Chatham University

Graduate and Teacher Certification Financial Aid

Students accepted into and enrolled in Chatham's master's degree, doctoral degree, and teacher certification programs who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible to apply for financial aid through the Direct Loan program. International students are not eligible for the federal loan program and must rely on personal financial resources to fund graduate study at Chatham.

+Determining Financial Need

To determine the student’s need for financial aid at Chatham, the student must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Based upon the information reported by the student, including income, assets, family size, and number in college, a federal calculation determines the “Expected Family Contribution.” Determining a student’s eligibility for aid involves three basic components:
                                    Cost of Education – Family Contribution = Need

After the University receives an electronic copy of the FAFSA from the Federal Processor, the expected family contribution is subtracted from the “cost of education” at Chatham. This “cost of education” takes into consideration tuition, fees, room, board, books, and miscellaneous personal expenses. The result of this calculation is a student’s financial need. All students, regardless of income, are encouraged to apply for financial assistance in order to explore available options. The cost of attendance for on-line programs includes tuition, fees, and books, only.

+Aid Application Process

To be considered for financial aid, a student must complete:

  • The FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 at Continuing students should submit their completed FAFSA by March 15. Failure to submit by this date will delay registration for the following fall term. New students should submit their completed FAFSA as soon as possible to expedite processing and fall registration.
  • A master promissory note under the Direct Loan Program. Applications must be completed on-line at Student will need their Federal Student Aid log-in information to sign the Master Promissory Note.
  • All students who are selected for verification will be required to submit (1) a completed Verification Worksheet (2) Complete the IRS Data Retrieval at, and provide additional verification of all nontaxable income, if applicable; and/or unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool provide (3) copies of the student’s (and spouse’s, if married) federal income tax return transcripts from the tax year being requested.

+Direct Loan Program

Chatham participates in the Direct Loan Program. Loans funds are sent to Chatham University through electronic funds transfer. This means loans are sent electronically and applied directly to a student's account. Funds are disbursed each semester. All other forms of student financial aid are disbursed to Chatham University via electronic funds transfer or check.

To be considered for a federal student loan, a student must meet certain minimum requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking or teacher certification program at Chatham on at least a half-time basis, which is six (6) or more credits per semester.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen (with appropriate INS documentation).
  • Maintain "Satisfactory Academic Progress" as defined as follows: Full-time and part-time graduate students must complete 67 percent of credits attempted and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA as a minimum requirement for financial aid. The maximum timeframe in which students are expected to finish a degree is 150% of a program’s length. Please note that some graduate programs have specific academic guidelines, which must be met to continue enrollment (see the sections on Grades and Academic Standing in the College of Graduate Studies section of this catalog for further information). Students may receive Federal Financial Aid for classes they are required to repeat.
  • Loan funds will be processed for students who have completed a FAFSA, and have a valid Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling on file, unless the student declines the loans via the award letter, or notifies the financial aid office in writing that they are reducing or declining the loans.

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan This low-interest loan is available to all students regardless of financial need. While repayment begins six months after graduation or cessation of at least half-time enrollment, the student must make interest payments or have the interest capitalized during in-school, grace, or deferment periods. Students must complete the Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling in order to receive Federal Stafford Loan funds. There is only one application for both the Subsidized and the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: Credit based loan available graduate students who are enrolled at least part-time. In order to determine eligibility for this loan program, students must first complete a PLUS Loan Application, or credit check at If the loan is approved, applicants must also complete the Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note. The loan is deferred while the student is enrolled at least part-time, which is six credits per term. There is a six month grace period available upon graduation or cessation of half-time enrollment.

Alternative/Private Loans Other Non-Federal/Private Loans, sometimes called Alternative Loans, are available to all students to help fill the gap that sometimes exists between the cost of a Chatham education and a financial aid award. These credit-based loans are deferred until six months after graduation, provided you are enrolled at least part-time, which is six credits. Private loans do accumulate interest while you are enrolled. These programs require credit worthiness or a co-signer.

+Chatham Policies That May Affect Your Aid

Financial aid is awarded to accepted graduate and teacher certification students who have completed the FAFSA. If the student submitted the FAFSA with estimated information, the award may be adjusted once the actual tax returns and supporting documentation are reviewed during the verification process. Students are responsible for reporting to the University all financial assistance received from other sources such as outside scholarships, grants, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation assistance, employer paid tuition, or tuition waivers. All outside assistance must be taken into account in the packaging of the student’s financial aid and may result in adjustment of the aid package if notification is received after the initial package is awarded.

Financial aid is awarded annually and requires completion of the FAFSA each year.

Per federal regulations, all Teacher Certification students are eligible to receive Stafford Loans at the fifth year undergraduate level. Students are eligible to borrow up to $5,500 in subsidized Stafford Loans, and if independent, another $7,000 in unsubsidized Stafford Loans, as long as student completes the FAFSA, meets all eligibility requirements, and has not exceeded aggregate Stafford limits. Loans will be processed for students who complete the Master Promissory Note, unless we are notified in writing via the award letter, or via e-mail that they are reducing or declining the loan funds.

Refund of Excess Financial Aid
Students may be eligible for a refund if their financial aid and/or other credits exceed current semester charges. Student refunds are issued 7-14 days after the student account develops a credit balance. Refunds will be processed electronically through Education Computer Systems, Inc. (ECSI) and deposited directly into a bank account. Paper checks will no longer be issued through the Student Accounts Office. Please go to and sign up to receive electronic refunds. If a student wishes to retain a credit balance from one semester to the next within the same academic year they should email this information to