Graduate Financial Aid Checklist

Graduate, Law, or Graduate Business Students

The following steps will assist you in completing the financial aid process for the 2018/2019 academic year; applying for financial aid is an annual process. For additional information on the financial assistance reflected on your Financial Aid Notification (FAN), please review the Financial Aid Conditions and Information guide.

Plan Your Budget

As overall loan indebtedness continues to rise, it will be important for you to create a budget to help manage your spending and borrowing.  As part of the Planning process, you may review the cost of attendance for your graduate or professional program. Although actual costs may vary, this will give you an estimate of your program costs.

Use These Tools

To assist in developing your budget, use the Personal Planner to calculate your estimated responsibility towards your educational costs. Upon determining your responsibility, use the Responsibility Worksheet to assist in creating a plan to finance your Notre Dame education.

Finance Your Notre Dame Education

Scholarship and Fellowship Assistance

Scholarship and fellowship assistance is offered by your admitting office typically at the time of admission. The Office of Financial Aid will receive notification of the award and include it on the FAN. If you have questions regarding a scholarship or fellowship, please contact your admitting office directly.

Federal Direct Loan Programs

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The non need-based Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is offered on your FAN based on the review of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The terms of this loan require that the student borrower repay, with interest, this source of financial assistance.

First-Time Borrowers: If you wish to borrow from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program, please visit the Federal Direct Loan Instructions page.

Repeat Borrowers: The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan will be processed for the amount listed on the FAN.

If you wish to decline (or reduce) your loan, email desired changes to

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students
The non need-based Federal Direct PLUS Loan is not offered on your FAN. However, based on your credit history, you may apply for the full cost of education (minus other student aid) from this loan program.

All Borrowers: If you wish to apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, please visit the Applying for Loans page. A PLUS Loan application is required each year you intend to borrow from this loan program.

Monthly Payment Plan

The Cashnet Full Service Payment Plan allows you to spread education payments out over a 9- or 10- month period versus making two larger payments, one at the beginning of each semester.

Private Loans

After exhausting the opportunities available from the federal aid programs, you may consider private loan programs as a source of funding. You may apply for the full cost of education (minus other student aid) from this non need-based loan option. As always, taking on debt for any reason should be done deliberately and only for the amounts needed. Additional information is available from the Department of Education publication, Federal Aid First.

Research Private Scholarships

Many private organizations provide financial assistance to Notre Dame students. Scholarship information may be obtained by contacting civic, professional, religious and other community organizations. The College Board's Scholarship Search and FinAid! website provide scholarship search information and provides a significant scholarship database. Caution is advised with respect to the use of fee-based scholarship search enterprises.

Notify Our Office

You are asked to notify the Office of Financial Aid of the receipt of any financial assistance beyond that outlined on the FAN.