​As a graduate student, you’ll have several options to help finance your professional-level education. Each requires that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid​ to qualify.

  • Unsubsidized Graduate Stafford Loans. These are not determined by financial need. Any eligible student can take out an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until the time the loan is repaid in full. A maximum of $20,500 can be borrowed annually. Graduate Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.21 percent.
  • Graduate PLUS Loan. The amount of this non-need-based loan is based on the tuition amount remaining after all other scholarships and financial aid have been applied. It has a fixed interest rate of 7.21 percent.

Before you complete an application for the Graduate PLUS loan, wait for your merit award letter from CMU — which you’ll receive after you complete the FAFSA. You may not need these funds.

Complete each of the following mandatory three steps for the Graduate PLUS application as soon as you are notified in the award letter that you are eligible for a loan. Waiting for the beginning of the semester can delay your loan.

  • STEP 1: Complete and return a CMU Graduate/Professional Student PLUS Loan application. Click here for an application.
  • STEP 2: Complete a Federal Electronic Master Promissory Note. Make sure you have your Federal PIN, which is given to you in your merit award letter.

    At the Direct Loans website, select the link "Complete New MPN for Student Loans" near the bottom of the page. You will be prompted to "Click OK" if you are taking out a loan for your own education. Next select the button for "Graduate PLUS - Federal Direct Loans."
  • STEP 3: Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. All first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers must complete an online entrance orientation session before their loan funds can be disbursed.
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