Student Loans

The Student Enrollment Center, located in Zimbar-Liljenstein Hall, welcomes the opportunity to provide information and to assist students. The Financial Aid Office is located within this center.

Please call 570-422-2800 or 1-800-378-6732 to schedule an appointment.

Prospective graduate students should contact the Student Enrollment Center to discuss regulations and processes required in order to determine eligibility for loans and university student employment programs.

The Student Enrollment Center administers the federal educational loan programs available to graduate students. Applicants must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA online at Recipients must be enrolled in at least six credits of graduate-level class work and must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Graduate students doing graduate-level course work may borrow up to a maximum of $20,500 in an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate-level course work should contact the Student Enrollment Center to determine eligibility. Total borrowing amounts for the loan term, however, cannot exceed the cost of education less other financial assistance.

After your completed application is received and processed, information from the FAFSA will be electronically transmitted to ESU. The Financial Aid Office will determine your financial aid eligibility. Once eligibility is determined, your financial aid awards will appear on your online portal. If a Direct Loan has been offered, you will need to take action in order for a loan to be originated. Online you may accept the full amount, partial amount or choose to decline the loan. If you are a first-time borrower, you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling. These can be completed online at

Teacher Certification Students

Students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program are eligible for Federal Direct Loans at the undergraduate level.

Students simultaneously enrolled in a master’s degree program and teacher certification should check with the Office of Student Financial Aid in the Student Enrollment Center regarding their eligibility for student loans.

Verification Requirements

Verification is the process of comparing the data provided on the FAFSA with other requested documentation such as a tax transcript. Much of the selection process is random. However, some students are selected because the information on the FAFSA is inconsistent.

If a file is selected for verification, the required information will be requested from the student by our School Servicing Center through Financial Aid Services (FAS). The students will be sent instructions and directed to the verification website at to begin the process. Our School Serving Center will assist the student with the verification process. However, at any time, the student may contact their financial aid counselor with questions/concerns. Once the student's verification is complete, the Office of Student Financial Aid will be notified.

All verification documents should be submitted before the due date of the semester bill to ensure that timely payments can be made to the student's account. Failure to supply this information may result in the cancellation of all financial aid and will result in an outstanding balance on the student's account.

Please note that Verification may also result in a revision to any aid awarded prior to the completion of the verification process.

Payment of Financial Aid

Financial aid awards are credited directly to the student’s university account each semester. Refunds from financial aid will not become available until the student’s university account is satisfied. Students should plan to arrive on campus with enough personal money to purchase books and pay any off-campus housing expenses.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

A student must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to continue to receive federal Title IV financial aid. Federal financial aid includes Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, and Graduate PLUS loans. 

Federal standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) include a qualitative (GPA) measurement, a quantitative measurement, percentage of credits earned (PACE) and a maximum time frame measurement. If one of the measures is not being met, the student is not making SAP.  All periods of enrollment are included whether or not the student received federal financial aid during that time.

SAP is measured at the end of each payment period, specifically the end of the fall semester, the end of the spring semester and the end of the summer semester.  Winter enrollment will be counted in your spring calculations.

Graduate Students

A student must meet all of the following requirements in order to be making satisfactory academic progress for Title IV aid.

Qualitative Standard (GPA):

  • Graduate students (full or part-time) are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • In addition to cumulative GPA requirements, graduate students in selected programs will not meet SAP requirements if they do not meet specific departmental standards related to “C” grades earned and/or clinical performance. At the end of each payment period (as identified above) the Graduate College will notify the Office of Student Financial Aid of any student in this circumstance.

Quantitative (Pace) Standard:

  • Graduate students must complete a minimum percentage of attempted credits (PACE). Students must maintain a minimum pace of 66.67%.
  • PACE is calculated by dividing the cumulative credit hours earned by the cumulative credit hours attempted. 

Maximum Time Frame:

  • Graduate students must complete their degree requirements in five calendar years from the date of matriculation. Students will not be eligible to placed on a financial aid warning/probation status if they have reached their maximum time frame.
  • Appeals to the maximum time frame may be requested if a graduate student should matriculate into a different graduate program, they will begin a new five year academic year time frame only if the new program resides in a different college (i.e., student moves from a graduate program within the East Stroudsburg University College of Education into a graduate program within the East Stroudsburg University College of Health Sciences).

Program Completion:

Once the student completes all the academic requirements for their program, the student is considered to have completed the degree program and is no longer eligible for further federal aid for that program.

Students who fail to meet either the cumulative GPA or PACE satisfactory academic progress requirements will be placed on financial aid warning. Financial aid warning lasts for one payment period (semester) only, during which the student may continue to receive federal financial aid. Students who fail to meet the GPA and PACE satisfactory progress after the warning period will lose their aid eligibility unless they successfully appeal and are placed on financial aid probation, with an academic plan. (See details below). Students who have reached the maximum time frame are no longer eligible for federal aid; they are not eligible for financial aid warning or financial aid probation.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Categories

Financial Aid Warning:

  • As stated earlier, a student failing to meet SAP standards, at the time of review, will be placed on financial aid warning for one payment period. The student will be eligible for federal aid during the financial aid warning period.
  • A student not meeting SAP standards at the end of the financial aid warning term will not be eligible for federal aid unless they are now meeting SAP standards or if their financial aid appeal has been approved.

Financial Aid Appeal Process/ Financial Aid Probation:

  • If, at the end of the financial aid warning term, a student is still not meeting SAP requirements, the student may submit an appeal based on extenuating circumstances only. Examples of extenuating circumstances are personal illness or injury, a death of a close relative, or other special circumstances. The appeal can be completed on the myESU portal and it must outline the reasons that satisfactory academic  progress was not met, what has changed that will allow the minimum standards to be met at the next evaluation and how the student plans to improve their academic progress (i.e. academic plan).
  • If the appeal is approved by the financial aid office, the student will be placed on academic probation, with an academic plan, and will be eligible for federal financial aid during a financial aid probationary period. The student’s progress will be monitored at the end of one payment period to determine the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan. If the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan, the student will be eligible to receive federal aid as long as the student continues to meet the requirements and is reviewed according to the requirements specified in the plan.
  • If the appeal is denied, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid until s/he is meeting satisfactory academic progress standards.

Students will be notified, in writing, by the East Stroudsburg University Office of Student Financial Aid if they have been placed on financial aid warning or financial aid probation.

Academic Forgiveness
Graduate students do not qualify for Academic Forgiveness at this time.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits accepted toward the student’s current program are counted as both attempted and completed credit hours. Grades earned in transfer credits are not included in cumulative GPA.

Simultaneous Enrollment in Undergraduate and Graduate Classes

ESU and the federal government use different rules and regulations to classify students as undergraduate or graduate.

If a graduate student enrolled in a graduate degree program takes six credit hours of undergraduate course work and only three credit hours of graduate course work, the student is considered an undergraduate student and is only eligible for the maximum amount of federal aid for undergraduate students.

There is a significant difference in the amount of federal loan aid available to an undergraduate student and a graduate student. Students who are classified as graduate students in fall and undergraduate students in spring may find that they are only eligible for a small fraction of the federal loan that they would be eligible for in spring if they were classified as graduate students.