Financial Aid

Graduate Student Information

As a graduate student seeking financial aid, you may face situations unique from those undergraduate and applied technology students encounter.

PLUS loans are available to graduate students who still have an unmet Cost of Attendance after borrowing $20,500 through the Federal Direct Loan program and other sources of aid. The PLUS loans are a better financial option than an alternative student loan from a private lender. Credit Requirements for Graduate Students Seeking Loans

To receive graduate level loans, a graduate student must:

Graduate students will initially be awarded graduate level loans with the assumption that the above enrollment requirements will be met. If you do not meet the qualifications outlined above, you will see a hold on the BengalWeb Finances tab about a month before aid disbursement for the upcoming term.

To defer payments on existing student loans, graduate student must be enrolled in 5 or more graduate level credits. If a student drops below the 5 credit graduate level requirement an Exit Interview must be completed at

New Loan Disbursement Rules

Two Loan Disbursements Are Required for All Federal Loans and a 30-Day Delay on First Disbursements for First-time, First-year Borrowers

Federal regulations require that all Direct Loans (subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS) must be disbursed in two disbursements based on your enrollment period. The first disbursement for first-time, first-year borrowers will be 30 days after the beginning of the first semester enrolled at least half-time. For additional information see "Loan Disbursement Changes".

Changes to Direct PLUS Loan Programs - Effective March 29th, 2015

There are a few changes coming to the Federal Direct PLUS loan programs (Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS) effective March 29, 2015. We wanted to make you aware of these changes as they may impact you or your parent if you choose to participate in one of the PLUS loan programs. See Changes to Direct PLUS Loan Programs - Effective March 29th, 2015

Graduate Student Loan Limits

Below is the maximum annual amount you can receive each financial aid year (fall, spring & summer) at the graduate level. The amount you are awarded may not exceed your "Cost of Attendance" which is an estimated budget established each year.

Annual Graduate Loan Limits
Unsubsidized Total - $20,500

If there is still unmet Cost of attendance the student may qualify for a Graduate PLUS Loan.

The combined undergraduate and graduate total debt you can have in outstanding federal loans is $138,500. Graduate PLUS Loans are separate and can go over the maximum aggregate of $138,500.

Maximum Credits Attempted

Your financial aid eligibility will be limited to a maximum number of credit hours that you have attempted at ISU and any other institution you have attended. The limit on credit hours is based on your stated degree or certificate objective. The maximum attempted credits allowed for degree or certificate completion will be no more than 150% of the credits needed to complete that type of degree. When the maximum number of credit hours is reached, you will be denied financial aid. You may have the option to appeal for further financial aid. Refer to the following list for specific credit maximums.

Maximum credits for Satisfactory Academic Progress Eligibility

  • Pharm D - 270
  • Physician Assistant - 100
  • Master's Degree - 85
  • Doctoral Degree - 140
  • Ed Specialist (Ed. S) - 50

Impact of "conditionally admitted" status...

An admission status of "conditionally admitted " is a non-eligible status for receiving federal financial aid.

When your admission status is "conditionally admitted" you will have an "Award Status" notification on your BengalWeb ("Finances tab").

"Conditionally admitted" status as a graduate may mean one of several possible situations including:

Follow up with the office of the academic program you are pursuing and with the Graduate Admissions Office (282-2150) to change your status. Once your status with the Office of the Registrar (282-2661) shows you are admitted into a specific program, you should see the "Award Status" notification disappear from BengalWeb within one week. Awarding of your aid will follow as long as all other documents are completed and you meet all other aid eligibility requirements.

Exit Counseling

Students must complete Exit Counseling when dropping below 5 graduate credits or upon graduation.


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209