Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Going for an AA but I already have a BA - am I eligible for Grad Plus?

paintitblackpaintitblack Posts: 8Registered User New Member
Here is my predicament, and I'm beginning to lose sleep over this because I've been getting conflicting informatin and it looks like I might not be able to afford college like I thought.

I have a BA. I was accepted into an AA program at Parsons School for Design because I want to make a career change and this AA would be a good stepping stone to prepare myself for a Masters in another field.

I am not eligible for grants because having a Bachelors already means I'm not considered an undergrad. I've had some people tell me I can get a GradPlus loan, and some people tell me I can't. Which is it? If I'm not an undergrad, then what category do I fall under, exactly?

I am eligible for Stafford loans, but there is a pretty big gap there still. Is gradplus ONLY for Master's candidates?
Post edited by paintitblack on

Replies to: Going for an AA but I already have a BA - am I eligible for Grad Plus?

  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    First line of the federal student aid info on Grad Plus reads:
    Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses.

    Student Aid on the Web
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,885Super Moderator Senior Member
    You are not attending grad school so you are not eligible for a grad plus loan.

    Is there any way that you can take your course work at FIT for a fraction of the cost?

    Associate-level, New York City/State residents $1987.00 per semester
    Associate-level, New York City/State residents $166.00 per credit*

    Fashion Institute of Technology - Tuition
  • paintitblackpaintitblack Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    sk8rmom- The problem with that explanation is, what is the definition of a graduate or professional student? Having a BA I am NOT considered an undergrad according to the FAFSA. I have been unable to find the exact classification of a student pursuing an AA who already holds a 4 year degree. I've been told I'm undergraduate (and then the FA website says I'm NOT undergraduate), a financial aid counselor said I'm considered graduate, another said I'm a professional student? Which one is it? I'd call the office but they've been closed for winter break.

    Sybbie- I've realized that FIT is a lot cheaper and I am not looking at that as an option.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,412Registered User Senior Member
    A graduate student is someone who is pursuing a post-graduate level degree: MA, MS, MBA, MFA, PhD, MD, DO, etc. An AA is an undergraduate degree. It is perfectly OK to pursue a second undergraduate degree, but for that you are essentially limited to the Staffords unless the institution where you are studying has aid for a student in your situation.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,885Super Moderator Senior Member
    I see that you are interested in Architecture. Have you considered City College as a less expensive viable alternative to Parsons?

    SSA > Programs > Courses
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    a financial aid counselor said I'm considered graduate, another said I'm a professional student? Which one is it?

    Neither...sybbie and happymom are right. Where are these "financial aid counselors" from? A graduate student is one who is enrolled in a graduate degree program, not simply someone who has already attained an undergrad degree. A professional student is enrolled in a professional degree program. You are enrolled in neither at this point and are simply pursuing an additional undergrad degree, therefore are not eligible for GradPlus loans which requires at least half-time enrollment in a graduate or professional degree program.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,539Super Moderator Senior Member
    You absolutely cannot borrow a PLUS loan for anything but a masters, professional (like PharmD) or doctoral program. I know this for a fact. You will only be eligible for Stafford loans up to the undergraduate maximum ($31,000 if you are not independent; $54,500 if you are independent). This is ONLY if you are enrolled in a regular, degree granting program. If not, you won't even be eligible for Stafford loans - private loans would be the only option. If you are placed in a post bach program, you will have to fill out post bach paperwork & the financial aid office will evaluate you for Stafford loan eligibility. It is often $10,500-12,500 for a one-year time period, depending on the program. This is all federal regulations.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,539Super Moderator Senior Member
    And yes, you ARE an undergraduate. It's just that, because you have an undergrad degree already, you are not eligible for any aid as an undergrad other than Stafford loans.
Sign In or Register to comment.