Tuition & Financial Aid FAQ

Tuition and Billing

What is the cost of attendance?

The Communications@Syracuse program per credit tuition cost from July 2018 – June 2019 is $1,964 per credit making the total cost of the program approximately $64,812.  Please note that this amount does not include the cost of expenses such as travel to immersions, textbooks, computers, etc.  In addition, tuition rates are subject to reassessment and may change each academic year (July – June).

How does billing work?

For information regarding billing, including payment options, please visit the Syracuse University Bursar's website.

Are payment plans available?

Yes, payment plans are available and reviewed upon request.

What if my employer is sponsoring my degree?

Syracuse University does have an Employer Tuition Reimbursement Plan available for eligible students.  To learn more about how to request this plan, speak with your Admissions Counselor or email the Bursar’s office at bursarsuonline@syr.edu.

Syracuse University Financial Aid

How do I apply for Financial Aid at Syracuse University?

If you intend to apply for financial aid, you should begin the process as soon as possible.

First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Syracuse's school code is 002882.

Second, complete your application for admission to the program. We encourage you to apply for financial aid at the same time you complete your program application.  Once you have submitted your application, you can view your Financial Aid To Do List on Syracuse University’s student portal, MySlice. 

Your Financial Aid To Do List will include a link to complete your Syracuse University Online Federal Direct Loan application which must be done in addition to your FAFSA.

If you are interested in applying for a Federal DirectPLUS loan, we recommend you wait to apply until you have been admitted into your program of study and have received your award letter for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

More information on how to apply for financial aid can be found on the Financial Aid Checklist.

Are there any supplemental financial aid forms I need to complete?

Yes, you must complete, the Syracuse University Online Graduate Financial Aid Application, which is available on MySlice, the Syracuse University student portal.

What are the minimum number of credits required to receive federal student aid?

To be eligible for federal student aid, you must be enrolled half-time in an eligible program which equals a minimum of six (6) credits for each term you are requesting aid.

Is the deposit required to be paid before a student can receive their award package?

No, students do not need to deposit in order to be packaged for financial aid.

Can I use loans to cover any additional expenses (housing, books, etc.)?

If you meet the eligibility requirements to receive federal student aid and have eligibility for additional resources, you are able to use them to cover additional education expenses such as costs related to immersions, housing and books.  Please see the eligibility requirements under Direct Unsubsidized Loans and the Direct PLUS Loans.

Which FAFSA should I complete for each term?

FAFSA applications are set up based on school years.  For Syracuse University, the start and end date of the school year goes from the October term through the July term.  For example, you should complete the 2018-2019 application for the following terms:  October 2018, January 2019, April 2019, and July 2019.  Don’t forget – you also must complete a Syracuse University Online Graduate Financial Aid Application for each school year as well.

Once I am an active student, is it easy to request my enrollment verification for federal loan deferments and/or private lenders?

Yes, students are able to request their enrollment verification directly through Syracuse University Student Portal, MySlice.  Instructions on completing the request can be found on the Syracuse University Registrar’s website.

Federal Student Aid Overview

What federal student aid is available to graduate students?

Graduate students can apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Learn more about types of federal student aid here.

Why am I not eligible for the Pell Grant or Direct Subsidized Loans?

The Department of Education only awards the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized Loan to students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate level.

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the Department of Education’s application for determining a student’s eligibility for federal student aid.

Where can I find the FAFSA?

You can complete the FAFSA online on the FAFSA website. The FAFSA is a free application. If you are asked to pay a fee to complete the application, you are on the wrong website.

Do I need my parents’ tax information to complete the FAFSA if I live on my own?

If you are applying to graduate school, you do not need your parents’ financial information to complete the FAFSA.

When should I complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available each October for the upcoming school year.  For example, the FAFSA for the 2018-2019 academic year is available as of October 2017.  If you are planning to use federal student aid, you should complete your FAFSA while applying for admission.

When does a school year begin and end?

For Syracuse University, the start and end date of the school year goes from the October term through the July term.  For example, you should complete the 2018-2019 application for the following terms:  October 2018, January 2019, April 2019, and July 2019.

Will I need to fill out the FAFSA each year?

Yes, the FAFSA needs to be completed for each academic year. Federal student aid eligibility does not carry over from one academic year to the next.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

How do I apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

To apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Your university will use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive.

What is the difference between an unsubsidized loan and a subsidized loan?

Direct Subsidized Loans are only available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time and during the six-month grace period. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Learn more about the difference between unsubsidized and subsidized loans here.

What is the aggregate loan limit?

Your aggregate loan amount is the total you can borrow across the course of your education. The aggregate amount for graduate and professional students is $138,500, which includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study. Learn more about aggregate loan amounts here.

How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit?

You can go to NSLDS.ed.gov to view your federal student loan borrowing history.

What is the current Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate?

The interest rate for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan is determined at the beginning of each academic year and is available on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website.

Do I have to pay my loans while I’m in school?

You are not required to pay on your student loans while you are in school and enrolled at least half-time. Your unsubsidized loan will go into repayment six (6) months after you graduate, take a leave of absence, or fall below half-time status. 

What criteria is used to determine eligibility?

In order to apply for federal student aid, you must:

  • Be U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid SSN
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you're a male (must register between 18-25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in eligible degree program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program in the term which aid will be applied; half-time equals a minimum of 6 credits
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through FSA
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit

* Direct Unsubsidized loans are not based on income.

You can learn more about student eligibility criteria here.

Are there any additional loan fees?

Yes, there is a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.

You can learn more about federal student aid fees here.

What if I am in default or have defaulted on a prior federal student loan?

Review your loan history in NSLDS.ed.gov and contact your lender for details on how to clear the default.  Students in default are not eligible for additional federal loans until the default is cleared.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

What is a Direct PLUS (Graduate PLUS) Loan?

Direct PLUS Loans, also known as Graduate PLUS Loans, are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay for education expenses. Learn more about Direct PLUS Loans here.

Who is eligible to apply for the Direct PLUS Loan?

In order to be eligible for federal student aid, and apply for the Direct PLUS loan, you must:

  • Be U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid SSN
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you're a male (must register between 18-25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in eligible degree program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program in the term which aid will be applied; half-time equals a minimum of 6 credits
  • Maintain satisfactory academic program in college or career school
  • Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through FSA
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit
  • Not have an adverse credit history

* Direct PLUS loans are credit-based and requires a credit check.

* Direct PLUS loans are not based on income.

How do I apply for a Direct PLUS Loan?

In order to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed the FAFSA, you can apply for the Direct PLUS Loan by completing the application at on the student loans website.

When do I apply for the Direct PLUS Loan?

Students can apply for the Direct PLUS loan up to 180 days prior to the start of their program or at any time they are enrolled. 

While you can apply for the Direct PLUS loan within six months of the start of your program, Syracuse University recommends you wait to apply until you have been admitted and have received your award letter for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

What is the credit criteria for the Direct PLUS loan?

One of the eligibility requirements to receive a Direct PLUS Loan is that you must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed to determine whether a Direct PLUS Loan applicant meets this requirement.  A list of what constitutes "adverse credit history" can be found on the student aid website.

What are my options if I'm denied the Direct PLUS loan?

If you are denied the Direct PLUS loan, you may reapply with an endorser or follow instructions on the Department of Education's website to appeal the denial.  Please contact Syracuse University Financial Aid office for more information on how to complete this process.

What is the Direct PLUS loan current interest rate?

The interest rate for the Direct PLUS loans is determined at the beginning of each academic year and is available on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website.

Does the Direct PLUS Loan affect my aggregate loan limit?

No. Only Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are used to calculate your aggregate loan amount.

When do I have to repay my Direct PLUS loan?

You are not required to pay on your student loans while you are in school and enrolled at least half-time. Your Direct PLUS loan will go into repayment six (6) months after you graduate, take a leave of absence, or fall below half-time status. 

How much can I borrow with the Direct PLUS Loan?

If approved for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you can borrow up to the cost of attendance (COA) budget minus any other aid being received as determined by the Syracuse University Financial Aid Office.

Loan Repayment

When do I have to pay back my loan?

After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you will be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly. Learn more about repayment timelines here.

Can I consolidate my graduate loans and my undergraduate loans?

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan including both graduate and undergraduate loans. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation here.

What are the repayment plan options and how do I select one?

Lenders offer a range of repayment options.  Your lender will contact you during your six-month grace period to select a repayment option. You should select your repayment option before your first payment is due.

Is there a repayment calculator or estimator that I can use?

Yes, there is a repayment calculator housed on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website.

Are there any loan forgiveness options available?

Please review the following Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website for more information.

Military Benefits

Am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits?

You may be eligible if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.  Learn more about education benefit eligibility here.

How do I apply for military benefits?

To begin the process of applying for eligible military education benefits, students should visit the Veterans Affairs website and complete the Education Benefits Application Process on the Veterans Affairs website. For instructions on how to apply for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, students can download our Post 9/11 G.I. Bill one-sheeter.

What is the national maximum per academic year for private schools?

The VA Benefits website provides the most up to date information on the national maximum per academic year.

Do I need to do anything besides complete the Education Benefits Application?

You will need to present Syracuse University with an updated Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks of successfully completing your Education Benefits Application.  You will also need to complete the Syracuse University Request for Benefit Certification (RFC) which will be available in the Syracuse University Student Portal, MySlice.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?

The Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) is a matching program between the university/college and or Veterans Affairs. Members must be non-active duty and be 100 percent eligible to receive this benefit per their COE.  YRP is awarded on a first-come/first-served basis. Learn more about YRP here.

What is the current Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)?

The VA Benefits website provides the most up to date information on the current MHA.

Who can I contact at Syracuse University for assistance regarding military benefits?

For more information or assistance, please contact the Syracuse University’s Veterans’ Resource Center.