Financial Aid for Graduate and Doctoral Students

State of Maryland Grants and Scholarships

Graduate students may be eligible for some State of Maryland grant and scholarship programs such as: Delegate Scholarship Program, Senatorial Scholarship Program, Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program, Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship and Living Expenses Grant, Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship Program & Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship Program.

For more detailed information see 

Grants from states other than Maryland

Information about grants and financial aid programs for residents of other states can be found at ‘s  page.

Federal Direct Student Loans for Graduate and Doctoral Students

Ƶ offers enrolled students financial aid for online master’s programs as a participant in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Our unsubsidized low-interest student loans are available as long as you enroll at least half-time. Graduate students need at least 3 credits or more per semester. The terms and conditions of all loans are explained in the Master Promissory Note that all borrowers must complete and sign. Instructions for completing the Master Promissory Note can be referenced here.

A loan must be repaid. Therefore, when deciding whether to borrow, you should examine your need for assistance and your future ability to repay. Generally, you will have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan you choose. Your monthly payment amount will be based on how much you borrowed and how long you take to repay.

Graduate and Doctoral Student Loan Limits
Annual limit$20,500 in unsubsidized
Maximum total debt from subsidized and unsubsidized loans when you graduate$138,500 (maximum $65,500 subsidized)

Interest Rate for Graduate Direct Loans

Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act interest rates will be determined each spring for new loans being made for the next award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.  More information regarding the current interest rates can be found at .

Loan Origination Fees

The Federal Direct Loan Program is authorized to charge an origination fee for each loan. The fee is a percentage of your total amount borrowed and is deducted from your loan before the loan disbursement is sent to Ƶ. The loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.

Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling

First-time borrowers at Ƶ of Federal Direct Loans are required to complete entrance counseling and Master promissory Note (MPN) before the Financial Aid Office can process their loan. The purpose of the entrance counseling is to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a new loan borrower and that you understand the regulations governing each loan program, such as interest rates, grace, deferment/forbearance options, prepayment, consolidation, and other general repayment obligations. You are also informed of the consequences of not repaying your student loans (default) and of various repayment strategies.

All student loan borrowers are required to complete exit counseling before graduating or withdrawing from Ƶ or ceasing to enroll at least half-time.

The online session covers all subjects that were covered in the entrance counseling, with an emphasis on repayment strategies.
For more complete information on the Direct Loan Program, visit the federal web site, .

Funds will post to your student account after the financial aid census date. The census date typically marks the end of the add/drop period for the semester. This is the date we take a “snapshot” of all students’ enrollment to establish the “official enrollment” for reporting purposes and financial aid eligibility. The classes for which you are registered as of the census date determine the amount of financial aid you will receive.

Because all of Stevenson’s graduate programs operate on the accelerated, 8-week module schedule, the disbursement of your funds may not occur at the same time as other students on the traditional 16-week schedule.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for receiving or continuing to receive financial aid, you must enroll in a graduate degree program and:

  • Maintain a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA, and
  • Earn your degree within the first 54 attempted credits based on a maximum time frame of 150%. All semesters and credit hours attempted including all repeated courses, failed courses, withdrawals, courses taken from a change in major, and transfer credits will count as credit hours attempted toward the maximum time frame. View the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

FSA Student Loan Ombudsman

Students or Parents receiving Direct Student Loans or Plus Loans should be aware that if they are in a dispute about a federal student loan, they can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group as a last resort.
If you’ve completed the steps to resolve your loan dispute and you still are not satisfied, you may need to contact the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.

Contact the Ombudsman Group as a last resort. Make every effort to resolve your student loan problems by submitting a complaint through the  before contacting the Ombudsman Group.

The FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group may be contacted one of the following alternative ways:

Telephone: 877-557-2575
Fax: 606-396-4821
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633

Alternative/Private Education Loan

Alternative Student Loans, also commonly referred to as Private Education Loans, are consumer loans offered by banks, credit unions and other private lenders to cover the cost of college not covered by financial aid.

Before applying for an Alternative Student Loan, the student and parent of a dependent student should compare the terms of the loan with loan assistance available through the Federal Direct Student Loan and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Programs. Most Alternative Student Loan Programs are not competitive with the Federal Loan Programs and are only intended to provide supplemental education financing after all federal options are exhausted.

If you live in the following states, you should also review information about your state’s Private Education Loan Programs: Alaska, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Ƶ does not provide a Preferred Alternative Student Loan Lender List, but we are able to provide you with a list of banks and credit unions that have made loans to our students in the past. Please be advised that Ƶ does not recommend, promote, or endorse the loan products of the lenders on these lists. You are free to borrow from any lender of your choice.

(Please check the lender’s web site for up to date contact information regarding an alternative/ private student loan.)
Ƶ provides Alternative Student Loan Counseling through the . The FASTChoice website is powered by Great Lakes Student Loan Services and will provide you with general information about loan types, loan terms, and conditions and borrower responsibilities.

For our larger volume lenders, you will be able to use the FASTChoice comparison tool to view individual bank loan details, including eligibility requirements, interest rates, loan limits, and borrower benefits. Since most credit unions have specific membership requirements, we would suggest that you contact them individually to determine their membership requirements.

It is very important that you pay close attention to the information you receive about a private loan and the repayment of the loan and that you retain the information you receive. It will apply when you have to begin repayment of your loans. Private loans may not have the same flexibility and options available with Direct Loans. You do not want unwelcome surprises and issues when you begin repayment.

If you are planning to use an Alternative Student Loan to pay your charges, please allow sufficient processing time. Most lenders will agree that using a credit-worthy cosigner may speed up the application process, help lower the interest rate, and increase the chance of approval.

When applying for this loan, please be sure to request the funds you need for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Your requested amount will be divided equally between the two semesters.

When the lender has determined whether the student meets the approval criteria, the lender will contact Stevenson for the school certification. After the certification has been provided, the lender will issue a disclosure statement detailing the loan agreement. If you request to borrow an amount that exceeds eligibility, Stevenson will reduce the requested amount to comply with federal guidelines.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law on August 18, 2008. The Act requires all colleges to adopt a College Loan Code of Conduct. Ƶ has adopted the College Loan Code of Conduct proposed by the Attorney General of the State of Maryland.

Graduate Assistantships

Ƶ welcomes the application of qualified graduate students for graduate assistantships. These assistantships are to be awarded for a two-year period to outstanding applicants to programs of Ƶ Online.

Eligibility criteria for application for a graduate assistantship are:

  1. Acceptance into a Ƶ Online graduate program.
  2. Maintenance of a full-time graduate course load as defined by the respective graduate program.
  3. A cumulative GPA of all past academic work of at least a 3.0.

In addition, applicants should have good computer skills, an ability to work independently, and be able to work some occasional evening hours if necessary. Individual graduate assistantship positions may have additional qualifications.

Compensation and Benefits

Tuition waiver for full-time course loads, as defined by the respective graduate programs, for a maximum of two academic years or until completion of the student’s desired Master’s program, whichever is sooner.
Semester Stipend of $4,000, for a total of no more than four semesters.

Duties and Responsibilities

Graduate students offered assistantships will agree to work for Ƶ in the capacity of the designated assistantship for an average of 20 hours a week in a 16-week semester for no more than four consecutive semesters.

Application for Graduate Assistantship

Please visit our  page for available positions.