Types of Financial Aid - Graduates

Financial Aid is a broad term that refers to several types and categories of Financial aid. The financial aid programs listed on this page represent some of the most common types of financial aid, but are not meant to be an exhaustive list. Below lists general categories of financial aid a graduate student may be eligible for. Different types of aid are listed under each category.


Grants are need-based awards that do not require repayment. UNK students receive grants from either the federal or state government. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required in order to apply.

  • Federal TEACH Grant - Provides grant assistance to students intended for students who agree to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years in schools that serve students from low-income families. For more information on the Federal TEACH Grant, please click here.


Student Loans are borrowed and must be repaid. Repayment generally does not begin until the student leaves school or graduates. Loans will accumulate interest immediately, while the student is in school. A FAFSA must be completed in order to be eligible for a Federal Direct Student Loan.

  •  Federal Direct Student Loans - Federal Direct Student loans are borrowed from the U.S. Treasury. A 1.066% loan origination fee  will be charged. Annual loan limits and a school's financial aid budget determine the maximum amount of Federal Direct  loan offered to a student.

      Click here for more information on Federal Direct Student Loans for graduate students

  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan - The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a fixed interest loan program that enables graduate students to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help pay for their educational expenses. This loan is available to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents. This loan has many benefits such as a fixed interest rate, high credit approval rate and streamlined application process. Loan payments can be deferred while in school at least half time and the loan has flexible repayment options. As part of the Federal Direct Loan Program, this loan would also become part of your loan account that contains your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan(s), thus reducing your number of lenders. To apply, you will need to contact the Office of Financial Aid so that we can guide you through this process.
  • Alternative Student Loans - Alternative educational loans are available from private lenders and offer additional financial assistance to you if you have exhausted all other sources of funding for your education. These loans are meant to supplement federal and state aid when the Cost of Attendance (COA) is not fully covered by those programs. Alternative Student Loans are simply consumer loans with some student loan features, most notably that payments are deferred until the student is out of school. These loans are offered by various lenders each with unique terms and conditions. Generally, alternative loans have a higher interest rate and/or fees than federal student loans. We encourage students to visit with a financial aid counselor if they are considering an alternative loan.


Scholarships are merit-based awards that do not require repayment.

In order to see what scholarships you might be eligible for as a graduate student, please click here.