Graduate students typically pay for their education through a combination of loans, scholarships, grants, fellowships, and employment through their institution.

There are some departments that are able to fund students through various grants and fellowships as well as teaching assistantships and research assistantships. You can learn more by visiting your academic department’s website. 

Please refer to the Graduate Schools Financing Your Education webpage for more information about these funding opportunities. 

International Students

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid but Oregon State offers and administers a number of scholarships and tuition remission programs for qualified international students. Scholarship and award information for newly admitted and continuing students, undergraduate and graduate students can be found on the International Students Scholarship webpage. Contact International Scholarships for further information and resources available.

Federal Financial Aid

Degree-seeking graduate students may apply for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA application at FAFSA.gov each year. The FAFSA application is available for submission beginning October 1st each year for the following school year. You will submit your FAFSA using the tax information from 2 years prior (example: the 2023-2024 FAFSA will use the information from the taxes you filed in 2021). Most students should be able to download their tax information into the FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval tool.

If the student is eligible, the FAFSA will result in an offer for an Unsubsidized Ford Direct Loan. The FAFSA application will also allow the student to apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan online if they need additional aid. Both of these federal loans require the student to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program. Since these loans are not need-based, your income/tax information on the FAFSA will not impact your eligibility for the loans. Graduate students are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant or the Federal Subsidized Ford Direct Loan.

We send financial aid offers to incoming graduate students beginning in April for the next school year. If you are attending summer term, you will be able to request to have your aid offer adjusted to include summer term in your MyOregonState account. See instructions on how to view and accept your award.

Ford Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • A graduate (non-professional) student may receive up to $20,500 per year in ford direct loans.
  • The aggregate maximum for a graduate (non-professional) student is $138,500.
  • The interest rate and origination fee for the Federal Direct unsubsidized loan can be found on the FSA website.  
  • You must complete the Entrance Counseling session and sign Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Graduate PLUS Loan

  • The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan borrowed by graduate students to assist with educational expenses.
  • You may to borrow up to your remaining cost of attendance after all other aid.
  • The loan does not have an aggregate limit.
  • The loan is unsubsidized meaning you are responsible for paying the interest during times of deferment.
  • The interest rates and origination fees on the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan vary by year and can be found on the FSA website.
  • You must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application, Entrance Counseling, and Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at StudentAid.gov.
  • The credit check, run as part of the application, is only valid for 180 days. Do not complete the application before May of the year you will start attendance.
  • For applicants who have been determined to have an adverse credit history, but qualify for a Graduate PLUS loan by documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an endorser must complete a new Master Promissory Note and PLUS Counseling online at StudentAid.gov.

Enrollment Requirement for Federal Loans

To receive federal loans, a graduate student must be enrolled at least half-time (5-8 credits each term). Aid is packaged based on the expectation of full-time enrollment. To avoid disbursement delays, you must submit an enrollment revision form to let us know if you plan to be less than full-time for the year. If our office has not been notified of your enrollment plans, your aid will be adjusted and disbursed after that term's Financial Aid Census Date.

*Graduate certificate-seeking students may only receive aid based on credits required for their certificate program.

Private Supplemental/Alternative Loans

Private/Alternative loans are loans obtained from a bank, credit union, or other lending agency. For most students, federal loans are a better option and should be utilized before private loans are considered. Alternative loans require a credit check and may have higher, variable interest rates. They also do not offer the flexible repayment, consolidation, and loan forgiveness options that you get with federal loans.

GTA/GRA Impact on Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships reduce your overall Cost of Attendance (COA) since they reduce your tuition and fees. Because we cannot award you federal student aid and loans that exceed your COA, a graduate assistantship could reduce the amount in graduate loans you would be eligible for. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you would like to discuss your particular situation.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Not all graduate certificate programs are eligible for federal financial aid. Further information about both aid-eligible programs may be found on our Gainful Employment page.

Students in aid-eligible graduate certificate programs may only receive federal loans based on enrollment in courses that are required for that program. Other courses may not be counted towards the minimum half-time enrollment that is needed for federal loan eligibility. For the list of required courses, please review the course catalog or contact your academic advisor.

Doctor of Pharmacy Students

Degree-seeking graduate students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program may apply for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA application at FAFSA.gov each year. If the student is eligible, the FAFSA will result in an offer for an unsubsidized Ford Direct loan. The FAFSA application will also allow the student to apply for the Graduate PLUS loan online if they need additional loans.

Students seeking funding beyond federal loans can find more information on the College of Pharmacy Scholarship page and contact the College of Pharmacy.

  • Yearly maximum Unsubsidized Ford Direct loan for 1st, 2nd, 3rd year of program = $33,000.
  • Yearly maximum Unsubsidized Ford Direct loan 4th year of program = $37,167.
  • Aggregate maximum for all Federal Ford Direct loans combined = $224,000.
  • More information on these federal loan options may be found on the FSA website.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Students

Degree-seeking graduate students in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program may apply for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA application at FAFSA.gov each year. If the student is eligible, the FAFSA will result in an offer for an unsubsidized Ford Direct loan. The FAFSA application will also allow the student to apply for the Graduate PLUS loan online if they need additional loans.

Students seeking funding beyond federal loans can find more information on the Veterinary Medicine Scholarship page and contact the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Yearly maximum Unsubsidized Ford Direct loan for 1st, 2nd, 3rd year of program loan max = $40,500.
  • Yearly maximum Unsubsidized Ford Direct loan for Veterinary students 4th year of program loan max = $47,167.
  • Aggregate maximum for all Federal Ford Direct loans combined = $224,000.
  • More information on these federal loan options may be found on the FSA website.