Graduate Degree

Thinking about going back to school for a graduate degree?  Wondering if you can receive financial aid?  Here is some helpful information about the process:

In order to be considered for most types of aid, including Federal Student Aid Loans (FSA), you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  If you plan to enter UNCG in the fall semester, you should file your FAFSA before March 1, or as soon as possible thereafter.  In order to ensure that your information is sent to UNCG, please be sure to include UNCG’s Federal School Code (002976) in the “school information” section of the FAFSA. You may apply on-line at  Please be sure to register for a Federal Student Aid PIN at as this is required to sign your application electronically as well as access your FAFSA information in the future.

Most graduate students admitted into a degree or eligible certificate program are eligible for Federal Student Aid Loans (FSA) only. The unsubsidized loan is not dependent on need but does accrue interest while the student is in school. Repayment does not begin until the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. 

  • Full-time enrollment is 9 semester hours.
  • A student’s loan eligibility will be based on enrollment status. Graduate students must enroll in at least 4.5 semester hours at the 500 level or above (which is considered half-time enrollment) to be eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Graduate students can receive up to $20,500 in unsubsidized student loans annually depending on the calculated cost of attendance and other aid you may receive. 
  • Graduate students can borrow up to $138,500 overall while pursuing graduate/professional degrees.

Graduate Plus Loan

This loan is available to Graduate students who have borrowed their annual or aggregate limit under the Federal Student Aid program.  This loan cannot be awarded in excess of the cost of attendance. Graduate students of all income levels are eligible but it is a credit-based loan. Students must apply and be approved for the loan.  Repayment of the loan is deferred contingent upon half time enrollment.  

Graduate students taking undergraduate courses

Federal regulations require that graduate students enroll in at least half-time hours at the graduate level. UNCG defines half-time for graduate students as 4.5 hours at the 500 course level or above. Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses will no longer automatically be considered for financial aid for those undergraduate courses.

Graduate students enrolled in at least half-time graduate level hours (course numbers 500 and above) may submit a petition to the Financial Aid Office to include the undergraduate hours for financial aid purposes. This petition should include a detailed statement explaining why the undergraduate courses are needed for the graduate degree. A signed plan of study or approved graduation plan signed by the graduate advisor will also be required. The Financial Aid Office will review any petitions to include undergraduate hours for financial aid on a case-by-case basis.

Maximum Number of Hours Allowed for Financial Aid Eligibility

The 2015-2016 SAP Policy Currently States:

  • Graduate students seeking a Master’s degree must complete all degree requirements (including thesis) within five academic years from the date of first enrollment.
  • Graduate students seeking a Doctorate degree must complete all requirements (including dissertation) within seven years from the date of first enrollment.

Policy Change Beginning fall 2016:

To remain eligible for financial aid, graduate students must be able to complete their degree within 150% of the hours required for the degree (including thesis/dissertation). Per federal regulations, students who are unable to complete their graduate degree within the maximum number of hours allowed (150%) will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.

Note: Students must still meet the time limits for degrees in the Academic Regulations of The Graduate School Bulletin. For example, please review Time Limits for Masters-Degrees and Time Limits for Doctoral-Degrees

Example: A MSN degree in nursing requires 38 hours. 150% of the length of the program is 57 hours (150% x 38 hours).
Example: A PhD degree in Nutrition requires 63 hours. 150% of the length of the program is 95 hours (150% x 63 hours).


Certificate and Licensure Programs

Most graduate students admitted into a degree or eligible certificate program are eligible for Federal Student Aid Loans (FSA) only. Here is a list of eligible certificate and licensure programs:



In order to receive the best service from the Financial Aid office, you may visit us at your convenience during regular office hours. We are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Our Spring/Summer hours are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. You do not need an appointment as we have counselors available for walk in visits.

You may also contact our office via telephone at 336-334-5702. Be sure to enter the student ID and UNCG PIN into the phone system to in order to authenticate your identity and allow our counselors to give you specific information about your financial aid record over the telephone due to federal privacy laws.