Step by Step Financial Aid Guide for Graduate Students
The following is a step-by-step guide to assist students who are applying for financial aid as graduate students. However, this is a quick list for convenience. Applicants are urged to direct any questions regarding the financial aid process to the USF St. Petersburg Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Services, Bayboro Hall, 105. Phone: (727) 873-4128.
Follow the Application Procedures under the Admissions link on the web page.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows you to be automatically considered for federal, state, and university financial aid programs based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). (Hint: You will need to have your most recently filed federal tax returns to complete the FAFSA application.)
Complete the FAFSA each year.
Beware of sites advertising services to help you apply for financial aid for a fee. If you use one of these services, you will be providing personal information to a non-government agency.
The FAFSA is free – there is no charge to apply for financial aid.
PRIORITY APPLICATION DATE:
- USF’s Priority Application Date is March 1 each year for the aid year that starts the following fall.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
A student with a drug conviction may be ineligible for federal student aid (grants, loans, work-study). If you are convicted of a state or federal offense of selling or possessing illegal drugs that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid should still complete and submit the FAFSA. Eligibility may be regained after documentation of successful completion of a rehabilitation program.
Use the University of South Florida Scholarship Search to see what other types of financial aid is available.
Review the Assistantships page on this site to determine if you are eligible for an appointment as a graduate assistant. Check with your desired program early in the application process to apply for an assistantship (contact information for each program is available on our Degree Programs page).
Check out the Cost Calculator page to estimate your cost of attendance.
Visit the USF Financial Aid “How To” Guide to establish and use your OASIS account to:
- check your financial aid status
- register for classes
- check your disbursements
- check your grades
Federal regulations pertaining to financial aid change frequently. Some of the recent policies that affect financial aid for graduate Students are mentioned below. It is important to check your OASIS account frequently for messages and changes to eligibility requirements. Any questions should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Services.
- Graduate students must be enrolled in at least five (5) graduate credit hours each semester they wish to receive financial aid (including Summer) Graduate credit includes courses at the 5000 or 6000 levels.
- Effective July 1, 2011 federal regulations required significant changes to the Satisfactory (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients.
- Your satisfactory academic progress (SAP) status is based on your entire academic record, at all schools attended, regardless of whether or not you received financial aid.
- If your SAP status is ineligible, you will not qualify for a tuition deferment and must pay by the payment deadline (end of drop/add, which is the 5th day of classes), or your registration ill be cancelled.
- Your SAP is calculated after grades have been recorded in academic history by the registrar at the end of each semester.
- An email notice is sent when you lose eligibility so it is important to keep your email address current with the Office of Financial Aid.
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better is required of all graduate students at all times. A cumulative grade point average below a 3.0 may affect your financial aid eligibility.
- Federal Financial Aid requires that students show that they are progressing through their program at a reasonable pace. The pace requirement for graduate students is calculated using the credits attempted and earned while classified at the graduate degree level. Students must earn 67% of all attempted credit hours. Pace is determined by dividing the total number of credit hours earned by the total number of credit hours attempted.
- You must earn your graduate degree within 150% of the required credits for your graduate degree program, as published in the USF St. Petersburg Graduate Catalog (need link here). Once you have attempted the maximum credits for your graduate degree, you are no longer eligible for financial aid (including federal student loans). There is no additional eligibility for changing graduate programs, except when the new program has a higher credit requirement. All attempted credits from all graduate programs count against the limit. If you have earned one graduate degree, there is no additional eligibility for a second graduate degree at that same degree level.