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Frequently Asked Questions and Special Circumstances

All the answers to your financial aid questions, even the ones you didn't know you had. We're here to help make graduate school affordable. So if you still have questions, reach us at or 989-774-3674.

P.S. We've got more Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) Frequently Asked Questions here.

Yes, graduate students can receive federal financial aid.

You can borrow up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans (up to the maximum aggregate limit of $138,500, including undergraduate borrowing).

Direct PLUS Loans can also be used for the remainder of your college costs which are not covered by other financial aid (up to the maximum annual cost of attendance as determined by the school). The Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan and must be applied for separately.

Learn more about Direct PLUS Loans

Start by filling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA becomes available October 1st and must be filed every year that you wish to be considered for financial aid. CMU's Title IV School Code is 002243.

File my FASA

No, graduate students cannot receive a subsidized loan. Only undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.

No, international graduate students are ineligible for federal financial aid.

The U.S. Department of Education requires that a student:
• Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
• Have a valid Social Security number (except for students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).

But we do offer International Graduate Student Scholarships.

Explore Scholarships

Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time each semester to be eligible for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan; which equates to 5 graduate credit hours.

CMU offers four aid eligible graduate certificates: Cyber Security, College Teaching, Enterprise Systems and Logistics Management.

Once CMU receives your FAFSA, you'll automatically be awarded your maximum loan eligibility up to the maximum annual limit or Cost of Attendance, whichever is lower.

If you decide to decrease the loan amount, simply email the financial aid office or submit a completed Federal Student Loan Adjustment Form.

No, a GA position is considered employment, not financial aid.

However, if you are awarded a graduate assistantship, you should add the estimated amount you expect to receive for the year to your financial aid portal. Or, email the financial aid office to determine how it may affect your loan eligibility.