down boxes.
    6. Select “Notify This School.”
    7. Select Student Type and Continue
    8. Complete entrance counseling by answering all questions
    9. Click “Submit”
    10. Print the Entrance Counseling for your records.

  • The Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling is used when a student has borrowed in a federal loan program and has dropped below half time status (please see definition listed below).

    It is mandatory that this counseling information be completed by students in order to receive their rights and responsibilities of repaying their student loans.

    Please click on the Federal Stafford and Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling link in order to complete the exit counseling.

    *Please note: It does not matter which loan program (Federal Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Loan) you have borrowed from. The exit counseling is the same for both programs.

    Federal Stafford & Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling

    *Half-time status is defined as the following:

    1. Graduate students must maintain the following: a minimum of 4 credits per term or an equivalent to this OR if you are registered by a learning contract, you must maintain one credit per month of your contract. (Example: 7-month contract must have at least 7 credits in order to be half-time)
    2. Undergraduate students must maintain the following: a minimum of 6 credits per term.

Loan Forgiveness Programs

To encourage students to enter and remain in certain high-need professions and sectors, loan forgiveness programs have been developed that may apply to you if you’re going into teaching, the health professions, or public service.

  • To encourage individuals to enter and remain in the teaching profession, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program grants loan forgiveness up to $17,500 for teachers in certain specialties and up to $50,00 for other teachers who teach for five years in low-income schools and meet other requirements.

    Programs for Teachers

  • This program repays a portion of student loans if you work in under-served areas. Professions that may qualify for this program include primary care nurse practitioners, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed psychologists, and licensed social workers.

    Programs for Health Professionals

  • Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.

    Programs for Public Service Employees


Grants are a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. There are limited options for grants at the graduate school level.

  • The Minnesota GI Bill is available for graduate and undergraduate students. Eligible students include Minnesota veterans and service members, as well as eligible spouses and children of deceased or severely disabled eligible Minnesota veterans. Eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office based upon the Minnesota GI Bill award formula.

    MN GI Bill Information

  • The Special Education Teacher Pipeline Program focuses on adult participants, starting with those who currently have a Minnesota Tier 1 and Tier 2 teaching license, but also including current paraprofessionals or other unlicensed staff. With an emphasis on Tier 1 special education teachers, this program aims to ensure that students with Individualized
    Educational Plan (IEPs) are being fully served by qualified teachers under the federal IDEA act.

    See your district administrator for details on how to take advantage of this program.

  • The Minnesota Student Teacher Grants provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in Minnesota teacher preparation programs during one term in which the student is completing a required 12-week or more student teaching experience. On a funds-available basis, selected undergraduate and graduate students may receive awards of up to $7,500 for one term.

    Learn more here.

  • The TEACH Grant requires you to be enrolled in specific graduate degree-seeking teacher licensure preparation programs at Saint Mary’s. In addition, you must hold specific jobs in order to keep the grant from turning into a Federal Unsubsidized Loan.

    Carefully read through the TEACH Grant information online. The TEACH Grant Counseling Application is available online, and the Financial Aid Office will determine eligibility. Do NOT complete the Agreement to Serve (ATS) until you have been notified by the Financial Aid Office that you are eligible.

    Eligible Programs:

    • Master of Arts in Special Education
    • Master of Arts in English as a Second Language
    • Master of Arts in Teaching

    Federal TEACH Grant

  • With Saint Mary’s ISTEP-Noyce grants, you can receive a generous stipend up to $19,500 to support you on this important journey. The program is designed to help increase the number of secondary STEM teachers from diverse backgrounds committed to teaching in high-need schools.

    ISTEP-Noyce Scholars are students who have STEM degrees (Math, Biology and other Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics) pursuing their Master of Teaching in order to become a secondary education teacher in a STEM related field. Both initial Minnesota licensing pathways and classroom teaching experience are offered through this graduate teaching program.

    ISTEP Grant

Get in Touch

  • La Salle Hall, Room 158
    Minneapolis Campus
    Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    2500 Park Ave.
    Minneapolis, MN 55404-4403
    Fax: 612-728-5121

Helpful Resources