Graduate Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid offers federal financial aid designed to assist graduate students in financing their college education.

Federal financial aid is divided into three basic categories: loans, Federal Work-Study, and grants/scholarships, which can be used individually or in combination to help finance your Brooklyn College education. Work-Study assistance will allow you to earn money to help pay for part of your educational expenses by working part-time on and off campus. The Federal TEACH grant is for graduate students who are committed to pursuing a career in teaching. Brooklyn College has a robust scholarships and graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply. Federal student loans require that you first file a FAFSA and participate in entrance and exit interviews with the college’s Office of Financial Aid, and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to repay the principal and interest on such loans upon completion of your studies. You should also be aware that federal financial aid programs change frequently, so the types and amounts of awards may vary annually, based on available funds and changes in the status of your financial need.


Filing FAFSA
Federal Work-Study Program

Application Process

Once you have decided to attend and have committed to Brooklyn College, we also strongly recommend that you read the Graduate Student  Loan Guide. This guide will provide you with information on the available financial aid options for graduate studies. It will also provide you with instructions on how to apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. Remember that these functions are available only to admitted students who have informed Brooklyn College that they will attend and have submitted their commitment deposit or commitment information to the Office of Admissions. If you need any additional assistance with financial aid for graduate studies, schedule an appointment with your financial aid adviser.

Cost of Attendance

The following estimates of the cost of attendance for the upcoming academic year may help students determine if they need assistance. The estimates are based on full-time study (12 credits) for New York State residents while attending school for a nine month budgeted year (this is for the fall and spring semesters). A student’s budget can increase or decrease based on semester (summer, fall, winter, and spring) enrollment status and other individual circumstances.

Students Living at Home

Item Cost
Books and Supplies $1,364
Transportation (MetroCard) $1,122
Lunch $1,360
Personal Expenses $1,772
Housing $4,750
Loan Fees $116
Total Variable Cost $10,484 + tuition and fees

Students Living Away From Home

Item Cost
Books and Supplies $1,364
Transportation (MetroCard) $1,122
Personal Expense $2,405
Medical Expenses $2,128
Lunch $1,360
Housing** $13,905
Food (at home) $2,162
Loan Fees $116
Total Variable Cost $24,562 + tuition and fees

*Students may not borrow in excess of their Cost of Attendance in order to comply with CUNY and federal rules/regulations.

** The amount allocated for housing expects that students living away from their parents share housing costs.

Financial Aid Disbursement Dates

Financial aid disbursement date information is available on our Financial Aid Certification Date, Disbursements and Refunds webpage.

One of the enhancements that comes with CUNYfirst is that the dates above represent the initial and first available disbursement date for the respective programs. Thereafter, each program will disburse aid for any remaining unpaid students every Monday. FWS funds are paid on a bi-weekly basis.

Financial aid funds will not be disbursed until all “To-Do” list items are completed (e.g., incomplete federal entrance counseling, unsigned master promissory note) under the “Self-Service” option, in the “Student Center” tab. We strongly recommend that you read this section in the Guide to Financial Aid Information in CUNYfirst (PDF).

Financial Aid Refunds

All student refunds are handled by the University Controllers Office and local inquires can be addressed with the Office of the Bursar. Note that refunds will be made available to students on the Friday following their disbursement date. That means you will see your eligible refund in CUNYfirst a few days before it will actually be posted to our CUNY Scholars Support Card, bank account or mailed as a paper check. The Office of Financial Aid strongly recommends that you sign up for an electronic method of disbursement such as direct deposit. It is more secure and efficient. For instructions on how to sign up, review Guide to Financial Aid information in CUNYfirst (pdf). Financial aid payment information and dates will be e-mailed and also made available on your CUNYfirst account under the finance tab.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) provides part-time jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service and work related to the recipient’s course of study.

For any additional questions regarding a FWS award or how to get one, contact us at 718.951.5178 or 718.951.5816 or via e-mail.

Federal Direct Loans

Loans are a form of financial aid that you must pay back at interest rates that are typically lower than consumer rates, usually not until after your studies have been completed. The size of the loan you seek and commit to should be determined only after all available gift-aid or scholarships have been applied for. You should also determine whether the loan you choose has an interest-free grace period before repayment begins and if all or some of the loan may be deferred or repaid after graduation.

Most graduate students fund their education at Brooklyn College through a Federal Direct Loan.

You can apply for a Federal Direct Loan once you have:

  • completed a  FAFSA for the relevant aid year and received an e-mail confirmation,
  • resolved any and all financial aid related items on your CUNYfirst To Do list, if any, and
  • registered for at least six credits.

Loan Limits for Graduate Study

The amount you are eligible to borrow per academic year Maximum Unsubsidized Loan
Graduate/Professional Students $20, 500
*Lifetime Aggregate Borrowing Limit $138,500

The Lifetime Aggregate Borrowing Limit includes any borrowing from undergraduate study or prior graduate degrees.

Graduate PLUS Loans

PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional-degree students can use to help pay education expenses. In order to receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Graduate students are advised to apply for a PLUS Loan only if they need additional funds not provided by the maximum amount of the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. To receive a Graduate PLUS Loan, you must be a graduate or professional-degree student enrolled at least half-time (six credits) at an eligible school in a program leading to a degree.

With PLUS Loans:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  • The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  • The maximum Graduate PLUS Loan amount is the student’s Cost of Attendance (determined by the school in your “Full-Yr Financial Aid Summary,” which can be viewed on your CUNYfirst student account) minus any other financial aid/scholarships received. If you need any additional assistance, refer to the Graduate Student Loan Guide.

If your PLUS Loan is credit approved by the federal government, then the borrower of the complete a PLUS Promissory Note on The current Graduate PLUS Loan application is available on the Resources and Forms page.

  • Completed Graduate PLUS Loan applications can be submitted to the Financial Aid counter in the Enrollment Services Center, in the lobby of the West Quad Center, or via fax to 718.951.4778.

Federal TEACH Grant Program

The Federal TEACH Grant program is offered to matriculated graduate student and does not require repayment so long as the student completes the program. To be considered for this federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen admitted as at least a half-time student to an approved degree program and must maintain satisfactory academic progress to preserve your continuing aid eligibility. (Students not yet admitted into an approved degree program do not qualify.)

As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve, which you agree to (among other requirements) teach: in a high-need field; at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families; and for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant.

If you do not complete your service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed (paid to you or on your behalf).

Alternative Loans

Before applying for a private or alternative education loan, you may qualify for grants and/or other assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Loans under Title IV include the Federal Stafford and the Federal PLUS Loan. These Title IV loans may have terms and conditions that may be more favorable than the terms and conditions of private education loans. You should compare interest rates, fees, and repayment options such as deferment and forbearance. You should also consider that federal loans may qualify for loan forgiveness for certain professional commitments, and loan discharges due to total and permanent disability and death.

Apply with a credit worthy cosigner. Applying with a cosigner may provide you with an increased chance of approval and more competitive interest rate.

  • Borrow only what you need to meet your educational costs.
  • Do your research. Ask questions of your lender and find out which loan will benefit you the most.
  • Be aware of interest rates, fees, and repayment terms before completing the application and promissory note.
  • Monitor your total indebtedness being sure you will be able to repay with interest.
  • Cosigners are equally responsible for repayment of the loan and their credit is equally affected.

E-mail us should you have addition questions regarding loans and borrowing.

Your Responsibilities

  • Keep all your contact information (postal address, e-mail, and telephone) current by updating your CUNYfirst account as soon as any changes occur.
  • Check your Brooklyn College e-mail and your CUNYfirst account frequently for messages regarding your financial aid status and your student account.
  • Complete your applications accurately and provide correct information at all times. Reporting false information is a violation of the law and may be considered a criminal offense.
  • Be aware of and meet all deadlines for applying or reapplying for financial aid. You must complete your applications sufficiently in advance so that processing may be completed by the stated deadline.
  • Submit any additional information or documents required by the Financial Aid Office before the stated deadline.
  • Keep your parents informed of all financial aid requirements and deadlines if you are a dependent student.
  • Read and understand all forms you are asked to sign and keep a copy of each.
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office if the information reported on your financial aid application has changed.
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office if at any time during the year you receive any type of financial assistance that is not listed on your award notice.
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office if you are receiving financial aid for attendance at another institution while attending Brooklyn College.
  • Know and comply with all terms, conditions, and policies associated with the awards you receive.
  • Begin attendance in your classes to qualify for any financial aid payments. Financial aid is awarded with the expectation that you will attend school for the entire period for which your aid was intended.
  • Continue to make satisfactory academic progress in your program of study according to college and CUNY standards.

Your Rights

  • Know what financial aid programs are available, including information on all federal and state grants, loans, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • Know the application procedures and deadlines for each of the available financial aid programs.
  • Know how your financial aid eligibility is determined.
  • Know how financial aid is awarded and the basis for these decisions.
  • Know how and when financial aid is disbursed. Learn more.
  • Know how Brooklyn College determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress, and what happens if you are not. Learn more.
  • Ask a financial aid counselor to review your financial situation and, if warranted, re-determine your eligibility for assistance if something has changed in your family circumstances, such as loss of job or other drastic changes in your family’s financial situation. Learn more. Applicable forms: Income Adjustment, Dependency Override, Expense Adjustment Worksheet, and other general financial aid forms can be found on our Resources and Forms page.
  • Confidentiality of your personal information. All records and information submitted with your application for financial aid are confidential, and subject to legal requirements concerning disclosure of such information. Learn more.
  • Know about the college’s tuition refund policies if you have to withdraw from school after the semester begins. Learn more.
  • Know what effect withdrawals will have on your eligibility for financial aid payments. Learn more.
  • You have additional rights and responsibilities if you receive a Federal Direct Loan or Federal Work-Study.

Brooklyn. All in.