Financial Aid Programs and Assistantships

Graduate assistantships

Limited graduate assistantship funds are available each school year. These part-time employment positions are not considered a part of your financial aid award. Contact the appropriate graduate director regarding eligibility, open positions and to obtain a Graduate Assistant Agreement (GAA) form.

Financial aid programs

Church Match scholarships

SPU church match scholarships up to $500 are awarded to students who are awarded a scholarship from an organized Christian church or missionary organization in the United States or Canada as a result of a scholarship section process. Contact Student Financial Services for further information.

SPU endowed gifts and scholarships

Contact your respective graduate school program coordinator to learn more about endowed gifts and scholarship opportunities that may be available to you. 

Outside scholarships

Scholarship and grant directories are available in SPU’s Ames Library and in public libraries. Suggested resources include:

The Student Financial Services website, has many other resources available.

Federal Direct Loans

To receive a Federal Direct Loan, borrowers must submit a FAFSA and meet eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate and professional students may borrow up to $20,500 annually. The maximum outstanding total Direct Loan debt is $138,500 for a graduate or professional student (including loans for undergraduate study). No more than $65,500 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans.

Clinical Psychology doctoral students may borrow up to $33,000 (nine-month academic year) or $37,167 (12-month academic year) annually in unsubsidized direct loans for a maximum outstanding total subsidized and unsubsidized direct-loan debt of $224,000.

The Federal Direct Loan interest rate for graduate students is fixed, determined annually. Information about interest rates is available at StudentAid.gov. Interest begins accruing immediately on unsubsidized loans; any unpaid interest will capitalize (be added to the loan principal) at repayment. Repayment begins at the conclusion of the six-month grace period following graduation, withdrawal or a drop to less than half-time enrollment.

Additional information regarding types of payment plans and deferments is available on the loan master promissory note and from the Direct Loan program. 

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan 

You may request a Direct Grad PLUS loan up to the cost of attendance minus current financial assistance. You must complete the FAFSA and utilize your Federal Direct loan eligibility.

Direct Grad PLUS loans are made through the U.S. Department of Education. Any student is eligible to apply who satisfies the eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education.

Eligibility also depends on a credit check to determine whether the borrower has adverse credit history. Interest begins accruing immediately and is fixed, determined annually. Information about interest rates is available at StudentAid.gov. Direct Grad PLUS loans will receive in-school deferment while the student borrower is enrolled at least half-time and a six-month deferral beginning the day after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

TEACH Grant program

The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program benefits current and prospective teachers who agree to teach full time for four years in a federally designated eligible school. This grant is available to students in the ARC, MTMS, and MAT programs, seeking/intending to receive endorsements in math, science, a foreign language, bilingual education, special education, or as a reading specialist.

The funds from this program are automatically credited to your student account at the beginning of each quarter, provided the following:

  • All requested documents have been submitted to Student Financial Services.
  • You are registered for the number of credits upon which your financial aid award was based.
  • Verification (if required) has been completed.
  • You continue to meet the grant requirements.

Student employment

Federal Work Study: On campus —  This work study provides part-time employment opportunities for students on campus. Graduate students must have applied for financial aid and must request to be considered for federal work study through Student Financial Services.

State Work Study: Off campus — Graduate students must have applied for financial aid, are Washington state residents, and must request consideration for State Work Study through Student Financial Services. This program is sponsored by the State of Washington, and the participating employers are reimbursed by the state for a portion of the wages they pay work-study students.

Note: The combination of all your sources of financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, and work study) cannot exceed the cost of attendance as determined by SFS.