An Affordable Way to Reach Further
Elmhurst University recommends that prospective students plan early for financing their graduate education, as there is limited scholarship and grant aid available based on prior academic achievement and financial need.
Graduate students may also apply for federal student loans to cover the cost of their graduate study. Additionally, because many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs, students should also consult their human resources department regarding their company’s tuition benefits.
To apply for student loans, graduate students applying for admission should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Graduate Studies Scholarships
The Elmhurst Graduate Award is a need-based award. Eligibility is determined by the Office of Student Financial Services based on the information received from the student’s FAFSA. These awards are limited and granted to students demonstrating high financial need.
Submit a completed graduate application to a degree-seeking program for the Fall Term by May 1 to be eligible for this $500 yearly scholarship. International students do not qualify.
Please check with your admission counselor for eligibility, as not all programs apply.
A limited number of merit-based scholarships are offered to academically outstanding applicants pursuing their master’s degree at Elmhurst. To be eligible, completed applications should be submitted by May 1.
Applications completed after May 1 will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note the following programs are not eligible for graduate scholarships but have related graduate fellowships: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice, and the Master of Occupational Therapy.
The annual graduate student scholarship competition rewards graduate students who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their everyday lives.
- A completed graduate application to a degree-seeking program for the Fall 2024 semester
- Video submission demonstrating your leadership skills, your commitment to service and what earning this scholarship means to you
Visit the Graduate Student Scholarship Competition website for more information.
Graduate students who did not attend Elmhurst for their undergraduate degree but who have a directly related family member (father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother) who is an alum of the University are eligible to apply.
Doctor of Nursing Practice students admitted for the 2024 Fall Term will be eligible to receive the Nursing DNP Leadership Scholarship. This $3,500 scholarship will be awarded for the first year and is renewable through your second year in the program.
Visit our DNP program page for more details.
Graduate Studies Fellowships
The Excellence in Multilingual Personnel in Illinois Schools (EXCEMPILS) training project is designed to address state needs for highly qualified bilingual/multilingual special educators, speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists with specialized academic, clinical, research and leadership training. The EXCEMPILS training project is funded through a grant awarded to Elmhurst University from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education.
For more information, including how to apply, click HERE.
Available for graduate students who have been admitted to the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program who have completed all prerequisite SLP requirements, including ASHA sciences, and who are involved with NSSLHA or show leadership potential.
This scholarship is offered to one graduate student enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Marketing and Consumer Insights and one graduate student enrolled in the Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing and Consumer Insights. Students must also submit an essay. Completed applications must be received by July 1 to be considered.
Available for graduate students who have been admitted to the Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice program and have fulfilled all prerequisite requirements. The student must demonstrate a sustained record of outstanding academic achievement, demonstrate leadership skills and community service.
Available for graduate students who have been admitted to the Master of Occupational Therapy program and have fulfilled all prerequisite requirements. The student must demonstrate a sustained record of outstanding academic achievement, demonstrate leadership skills and community service.
Available for graduate students in the Teacher Leadership program who have completed 30 hours of graduate work at Elmhurst University, and graduates of Elmhurst’s Early Childhood Special Education program who plan to earn the ESL endorsement on their professional educator license at Elmhurst University.
Note: One graduate course to be used within two years.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Non-degree-seeking students may not be eligible for aid or Elmhurst University scholarships.
- Scholarship decisions are made at the time of admission and may be based on application information. Some scholarships may require an essay or additional supporting materials.
- To renew a scholarship, GPA requirements represent a cumulative Elmhurst University GPA.
- Graduate students may receive aid and scholarships during the fall and spring terms only. If your program begins in the Summer Term, limited aid may be available.
- Elmhurst University reserves the right to modify scholarship amounts, terms and stipulations, prior to awarding, without advance notice.
Applying for Financial Aid
To apply for a federal student loan, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- It is recommended that the FAFSA be completed within two weeks of submitting an application for admission.
- The FAFSA can be filed after December 1 this year.
- The Elmhurst University code (001676) must be entered on the FAFSA.
- Students interested in loans may be required to complete additional steps.
The Office of Student Financial Services sends award notices to students after they are admitted to a degree program and have filed the FAFSA.
- Award notices are sent to new students beginning in January.
- After March 1, returning graduate students will receive an email notifying them that their award notice is available online at myElmhurst Portal.
- The awarding process continues through the summer, as the University admits applicants and determines their aid eligibility.
- In general, graduate students are awarded Federal Direct Loans, with a very limited number of institutional grants and scholarships.
Applying for a Loan
To apply for Federal Direct Loans, you must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid). You can review and accept your loan(s) on Self Service in the myElmhurst Portal. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Federal Direct Loans.
There are two types of Federal Direct Loans available to graduate students—unsubsidized and PLUS.
A student must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for federal student loans.
- Direct unsubsidized loans are not based on need. Principal payments are deferred until six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment, but interest accrues while the borrower is in college. Direct unsubsidized loans have a fixed interest rate and are subject to change each year. Visit studentaid.gov/interestrates for more information.
- There are limits on the amount of direct unsubsidized loans that students may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and total amounts for graduate study (aggregate loan limits). Federal direct unsubsidized loans have annual limits of $20,500 for graduate students.
- If a student has not previously borrowed a Direct Loan, they must complete a Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling, and Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment at studentaid.gov. Direct Loan Master Promissory Notes are valid for ten years form the initial date of acceptance.
- Direct PLUS loans are available to graduate students whose cost of attendance exceeds their annual unsubsidized loan limit. Direct PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate and are subject to change each year. Visit studentaid.gov/interestrates for more information.
- Graduate students enrolled in select programs may also apply for a Direct PLUS loan at studentaid.gov. Students must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note as well as Entrance Counseling and Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment at studentaid.gov.
- Direct unsubsidized and PLUS loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. Fee amounts are subject to change each year. Visit studentaid.gov/interestrates for more information.
- When the student graduates or drops below half time, student loan exit counseling must be completed at studentaid.gov.
- Learn more about Direct Loans
- See your federal student loan repayment options with Loan Simulator
Alternative, or private, loans are offered by private lenders to assist with educational and living expenses not covered by other financial aid.
It is important that you carefully review your expenses before deciding if you need to borrow. Be sure to consider first that you may qualify for loans or other assistance under federal programs.
Alternative loans are generally more expensive than the federal student loans and therefore should not be considered until after you have exhausted all federal loan options. Most of these alternative loans must be certified by the Office of Student Financial Services.
All of these loans must be considered part of your financial aid package.
Alternative loans are credit based, often require co-signers, and cannot be consolidated with your federal student loans. The terms and conditions of federal loans may be more favorable that the provisions of alternative loans.
If you are choosing an alternative loan, you should compare the terms offered by different programs in order to choose the best fit for your situation. You can learn about and compare loan terms from multiple lenders using the ELMSelect Tool, which provides information for the loan programs most frequently used by Elmhurst University students.
Please note that you are not limited to lenders listed in the ELMSelect tool; you can borrow from any lender of your choosing. When deciding on an alternative loan, please consider the following: interest rates, fees, repayment options, monthly payments, and deferments.
For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at (630) 617-3015.
Tuition Payment Plan
The University offers a number of payment plans for its students. For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at (630) 617-3015.
Employer-Supported Tuition Programs
Some employers reimburse employees for tuition costs at the end of the term. To participate in a tuition reimbursement plan, students must submit an approval letter from their employer to the Office of Student Financial Services for each term of registration.
Students on a tuition reimbursement plan are given six weeks after final grades are posted to make payment to Elmhurst University.
Note: A fee per term may be assessed to participate in the reimbursement program.
When your employer or other agency authorizes a billing under its tuition benefit plan and will pay tuition directly to Elmhurst University, service charges relating to the payment will be waived or removed provided the payment is received within six weeks after the end of the term.
Under such plans, payment of the charges cannot be dependent upon grades or course completion.
Graduate Terms and Conditions
Changes in a Student’s Status
A student must be enrolled at least half time to borrow Federal Direct Loans. If a student withdraws from one or more courses, financial aid is adjusted according to institutional and federal guidelines.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Failure to make satisfactory academic progress in courses can result in a loss of eligibility for financial aid.
- View the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress policy