Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

Historic Senior Hall

Financial Aid for Graduate Programs 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Graduate Students 

We have provided answers to common questions that graduate students have about financing their degrees. Of course if you still have questions, our financial aid counselors are always ready to help you navigate your options. Contact us at (573) 876-7106 or

To be eligible for financial aid at Stephens College in the Graduate programs you must:

  • Be currently enrolled at Stephens College in a Master’s level degree program
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet all FAFSA eligibility guidelines (if you are going to take federal loans). FAFSA guidelines can be found at This needs to be completed yearly. 

To continue to receive aid, you will be expected to make satisfactory academic progress according to the Stephens Financial Aid SAP policy for your specific program. SAP guidelines can be found here:

    • For M. Ed in Counseling, MFA in TV and Screenwriting or the Master in Strategic Leadership (current students only), please review this graduate program SAP policy
    • For the MPA program, please review this MPA SAP policy

Full-time is 9 credit hours for the fall, spring and summer semesters. Half-time is 4.5 hours.

With careful planning, students may budget the semester with the Office of Financial Aid before they go half-time or less than half-time. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you to make sure you are awarded enough money to cover the less than full-time semester. The Office of Accounting can hold the funds in your account for that semester if you sign an “AUTHORIZATION TO HOLD A FEDERAL STUDENT AID CREDIT BALANCE.” The form is available in Accounting or Financial Aid.

Yes, based on the total number of hours you enroll each semester (summer, fall, spring).

No, students can choose not to pay the interest while in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, although the interest will continue to accrue and be capitalized.

Yes, Stephen uses a payment plan that is offered in partnership with Tuition Management Services. The cost is $62 per semester, but the interest rate is 0%. You can break down any amount you want to finance in the fall and spring into 4 equal payments. You can set up the plan online at

Yes, book vouchers are available only through MBS. Email Emily Wilson, Financial Aid Associate/Application Coordinator, at If approved, she will issue your voucher and return the information to you via your Stephens email.

Generally two weeks before school starts up until one week after classes have started.

Aid is not applied until several days after school begins. All refund checks are mailed (unless you live in Columbia) 14 days after your aid is applied and you have been notified that your loans have been sent to the College. Do not count on your refund check as a way to pay for your books—the timing will put you too far behind in your class.

Yes! We would always advise you to return unused money for your loans, and we encourage you to pay interest as it accrues. We strongly advise against taking more in loans than you need. For example, an unsubsidized loan for $5,000 would leave you owing approximately $5,991 in 3 years if you capitalize the interest and defer payment. 

Stephens College is proud to be a Yellow Ribbon School.

If you are eligible for Veterans Administration Education Benefits, please email your certificate of eligibility to Suzanne Evans, School Certifying Official, at If you have questions, do not hesitate to call (573) 442-2211, Ext. 4463. 

To learn about your eligibility, log in and register at

If you are receiving your benefit through the transfer of an entitlement, your spouse/parent must first register in eBenefits ( transferring the benefit to you. You then need to register with eBenefits. Submit your certificate of eligibility to

Yes, the Office of Financial Aid will be glad to help you make a financial plan for degree completion; however, there may be tuition or fee increases throughout your plan that they can’t anticipate. Please call (573) 876-7106 and set up an appointment once you and your adviser have completed your degree plan.

The Office of Financial Aid can be reached at (573) 876-7106 or, or you are welcome to come by Lela Raney Wood Hall 2nd floor.

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