Graduate Financial Aid


You’re making an investment in your future, whether it holds further studies, a career shift, or a renewed vigor for your current occupation.

At Saint Mary’s, we believe in making your journey as straightforward as possible. We work hard to prevent tuition costs from standing in the way of a future Gael’s potential. 

Explore our financial aid resources and learn about our many opportunities to offset the cost of tuition.

Please also see graduate financial aid resources including, scholarships, grants, and tuition assistance programs below.

Apply for eligible federal aid here.

A student sitting on the lawn studying with her laptop

Apply for FAFSA

Estimate your cost of attendance by applying for FAFSA as soon as possible. We can’t offer you any aid until we've received your completed FAFSA forms.

Graduate Financial Aid Resources


Students pursuing a teaching credential only are eligible for federal and state grants.


The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program awards up to $4,000, intended to benefit current and prospective students who intend to teach in a middle or high school that serves students from low-income families and in a high need subject area, e.g. mathematics, science, foreign language, or special education.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program Overview

Golden State Teachers Grant (STATE)

The Golden State Teacher Grant Program (GSTG) awards up to $20,000 for students who are currently enrolled in an approved teacher preparation program. Students commit to teach or counsel in a 'high-need' field at a 'priority school' in California for four years and have eight years, upon completion of the recipient’s preparation program, to meet that obligation.

Golden State Teachers Grant (GSTG) Program Overview

Golden State Teachers Grant (GSTG) Program Application



Tuition Assistance Programs

Tuition Assistance Programs are designed to reimburse all or part of your tuition expenses. Tuition  Assistance Programs are offered for the following academic programs. 


BA in Liberal Education for Arts Professional (LEAP)

  • LEAP Tuition Fund                                                                                       
  • Call 925-631-4538 for more information.


Kalmanovitz School of Education

Reduced Tuition Program for Catholic School Teachers, Counselors and Administrators
The Kalmanovitz School of Education offers a reduced tuition program for teachers, counselors and administrators who have been employed full-time for the past year in a Catholic elementary or secondary school, or who have a contract for such service for the coming year. A 50% reduction in tuition is available for the first six KSOE units taken in the given year; the reduction does not apply to any other Saint Mary's course or programs.

To claim the tuition reduction, a 'Catholic School Educator Tuition Waiver Application' form, obtained from KSOE, must be signed by the respective Catholic school pastor or principal, and filed at the time of registration. A new application must be filed each year the student wishes to claim the tuition reduction.

Veterans/Dependents Benefits

Saint Mary's College of California is a Yellow Ribbon School and is approved for the training of Veterans and their eligible dependents under the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Information on Veterans/Dependents Benefits can be found on the Registrar Office web page here.

If any questions please contact our Veteran Affairs School Certifying Official:, (925) 631-8382


Get started. It's easy! Find your best loan option and apply.

To be eligible students must complete a FAFSA, be admitted to a degree program, and must be enrolled at least half-time. 

Federal Direct Loan

The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is awarded to graduate students up to $20,500 per year and interest accrues while enrolled at least half time. Please see items to complete to fund these loans here under heading 'Graduate Direct Loan'

Teaching Credential Only

The Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need up to $5,500 per year for teaching credential students and are interest free while enrolled at least half time. Independent teaching credential students may borrow up to additional $7,500 in Unsubsidized Direct Loan that accrues interest while enrolled at least half time.

Graduate PLUS Loan

The Graduate PLUS Loan is available to all eligible students enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program; need to apply for PLUS Loan and meet federal credit eligibility requirements. Eligible graduate students can borrow up to Cost Of Attendance (COA) in the PLUS Loan after other eligible aid. To apply go here and complete items under heading 'Graduate Plus Loan' 

Private/Alternative Education Loans

Private/Alternative Education loans are another option to help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the federal student loans. These loans are offered by private lenders and eligibility primarily depends on the borrower's credit score and income to debt ratio. To review go to > type in 'Saint Mary's College of California' > select 'graduate' or 'MBA'. Compare lenders and review terms, if decide to apply can choose any participating lender and typically recieve an immediate decision.

Students considering private loans need to be aware of the differences between federal student loans and private student loans. Private loans may carry higher interest rates and fees than federal loans. Private loans can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions. private loan interest rate typically depends on the borrower's and/or co-signer's credit score and income to debt ratio. Students should confirm interest rate and any associated fees before accepting private loans.

In comparison, federal Direct Loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options including income-based and income-contingent repayment plans as well as potential loan forgiveness benefits that private lenders are not required to provide. Federal Direct Loans are available to most students regardless of income.

Calculating Repayment

To assist you in calculating an estimated loan payment visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to view your loan history. After retrieving your total outstanding loans go to Federal Student Aid and calculate your estimated repayment.

The front of the SMC gym with a sign for the University Credit Union Pavilion

University Credit Union

University Credit Union is partnered with Saint Mary’s College of California; students, alumni, staff, and faculty are eligible to open an account. Learn about financial educational opportunities including attending workshops and seminars.