Students are notified in their award letter how to request their loan funds. The most frequently used loan for graduate students is the Graduate Direct Student Loan. First-time Direct Student Loan borrowers will be required to complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before their loans will disburse. You may complete your entrance counseling online at Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ID will be needed to complete the entrance counseling and MPN requirements.

Graduate Direct Student Loan

A student must submit a completed FAFSA to Samford in order to access funding through a Graduate Direct Loan whose amounts vary by program of study, with most students qualifying for up to $20,500 per year. Pharmacy students may receive an additional $12,500 per year (total of $33,000 annually). Pharmacy students taking required summer courses after the completion of their third year may receive an additional $4,167 during the summer term.

Eligibility for the Graduate Direct Loan is determined by the FAFSA and the number of hours in which the student is enrolled. A student must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for disbursement. Please consult with your Samford One Stop advisor to determine how many hours constitutes half-time status for your degree program.

When you receive a Graduate Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN), which is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. In most cases, one MPN may be used for all Graduate Direct Loans you receive over multiple years of study. You may complete entrance counseling and sign your MPN at You will need your FAFSA ID to access the site.

For additional information concerning the Federal Graduate Direct Loan Program, please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website or contact the One Stop.

Grad PLUS Loan

The Graduate PLUS Loan is available to any graduate student with acceptable credit who has submitted a FAFSA. These loans are typically used to close the gap between net costs after all other aid has been paid to a student’s account and what a student can pay out of pocket. The maximum amount available may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance and may be limited by the borrower’s credit rating.

For additional information concerning the Grad PLUS Loan, please visit the U.S. Department of Education's website on Grad PLUS Loans or contact your advisor in the One Stop.

Health Professions Loan

Students enrolled in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford may be eligible for a Federal Health Professions Loan. Please contact your advisor in the Samford One Stop for additional information and requirements.

Nurse Faculty Loan

Eligibility for the Nurse Faculty Loan (NFL) is determined by the One Stop and the Graduate School of Nursing. Only students enrolled in eligible programs may be offered the NFL. A FAFSA application is required to determine a student’s eligibility. Funds are limited and are awarded on a first come first serve basis. Priority is given to currently enrolled graduate nursing students. For information about how to begin the application process for the NFL, please contact the nursing school.

Private Education Loan

Another financing option available is the Private Education Loan (private loan). These are loans made by national, regional, and local lending institutions who exist to assist you in affording your college education. Many of these lenders are well known and you may already be utilizing one of them for your personal banking needs. The loan products offered by these lenders vary. Therefore, we encourage you to thoroughly explore all options related to private loans and compare them to federal loans.

Samford provides two options for loan comparison. One is provided by a company called Credible and the other is  provided by a company called ElmCredible acts like a Kayak of students loans. You will be able to compare interest rates for loans designed specifically for the borrower and then apply for the loan that best meets the needs of the borrower. Elm is a historical listing of loan providers who have served our students in recent history. Borrowers will have the opportunity to compare loan options for the lenders included in this historical listing. More additional information, please contact your Samford One Stop advisor.

Additional Information