Ten Easy Steps to Student Financial Aid - Graduate


Step 1.  Apply for Admission

Step 2. Apply for Financial Aid

  • Log onto www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Montclair State University School Code is 002617
  • Students must electronically sign with their Federal Pin ID. You can get your PIN ID at www.pin.ed.gov. Please keep it in a safe place as you will need this PIN throughout your college career.
  • Students must be enrolled at least half time to receive aid.  Half time status for a graduate student is 4.5 credits.

Step 3. Review your Financial Aid Awards

  • You will receive a notice to check your Financial Aid on your Web Enrollment Student Services (WESS) account (2015-2016) or NEST (2016-2017). Information regarding this account will be provided to you in your acceptance letter.
  • You are always offered the MAXIMUM awards allowable based on the FAFSA and full-time enrollment.
  • If you are interested in scholarship opportunities, please go to The Graduate School’s homepage: www.montclair.edu/graduate.

Step 4. Estimate the Costs

  • The estimated Fall/Spring costs provided by the Financial Aid Office are known as the Estimated Cost of Attendance. The Estimated Cost of Attendance ESTIMATES charges for tuition, fees, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses for 2 semesters.
  • Your bill will represent Actual Charges for each semester (tuition, fees, and Red Hawk Dollars)
  • The explanation for the difference between the Estimated Cost of Attendance and the actual charges/bill is that the Federal Government allows students to receive financial aid and loans up to the Cost of Attendance but not over the Cost of Attendance

Step 5. Reduce or Decline Loan(s)

  • 2015-2016- If you need to reduce your loan, please do so on WESS. If you do not want the loan, enter DECLINE.
  • 2016-2017- You must accept your loan on NEST by clicking on the Award Accept Offer tab.

Step 6. Make a Plan to Pay the Bill

  • Financial Aid deducted from the bill is not credited to your account until after the 10th day of classes.
  • Bill balances after financial aid deductions are due when indicated on the billing statement on WESS or NEST.

Step 7. Review your Financial Aid Awards

  • Students in graduate degree programs can borrow additional funds from the Graduate Plus Loan Program. For more information please go to the Educational Loans section of our webpage.
  • Graduate Plus loans require credit checks as part of the application process.

Step 8. Other possible Loans

Step 9. Complete Direct Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Notes for your Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans

  • Log on to www.studentloans.gov to sign your master promissory note and complete your entrance counseling. Your Federal loans will not disburse to your account until both are complete.

Step 10. Stay Up-to-Date

  • Read your e-mails on your Montclair State e-mail account.
  • Check WESS or NEST regularly for financial aid, billing, registration, and other information.
  • If you have questions please contact the Financial Aid Office.