Non-Degree Graduates Seeking Federal Financial Aid

Non-Degree Graduate Students Seeking Federal Financial Aid

Non-degree seeking graduate student may qualify for federal loan assistance if the student is taking prerequisite courses for admittance into a University of Arizona Graduate Degree program.

Who is Eligible for Aid?

Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.32 & 34 CFR 685.200) require, with some exemptions, that a student must be enrolled in an eligible academic program for the purpose of obtaining a degree or approved certificate program offered by a school. A student not enrolled in a degree or approved certificate program is not eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Non-Eligible Federal Aid Situations

You are not eligible for Federal Direct Loans if you are taking classes to raise your GPA in order to be admitted into a graduate program, waiting to be admitted into graduate school, or the school is waiting for your GRE test scores. If you will not be officially admitted into your graduate school program, you will not be eligible for Federal Direct Loans. If as a student, you are categorized as a guest or non-degree graduate and your program/situation is not defined within this document, you will not be considered for federal financial aid programs.

Preparatory Coursework

A student may apply for a Federal Direct Loan for coursework which the school has documented is necessary to enroll in an eligible program. The student must be enrolled at least half-time in these prerequisite courses. Students may be eligible for loans for one consecutive 12-month period. Students taking preparatory coursework trying to enroll in a graduate or professional program may borrow at the fifth-year undergraduate loan level.

Loan Amounts

Federal regulation 34 CFR 685.203(a)(6) limits the Federal Direct Loan amounts that students can borrow under the preparatory coursework program to undergraduate loan limits even if you are paying graduate school fees.

Prior federal loan borrowing may reduce what you can borrow within these programs since you are restricted to undergraduate lifetime borrowing limits.

Dependent Students Base Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans Additional Federal Eligibility
Approved Graduate Preparatory Petition must be on file with OSFA $5,500

Parent PLUS loan can be offered up to the remaining cost of attendance

For parents who are denied the PLUS loan due to adverse credit, students are eligible for up to an additional $7,000 unsubsidized loan funds.

Independent Students Base Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans Additional Federal Eligibility
Approved Graduate Preparatory Petition must be on file with OSFA $5,500 $7,000 unsubsidized loan 

If you believe you are eligible to receive Federal Direct Loans as a Graduate Non-Degree Seeking Student for the purpose of preparatory coursework, review the form below.

Financial Aid Petition For Graduate Preparatory Work

Additional Options

If you do not qualify for federal loans, you may attempt to secure a private educational loan. Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) accepts and works with all private education loan providers. Students are encouraged to explore their options and find a lender and loan which best meets their needs.