Financial Aid for Graduate Students

  1. Graduate students are eligible for federal loan funding when enrolled in at least 6 credits.  While full-time status for graduate students is 9 credits or more, all financial aid packages are estimated based on enrollment in 12 credits when FAFSA information is received.  Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you are enrolled in fewer than 12 credits.  In most cases an adjustment is made only for tuition, fees and books; funding for living expenses is not affected.

    Please review Financial Assistance for Graduate Students for information including, but not limited to:

    • Aid for Prerequisite and Summer Courses
    • Federal Aid
    • State Aid
    • Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy & Eligibility Status
    • Graduate Scholarship Information
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Pre-filled FAFSA application online:
    Before you begin you will want to have your tax information or estimates from last year.  You will also want to have your PIN available so that you can sign your application upon completion. All students must apply each year for Federal aid by completing the FAFSA application. Continuing students may decide to complete the Pre-filled FAFSA on line. All filers will need the SUNY Potsdam Federal Code (002850) to input on the applications. More application information is available at
  3. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)
    The Federal Government will provide you with access to your Student Aid Report via e-mail if you apply on line. Please review this FAFSA summary and return the form to the Federal Government or our office with any corrections you may have to the application.
  4. Notify the Financial Aid Office of any Private Scholarships
    You will want to notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be receiving outside scholarships or grants from local, state, national, or corporate organizations. These awards may impact your financial aid eligibility.
  5. Receive Your Award Letter
    Once we have received your FAFSA information from the Federal Government, and we have received any other requested data needed from you, we will process your financial aid package and notify you of your aid eligibility. Continuing students will receive an award notification via e-mail directing them to the BearPAWS system. Notification begins in early March.
  6. Respond to Inquiries
    Respond promptly to any inquiries from federal and state agencies, or from our office. We will notify continuing students via e-mail to access the BearPAWS system to see what information is missing in order to process your financial aid. Delays in receipt of pertinent information will delay the review process, mailing of award letters, and disbursement of funds.