Financial Aid

Graduate Applicants

Congratulations on investing in your graduate education at Western Connecticut State University.

Completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your first step in financing your education. When filing the FAFSA, you are considered a graduate or professional student if you are enrolled in any post-secondary schooling beyond a bachelor’s degree.

As an independent student, you are not required to have parental financial information on the FAFSA. Instead, you will provide only your own and your spouse’s information, if you are married.


Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of educational expenses for planning purposes. It includes direct educational costs and an estimate of indirect costs for the academic year (fall/spring). These figures do not represent the actual fee bill; they are estimates of what it could cost a student to attend WCSU.



2024-2025 Graduate Cost of Attendance (estimate for full-time graduate students)

 Expense Tri-State Rate (CT, NY, NJ) National Rate (All other US states & territories) International Rate
Commuter Residential Commuter Residential Commuter Residential
Tuition & Fees $15,039 $15,039 $19,397 $19,397 $19,397 $19,397
Housing & Food $3,214 $15,659 $3,214 $15,659 $3,214 $15,659
Books & Supplies $1,200 $1,200 $1,200 $1,200 $1,200 $1,200
Transportation $655 $327 $655 $327 $655 $327
Loan Fees $217 $217 $217 $217 $217 $217
Personal Expenses $2,083 $1,041 $2,083 $1,041 $2,083 $1,041
TOTAL COA $22,407 $33,484 $26,765 $37,842 $26,765 $37,842


In accordance with federal guidelines, we use the following components to develop an estimated COA.

Tuition & Fees: Tuition and fees are established by the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education. WCSU rates and fees schedules (part-time and full-time) can be found on the Cashier’s Office website.

Housing & Food: For residential students, this figure is the cost for a double-occupancy room on the Midtown Campus and designated meal plan. To view specific housing costs, visit the Housing website.

For commuter students, the cost of housing is based on the living expense costs by region and metropolitan area over a nine-month period from the most recent years’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Books & Supplies: This is an estimate of the cost of books and supplies for a typical student for the entire academic year. You will not be billed directly by WCSU for books or supplies.

Transportation: This is an estimate of the cost of traveling to and from campus or the cost of operating and maintaining a vehicle.

Personal Expenses: This is an estimate for costs for items such as clothing, entertainment, and personal items. Amount spent on these items will vary from student to student and are not billed to the student.


Several COA budgets are constructed to represent differences in student residency and enrollment status (i.e., less than half-time, half-time, 3/4-time, full-time) for the academic year. The summer term is optional and has a separate COA.

Western Connecticut State University establishes cost of attendance and awarding policies in accordance with federal regulations governing federal student aid programs and from the most recent years’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (source: College Board).


Types of Aid

There are two types of federal loans offered to graduate students which are not based on financial need.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan for graduate students are limited to a maximum of $20,500 per academic year, assuming full-time status. They carry a fixed interest rate, which is updated each year in July, and there is an origination fee upon disbursement of the loan.
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an additional financing option for graduate students. Graduate students can borrow up to their cost of attendance, minus any other aid they may have received. These loans carry a fixed interest rate and there is an origination fee upon disbursement of the loan.

Private Educational Loans are also available to graduate students; options can be reviewed at The Office of Financial Aid & Student Employment recommends students borrow through the federal loan programs first, before considering a private educational loan.


Application & Eligibility

The FAFSA and Graduate PLUS Loan application can be found at You will need an FSA ID to complete the applications.

  • You must be accepted to the university as graduate or professional student
  • You must be matriculated in a degree-seeking program
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)
  • You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)


Summer Admission

Students electing to initiate their graduate program during a summer term and would like to be considered for financial aid must do the following:

  • Contact Dr. Christopher Shanklecreate new email, Director of Graduate Studies, to request a summer entry term
  • Complete a previous academic year FAFSA (e.g., Summer 2024 start, complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA)
  • Complete subsequent academic year FAFSA (e.g., Summer 2024 start, also complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA)
  • Complete summer financial aid application by June 1 (available after April 1 on the financial aid website)


Updated: 04/22/2024