How Do I Pay for Graduate School?

Financial Aid Process • Payment Plans

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Payment Options

We know that paying for your graduate degree is an important factor when choosing a school. Contact the Graduate Information Office to talk more about the key factors to consider – or, read on to learn about the different ways you can finance your graduate degree.

Financial Aid Process

Applying for Financial Aid

Complete all steps below to apply for financial aid. Note: There are financial aid options that are not based on need. Most students in the off-campus programs use financial aid to pay for the program. We recommend that you complete these steps as soon as possible to make sure that your payment arrangements are in order by the first night of class. For help, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (865) 471-3247.


Students should submit the 2020-2021 form. You will need your 2018 Federal Tax Return, your FSA ID ( and Carson-Newman University’s School Code (003481). Graduate students are considered independent for financial aid purposes.


Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy

You will receive this form 7-10 days after the FAFSA is submitted. If there are any errors on your SAR, log back into your FAFSA to make corrections.


You will receive your financial aid award letter from Carson-Newman once you have been academically accepted

This lists the financial aid that you qualify for. If you wish to decline all or a portion of the award, notify the Financial Aid Office in writing. Be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions about your award.


Complete Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note

Entrance Counseling is only required for first time Federal Direct Loan borrowers; all borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note. Both can be completed at (you will need your FSA ID from Step 1).

Federal Loan Requirements

To be eligible to borrow funds under the Federal Direct Loan Program, you must:

  1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  2. Be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident

  3. Not be in default on prior educational loans

  4. Maintain satisfactory academic progress

Questions? Call the Financial Aid Office at 865-471-3247.

Carson-Newman offers a Pay-As-You-Go payment plan administered by Official Payments. The payment plan allows you to make monthly payments, interest free, in order to spread your tuition payments over a period of several months.

  1. Visit the Official Payments website
    Visit the Official Payments website at
    to enroll in a payment plan. Click “Enroll in a Plan.”

  2. Select a Payment Plan
    To enroll, select “Tennessee” as your state, “Carson-Newman” as your Plan Entity, and “Graduate” as your Plan Group. Each semester your tuition will be broken into 4 equal payments, or 12 payments per year. There is an application fee of $25 each semester. You have the option to enroll in a payment plan for 1 semester of coursework, 2 semesters of coursework, or 3 semesters for a full academic year.

  3. Create an Account and Schedule Payments
    Enter your personal information and create an account. You have the option of scheduling your payments to be automatically debited on the same date each month, or making an electronic payment each month as you go along.

  4. Accept Terms
    Review your personal information and accept the terms of your selected payment plan. When your online form is submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail confirming that your request has been sent to the Office of Student Accounts.

  5. Complete Enrollment
    To complete your enrollment in the payment plan, you will make or schedule your first payment. Tuition payments will be debited from a checking or savings account or credit/debit card. If using a credit/debit card, a 2.7% fee will be added to each payment. Payments are due on the 10th of each month.

If you and your school qualify, this program may provide loan forgiveness for eligible Federal Direct Loans. This is a separate program requiring separate forms and processes. The U.S. Department of Education will determine your eligibility for this program; Carson-Newman University is not responsible to verify your eligibility for this program. Please do not base your enrollment on this program, as it can be difficult to ensure qualification for government programs which are subject to reform and funding changes.

You must call 1-800-4-FED-AID to verify your eligibility or visit for more information.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to students who are completing coursework towards certain high-need fields. Students enrolling in 6 hours per semester can expect an award amount of $1,000 per semester. In order to be eligible for a grant, a student must submit a FAFSA form, complete the TEACH questionnaire and sign an Agreement to Serve as a full-time teacher at certain low-income schools and within certain high-need fields for at least four academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which the candidate received a grant. The U.S. Department of Education will determine your eligibility for this program.

For more information please contact the Financial Aid office at 865-471-3247.

Questions? Contact the Office of Student Accounts at (865) 471-3209 or

Important Notes:

  • We will work with students who receive tuition reimbursement from their employer.
  • If you are using financial aid to pay for tuition, you must be enrolled and either provisionally or fully admitted to the program of your choice before your student loan funds can be released. You may be required to make payments until your financial aid funds are released.