Graduate Student Funding and Support

Federal Student Aid

Federal loans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

All graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents can apply for federal funding, most commonly in the form of Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Federal Graduate PLUS loans.

Any graduate student enrolled at least half time in a Brown graduate program is eligible to apply for loan borrowing to help manage education related tuition or living costs that exceed funding/resources.

Graduate student loan eligibility and processing is administered by Brown University’s Office of Financial Aid (OFA) with the Loan Office. After your initial eligibility is determined and you have completed the initial application process, the Loan Office would assist you with any additional loan requirements. 

Completing the FAFSA

To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will complete the FAFSA for each academic year you will be enrolled at Brown.

To be sure the Office of Financial Aid receives your FAFSA for federal aid consideration:

  • Review the recommended loan filing dates based on the initial billing date of your program.
  • Complete the most recent FAFSA that matches your academic aid year enrollment 
  • List Brown University’s graduate Federal School Code of E00058. (Do not include the undergraduate Federal School Code of 003401.)

The federal government requires that each institution's financial aid office verify the information, from a selection of students receiving need-based federal aid, reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). While the majority of federal funding for graduate students is not need-based, our office may still be required to complete this secondary review. Our staff will notify you via email of any additional requirements if needed.

Federal Direct Graduate Unsubsidized Loan

  • Most US Citizens/eligible non-citizens eligible to borrow up to $20,500, or $37,167/yr (for some public health programs/curriculums)
  • 6.54% latest fixed interest rate
  • The Brown Loan Office’s Federal Student Loan page offers guidance about borrowing decisions, loan requirements, and the loan process
  • Once offered to you by Brown, instructions on the remaining application process are provided.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan


Graduate school applicants typically receive information on their eligibility for financial aid from their program within their admission acceptance notification. Some departments may send a separate notification regarding your specific financial aid, but there is not a standard award letter.

If you have already been admitted to Brown and chosen to enroll, any initial federal loan eligibility will be automatically posted to your account once a FAFSA has been submitted. Students are notified via their Brown email account that their federal loan is ready to be reviewed. All graduate students who have matriculated and completed a FAFSA receive notification in late April. Any students who enroll or complete the FAFSA after that time should expect notification within three to five business days.

Recommended Filing Dates for Loans

Some graduate programs have their own Department Financial Aid Application and/or deadlines. Check your Department or Program website to be sure of any exact filing dates.

If you wish to appeal your departmental funding or have special financial circumstances, we suggest contacting your program directly.