Student Loans

Student Loans

The primary form of financial aid for Penn State Great Valley students is federal student loans (Unsubsidized Direct and Graduate PLUS loans). Students who are not eligible for federal student loans may apply for private student loans.

Federal Student Loan Eligibility

Penn State Great Valley graduate students are eligible for federal Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans when they:

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must submit a new FAFSA annually by June 1 for the academic year beginning in August.
  • Are formally admitted to and enrolled in an eligible master's degree program. Certificate programs are not eligible for federal loans.
  • Are enrolled at least half-time for the semester they seek a loan. Half-time enrollment for a graduate student at Penn State is 5–8 credits (at least two 3-credit courses) within a 14-week semester.
  • Comply with Penn State's Satisfactory Academic Progress standard.
  • Are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid social security number.
  • Comply with any federal verification requests.
  • Remain in good standing on past educational loans per the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).
  • Meet any other federal criteria listed at Federal Student Aid.

Private Student Loans

Students who are not eligible for federal student loans — such as students enrolled in certificate programs, students enrolled less than half-time, and students who are not U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens — may apply for a private student loan with an independent lender. Students manage private loans directly with the lender.

Program Costs with Loans

Understand program costs before committing to a student loan. To estimate the total cost of a master’s degree:

For more assistance with managing program costs, visit Financial Literacy at Penn State.

Steps to a Graduate Student Loan at Penn State Great Valley

  1. Apply for a master’s degree program and accept your offer of admission.
  2. Submit a federal loan application (FAFSA) for a Direct Unsubsidized loan.
  3. Sign the federal Master Promissory Note and complete federal loan entrance counseling for the Direct Unsubsidized loan.
  4. If you need additional funding beyond what the Direct Unsubsidized loan offers, apply for a Graduate PLUS loan and sign the corresponding federal Promissory Note.
  5. Set up your LionPATH account and enroll in at least two classes for the semester in which you seek a loan. 
  6. Manage your loan in LionPATH until it is disbursed to your account.
  7. Complete all courses for which you received a loan.