May 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


Private Student Loans

Students wishing to review their options for private loans are encouraged to go to: Please note that Wilkes-University does not have a preferred lender and private loan options are processed through ElmSelect for all students.

Federal Student Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. (Some people refer to these loans as Stafford Loans or Direct Stafford Loans.) *Please note that Graduate student are not eligible for Subsidized Student loans.*

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Direct Plus Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school.

PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible parents and graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a parent PLUS loan when made to a parent, and as a GRAD PLUS loan when made to a graduate or professional student.

  • The U.S. Department of Education is your lender.
  • You must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be conducted. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if you meet additional requirements.
  • The maximum PLUS loan amount you can receive is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

Important Terms

Wilkes-University Enrollment Status Policy:

In determining enrollment status, Wilkes-University includes all credit courses offered through resident instruction and distance education. Credits earned by credit-by-exam or credit-by-portfolio, and courses enrolled as “audit” are excluded from the calculation. The reported enrollment status for the three enrollment periods (fall, spring and summer) is determined as follows:


Most undergraduate programs at Wilkes-University require full time enrollment (12 or more credits per semester). Note that most academic programs require between 14-18 credits each semester based on the progression of the curriculum. Financial assistance from University sources requires full time enrollment. All institutional grants and scholarships are subject to this policy.
With the exception of the federal Pell Grant, all other sources of state and federal grants and loans require a minimum of half time enrollment (6 credits per semester)

Graduate (Masters, DNP, EDD)

Graduate students must maintain at least half time status to receive Federal Direct Stafford or Graduate PLUS Loans. Half time status for graduate programs is typically defined as 6 credits each semester based on the progression of the curriculum. Graduate students enrolled in fewer than 6 credits who are working on a thesis or dissertation may be eligible for federal loans if one of the following special circumstances apply:

  1. After completing all required coursework, a master’s level student may be considered half-time while enrolled in a 3 credit hour thesis course. This half- time status may be maintained for two semesters.
  2. After entering candidacy status, a doctoral student may be considered full-time while enrolled in a 3 credit hour dissertation course. A doctoral candidate may maintain full-time status in this fashion until completion of the number of dissertation credit hours specified by their program and designated on the plan of study.

Graduate (PhD)

PhD students must maintain at least half time status to receive Federal Direct Stafford or Graduate PLUS Loans. Half time status for PhD students is defined as 3 credits each semester based on the progression of the curriculum.

Enrollment Chart:


Enrolled Credits Enrollment Status
12+ Full-Time
9-11 Three Quarter Time
6-8 Half-Time
Less than 6 Less than Half-Time

Graduate (Masters, DNP, EDD)

Enrolled Credits Enrollment Status
9+ Full-Time
6 Half-Time
Less than 6 Less than Half-Time (Refer to “Special Circumstances” for Exceptions)

Graduate (PhD)

Enrolled Credits Enrollment Status
6+ Full-Time
3 Half-Time
Less than 3 Less than Half-Time

Institutional and Financial Assistance Information

Wilkes University subscribes to the belief that the primary responsibility for financing the cost of higher education rests with the student and his or her family, but Wilkes remains committed to providing resources to make the cost of earning a degree affordable. Toward that end, the University is committed to assisting students through options in regard to federal and private funding sources.

Financial assistance for qualified students is awarded in the form of financial aid packages, which consist of funding sources, such as loans, scholarships and grants. All students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance.

Students with questions about financial aid or students seeking applications for financial aid should contact the Financial Services Office or Admissions Office representative at the nearest Wilkes office. More detailed information regarding the financial aid programs and requirements is included in the Consumer’s Guide to Financial Aid, Costs, and Charges at Wilkes University, which is also available at the Financial Aid Office and on the Wilkes University Web Site.

Financial Aid Application Procedures

NOTE: Students must be regularly be accepted in a degree seeking program for admission at the University before their application for financial aid will be considered.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at:
  2. Students who wish to participate in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan or the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Program or both must also complete the appropriate Master Promissory Notes and Loan Entrance Counseling at:
  3. Students wishing to use a private loan should apply through

Renewal of Financial Aid

Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis. The renewal of financial aid is not automatic and failure to submit renewal applications may result in the loss of financial aid. Students must, therefore, reapply for financial assistance each year, and renewal of awards is based on the timely completion of all required documents and on the student’s continued eligibility for assistance.

The deadline for requests for renewal of financial aid is May 1. In addition to demonstrating continued financial need, students must also meet specific academic progress requirements to qualify for renewal. These requirements are explained in detail and can be found on the Wilkes-University website under Consumer Information, Student Financial Assistance, Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Withdrawal - Return of Financial Aid Funds

In accordance with federal regulations, those students who receive federal financial aid and who withdraw from the University during the first 60% of a semester will have their federal financial aid ( Stafford Loan and Grad PLUS Loans) adjusted based on the percentage of the semester completed prior to the withdrawal. That is, students will be entitled to retain the same percentage of the federal financial aid received as the percentage of the semester completed. This percentage is calculated by dividing the number of days in the semester (excluding breaks of five days or longer) into the number of days completed prior to the withdrawal (excluding breaks of five days or longer). The date of withdrawal will be the date the student begins the withdrawal process at the Registrar’s Office unless attendance in class is documented after that date; in that case, the last date of documented attendance will be the official date of withdrawal. (See section on Withdrawals in this Bulletin.)

Students who do not follow the official withdrawal procedure but who stop attending classes for all of their courses will be considered to have withdrawn at the 50% point of the semester unless attendance is documented after that time. There will be no adjustment to federal financial aid after the completion of at least 60% of the semester.

Once the amount of the federal fund to be returned has been calculated, the funds will be returned in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  2. Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans.

Please note that students who receive a refund of financial aid prior to withdrawing from the University may owe a repayment of federal financial aid funds received. Students will be contacted by a Wilkes University representative in such situations and will begiven 30 days to repay the funds to the University. Students who fail to return the unearned portion of federal financial aid funds given to them will become ineligible for continued receipt of financial aid until such time as the repayment is made.