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: The student loans available for this program are not based on financial 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 Planning Office at (704) 406-4245.


You will need your 2021 Federal Tax Return, your FSA ID ( and Gardner-Webb’s School Code (002929). Graduate students are considered independent for financial aid purposes.


Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy

You will receive an email confirmation after the FAFSA is submitted. If there are any errors on your SAR, log back into your FAFSA to make corrections.


You will receive an email notification that your financial aid award is ready to view via your Gardner-Webb e-mail account.

The email contains instructions on how to view and process your E-Award through WebbConnect. The E-Award lists the financial aid that you are eligible to receive. You will have an opportunity to accept or decline all or a portion of the award. Be sure to contact the Financial Planning Office if you have any questions.


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? Contact the Financial Planning Office at (704) 406-4245.

Pay-As-You-Go payment plans are available for tuition.

Complete all steps below to enroll in a Pay-As-You-Go payment plan. These plans will allow you to make tuition payments over the course of the semester and will break your tuition bill into more manageable payments.

Federal Student Loans are also available for graduate students.

NOTICE: Your tuition will be due the first week of class. If you do not have financial aid in place, you may have to make payments until your student loans are fully processed.

How to Enroll in a Pay-As-You-Go Payment Plan:

Step 1 You will receive a postcard at the beginning of each semester to notify you that online billing is available. Paper bills are not mailed to students unless they are requested. The Pay-as-You-Go payment plan allows you to pay your semester’s costs in payments over a three-month period during the fall and spring semesters (a two-month period during the shorter summer semester). This option is found by clicking the “Use a Payment Plan” button at the bottom of your online bill.

Step 2 Clicking the “Use a Payment Plan” button takes you to a “Deferred Payment Plan” page outlining the payment amounts and due dates for which you are responsible. By pressing the Accept Button, you agree to the conditions of the Deferred Payment Plan. Before clicking “Accept,” please print a copy of this plan for future reference.

Step 3 Your first payment will be due the first week of the semester. The plan includes a $15 payment plan application fee and a nominal service fee of 2% on the deferred balance. Your student account will reflect the deferred payment arrangement once you have actually submitted your first payment. Please note that failure to make payments per the agreement may result in late fees or additional interest charges. Unpaid balances are not carried over from one semester to another and all indebtedness to the University must be satisfied before students will be permitted to register for the next semester.

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. Gardner-Webb University is not responsible to verify your eligibility for this or any other 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.

Questions? Contact the Student Accounts Office at (704) 406-4287


  • Gardner-Webb University recognizes that many companies offer tuition reimbursement to their employees. To enable students to take advantage of this benefit, GWU has established policies to allow a student to defer payment of all or a portion of a student’s tuition and related costs. A new letter must be submitted for each semester that a deferment is desired. This option can be utilized by clicking “Employer Reimbursement Policy” found at the bottom of the online bill.
  • If you are using financial aid to pay for tuition, you must be admitted and enrolled to the program of your choice before your student loan funds can be released.