Financial aid is defined as scholarships, grants, loans and part-time employment awarded to help meet the cost of education. The cost of education includes tuition, fees, room and board or a living expense, books and allowances for personal and transportation costs. Awards can be merit based or need based and come through a variety of sources including federal and state government, private organizations and the University itself.

Application Procedure

In order to receive your financial aid package, all students must complete the FAFSA application. The Duquesne Financial Aid Application is required if you will be a graduate student (excluding Law) or enrolled as a part-time student. If you will be a Full-time Undergraduate student, the Duquesne Financial Aid Application is not required.

  1. Complete the FAFSA ( online (DU school code 003258)

Please note: Submit the FAFSA by May 1 each academic year for maximum consideration.

The parent you live with should complete the FAFSA. If the parent you live with has remarried, the information of that parent and their new spouse (stepparent) must be used.

Qualifying for Financial Aid: For the 2023-24 academic year, the income information reported on the FAFSA pertains to the 2021 tax year.  Many variables are used to determine financial need eligibility, including but not limited to:

  1. Family size
  2. Number of family members in college
  3. Age of older parent
  4. Savings and investments
  5. Income and assets 

Student Aid Report (SAR) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The Student Aid Report (SAR) is generated from the information you submit on your FAFSA.

  • A copy is sent to you and to the colleges indicated on your FAFSA.
  • It will provide you with your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the number that's used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid.

Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss any household income changes that may affect your EFC such as:

  • Death of a parent
  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Loss of employment
  • Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses (exceeding 7.5% of adjusted gross income)
  • Coronavirus impact

State Grant Eligibility:  Since completion of the FAFSA also constitutes application for state grants, special attention should be paid to state grant deadlines — for Pennsylvania the deadline is May 1. In order for the Pennsylvania State grant to be credited to your account, Duquesne University must be listed on the FAFSA as the school of first choice.  If not, you can revise the FAFSA to list Duquesne University as the school of first choice.

The Financial Aid Office was established at Duquesne University to coordinate all financial assistance offered to students at the University. That office is charged with responsibility to assure that the principles of financial aid are made operationally effective.

The following operating policies are designed to assure that the Financial Aid Office is effective in carrying out its responsibilities:

  1. In accordance with established procedures all students applying for financial assistance must submit appropriate application forms to the Financial Aid Office and complete any other required processes by published deadlines.
  2. Students applying for financial assistance are to be given consideration for all of the programs administered by the University for which they are eligible, providing funding is available. The student's aid package may consist of one or more of these programs including scholarship, grants, work and/or loan or any combination that best meets the student's needs.
  3. Funds available to the University for financial assistance to students shall be processed through the Financial Aid Office. Nominations of individuals to receive certain designated scholarships athletic awards etc. shall be submitted by the responsible department or agency to the Financial Aid Office.
  4. The Financial Aid Office shall maintain adequate records to assure that the aid given to each student is not in excess of the actual amount needed to attend the University.

General Procedures for the Financial Aid Program: The following general operating procedures are designed to assure the smooth functioning of the financial aid program at Duquesne University. Early availability of information about financial aid requests is essential to an orderly operation.

  • The priority deadline for student applications for financial aid shall be:

Undergraduate: May 1
Graduates: May 31

  • Students should be aware that funding limits at times may require strict enforcement of deadline dates. Students are to be notified as soon as possible (after receipt of the completed application) of the financial assistance to be offered to them. Written acceptance of the aid offered must be returned to the Financial Aid Office by the student.

The Financial Aid Office shall be responsible for the general processing of all departmental scholarship funds, athletic awards, and all other financial aid funds at Duquesne University. Selection of candidates for certain designated awards are to be made by the appropriate department: however, the selection should be made sufficiently early to permit inclusion of the award in the financial aid package for all students receiving financial aid. Departmental awards made after the students' aid packages have been established may require adjustment to those packages.

At times, scholarships and other funds from outside the University are received directly by offices other than the Financial Aid Office for credit to specific student accounts. Copies of such notices should be sent to the Financial Aid Office for processing.

An individual student file is maintained by the Financial Aid Office for each student receiving assistance of any kind at the University. This record shall indicate the total of the student's needs and the types and amounts of all assistance received.

2023-2024 University Scholarships/Grants: Initial academic scholarship eligibility is determined by the Undergraduate Admissions Office, based on the academic credentials of the applicant pool each year. Awards are renewable for the normal course of the student’s undergraduate programs provided (1) student is full time; (2) maintains minimum cumulative QPA required by the award; and, (3) continues to meet any other requirements of the award.

Available to incoming Freshmen—then renewable with cumulative QPA indicated:

Duquesne University Academic Scholarship (DUAS): 2.00

Laval Scholarship: 2.00

Libermann Scholarship for International Students: amount varies

Available to renewal students only—with cumulative QPA indicated:

Scholars/ROTC: Assistance toward room and board costs for ROTC Scholarship winners.  Renewable with re-application, minimum cumulative QPA required, university-owned and operated residence and ROTC award.

Duquesne Grant: These grant funds are awarded to students with remaining need after utilizing all aid resources available. Renewable with minimum cumulative QPA of 2.00 and continued need for funds after utilizing other aid sources available.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Grant funds received through the Federal Government awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional need. Preference to students who receive Federal Pell Grants.

Federal Nursing & Health Professions Loans: Recipients are selected in accordance with guidelines published by the Federal Government with amount of award based on available funding. Repayment begins nine months after borrower terminates at least half-time study, and is normally scheduled over a ten-year period at an interest rate of 5% per year. Students must be full-time, dependent undergraduate Nursing students are eligible for the Nursing Loans and only full-time, dependent undergraduate Pharmacy (not Pre-Pharmacy) students are eligible for the Health Professions Loan.

Institutional Loans: Limited loan funds are available to full-time undergraduate students. Repayment periods and interest rates vary. Funding may be available through Alcoa Foundation, Kerschgens Estate, Gulf Oil Corporation, Heinz, Gaston, and Stanley K. Power Trust of the Pittsburgh Foundation with specific restrictions that apply.  

Student Employment: Financial eligibility for the Federal Work-Study Program of part-time employment is determined by the Financial Aid Office based on Federal guidelines.  Federal Work-Study is a need-based financial aid award that requires a FAFSA application. Undergraduate students are automatically reviewed for eligibility and if eligible, the aid will appear on the Financial Aid award letter/Self Service Banner.  Students who do not qualify for Federal Work-Study employment may be placed in part-time non-clearance positions.  The Office of Human Resource Management bears the responsibility for actual placement of all student employees. Placement is contingent on positions available.

Federal Pell Grant Program: Direct grant assistance through the Federal Government is available to undergraduates based on an eligibility formula developed each year by Congress. All undergraduates are advised to apply for the Federal Pell Grant. Completion of the FAFSA provides application.  Lifetime maximum Pell Grant amount = 600%, the equivalent of six years of full-time enrollment.

State Grants: The majority of states that provide grants to students use the FAFSA as the basic application. Deadline dates for each state appear in the FAFSA information. Pennsylvania’s deadline is May 1. In order for the Pennsylvania State Grant to be credited to your account, Duquesne University must be listed on the FAFSA as the school of first choice.  If not, you can revise the FAFSA to list Duquesne University as school of first choice.


Federal Direct Stafford Loans:

Subsidized: A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. It is funded by the federal government and administered through colleges and universities. Students receiving these loans are not charged any interest and do not have to begin repaying the loan while they are enrolled in school at least half time, during a grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment.

Requires completion of FAFSA and Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). New application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) can be completed at the Federal Student Loan web site Available to students who enroll at least half time.  Interest rates in 2021-22 are fixed at 3.73%.  The interest rate is fixed variable (adjusted annually on July 1st) and will not exceed 8.25%.  Loan limits vary with academic level.

$3,500 for first academic level
$4,500 for second academic level
$5,500 for third and fourth academic levels (also 5th year Pharmacy)

The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is need based.  In the event students do not demonstrate need for all or part of the loan limits above, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available. Interest must be paid while in school, but all other conditions are the same as the Federal Direct Stafford Loan.

Additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (for undergraduate dependent students):

All undergraduate students are eligible for additional unsubsidized Stafford loans of $2,000 per academic year.

Additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: Available to independent students and dependent students whose parents are denied for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. With an unsubsidized loan, you will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You may choose to pay the interest while you're in school to reduce your final repayment amount. Students can apply for this loan using the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).  Interest rates are 3.73% for undergraduates in 2021-22. The interest rate is fixed variable (adjusted annually on July 1st) and will not exceed 8.25%.  Loan limits vary with academic level.

$4,000 for first and second academic levels
$5,000 for third and fourth academic levels (also 5th year Pharmacy)

First-time Borrowers: As a first-time borrower at Duquesne University, for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, you must complete the following before the funds will release to your student account:

Direct E-MPN:
Direct Entrance Counseling:

Both the MPN and Entrance Counseling are completed online through Direct Lending. More information can be found at or by telephone at 1-800-848-0979 (8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST, Monday thru Friday)

Federal Direct PLUS Loans: Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Loan applications/Master Promissory Note (MPN) can be completed at the Federal Student Loan web site.  Interest rates are 6.28% in 2021-22. The interest rate is fixed variable (adjusted annually on July 1st) and will not exceed 10.5%. Maximum is calculated cost of education minus all financial aid.

Parents must be credit-approved for eligibility.  If a parent is denied by the lender, the student is eligible for additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds:

$4,000 for the first and second academic levels
$5,000 for the third and fourth academic levels (also 5th year Pharmacy)

Note: A student must be enrolled at least half-time and meet all other requirements.

Alternative Education Loans: Duquesne University strongly urges students to apply for Stafford loans and parents of students to apply for PLUS loans before resorting to Alternative loans. However, Alternative loans may be an effective method of financing unmet costs of education for some students. The University recommends that students apply with co-signers to secure the best possible interest rates.

**Although Duquesne University does not endorse any specific financial institution, you may visit the following site for information on lenders our students have used in the past.

Students are NOT limited to these lenders and are free to choose any financial institution to borrow an alternative educational loan. Duquesne University recommends that students starts the alternative education loan process after July 1 prior to the start of the fall semester.

All Alternative Loan applicants must complete a Self-Certification form before the money will be released to the school.  This form will be supplied by your lender, or you can download it here:

All Federal Stafford loans are borrowed through the Direct Lending program. If you are a new or returning student, you will have to complete the following to receive a Federal DirectStafford loan or PLUS loan:

Entrance Counseling:
Master Promissory Note (E-MPN):

For additional information:
Direct Loan program - 1-800-848-0979 (8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST, Monday thru Friday)
Direct Lending FAQ's

Annual Limits for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans:

Dependent Undergraduate (excluding dependent students whose parents are denied a PLUS Loan)

  Subsidized Total (Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
Freshman (0 - 29 credits) $3,500 $5,500
Sophomore (30 - 59 credits) $4,500 $6,500
Junior / Senior (60+ credits) $5,500 $7,500

Independent Undergraduates & dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS Loan

  Subsidized Total (Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
Freshman (0 - 29 credits) $3,500 $9,500
Sophomore (30 - 59 credits) $4,500 $10,500
Junior / Senior (60+ credits) $5,500 $12,500

Graduate & Professional Students

  Subsidized Total (Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
All years $0 $20,500

Under the Direct Stafford Loan program, we are forced to define our Academic Year as Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Therefore, Federal Direct Stafford Loans are limited to an academic year (defined as Fall, Spring, and Summer terms) maximum based on a student's grade level listed above. If a student has utilized the maximum Stafford Loan during the preceding Fall and Spring, the student will not be eligible for a Summer Stafford loan. If the student did not, they will be eligible for the remaining amount of the above limits.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans: There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans, but you may not borrow more than the cost of education minus any other financial aid received.

The following discounts are available to students meeting the requirements indicated. Discounts will be at basic tuition rate and may be used toward only one degree or part thereof. No other form of tuition remission or discount can be used simultaneously.  Some program restrictions may apply.

Catholic High School Graduates: A 10% discount on basic tuition is extended to graduates of Roman Catholic High Schools in the Dioceses of Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Altoona/Johnstown who enroll as full-time students in the Fall immediately following graduation.  Renewal requires continuous full-time enrollment during the academic years following initial enrollment.

Clergy/Religious: Members of University-recognized Christian and Jewish Religions who have been ordained or professed members of a Catholic Clergy/Religious Order, may be eligible to receive a 50% discount of basic rate of school or rate of school of enrollment, whichever is lower.

Lay Teachers: Current full-time lay teachers or high school administrators required to obtain Administrative I Certification in a Catholic School located in Roman Catholic schools in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, or Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses or lay teachers from other dioceses who have completed a minimum of two years of full-time teaching in a Catholic School may be eligible to receive a 60% discount of basic tuition rate of school or rate of school of enrollment, whichever is lower.

Senior Citizen: Men and women who are 60 years of age or older may be eligible to receive a 50% discount.

Lay Ministers: Men and women employed as lay ministers within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh as Pastoral Associates, Professional Youth Ministers, Parish Social Ministers, Director/Coordinator of Religious Education, and Campus Ministers may be eligible to receive a 50% discount of basic rate, or rate of school of enrollment, whichever is lower. Eligibility must be verified by the Institute for Ministers of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Music Ministers: Men and women employed as organists or choir directors at recognized religious institutions may be eligible to receive a 50% discount of basic rate, or rate of school of enrollment, whichever is lower.  May not be full-time students and must be enrolled in the School of Music.

Other Possibilities: In addition to programs outlined above, financial aid may be obtained through private sources. Students should inquire through (1) high school guidance offices, (2) parents’ employers or labor unions, (3) fraternal, social, religious or professional organizations, (4) major organizations utilizing the skills of the field for which the student is preparing.

ROTC Scholarships: Available to incoming students and currently enrolled students. For additional information and application procedure, contact the Military Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh, (412) 370-0311.

Endowed and Restricted Gift Funds are administered collaboratively by the Financial Aid Office and other departments throughout the University.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed to be considered for these funds.  The University will notify those who are selected to receive assistance from any of these programs.  

Federal, state and institutional financial aid policies mandate that financial aid recipients demonstrate academic progress toward the completion of their program of study in order to receive continued financial assistance.  These standards may differ from University academic standards for continuance.

The Office of Financial Aid conducts academic progress reviews annually at the completion of the spring term.  Grades and cumulative credits that a student earned are compared to the progress standards of the financial aid program from which the student received aid to determine if they will be academically eligible to receive aid for the next academic year.  The Associate Director of Financial Aid will notify students who do not meet academic progress standards for financial aid renewal.  Information regarding the appeal process will be included with this notification.

Process of Determining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
Each student will be measured for satisfactory academic progress annually in May after spring semester grade processing. This evaluation will determine if the student has made sufficient progress to be eligible for future federal financial aid. Students who have not met the minimum SAP requirements will be notified that they are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Measurement:
Qualitative Measure, cumulative grade point average (GPA):

Undergraduate students:

  • who have earned 30 credits or more must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA;
  • who have earned fewer than 30 credits must have at least a 1.5 cumulative GPA;

Graduate students:

  • must achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Quantitative Measure

Completion Rate/Pace: Students must keep pace with their academic program in order to complete their degree within the maximum timeframe, which is defined as 150% of the published length of the program. Pace is calculated by dividing the number of cumulative credits the student successfully completed by the number of cumulative credits the student has attempted. This calculation includes all attempted credits, both at Duquesne and those accepted in transfer that count toward the degree; courses for which a student receives academic credit, withdraws, receives incomplete or repeat grades and/or fails are used in the calculation of the completion rate/pace.

Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the total cumulative attempted credits.

Maximum Timeframe (completing program of study within 150% of program length): Undergraduate students may receive federal aid for up to 180 cumulative credits attempted (assumes a program length of 120 credits and includes both Duquesne credits attempted and those accepted in transfer). 

Graduate students may receive aid for all credits attempted up to 150% of the specified number of credits required by their specific degree program. 

Students who change majors are responsible for completing the degree requirements within the timeframe specified above.

Readmitted Students:
If a student is readmitted to the University, satisfactory academic progress will be based on the student's previous attendance at Duquesne and credits accepted in transfer. Students who have not met the minimum requirements will be notified of their ineligibility for federal financial aid and informed of the options to regain eligibility.

Special Grades and their Use in Satisfactory Academic Progress Determination:

I - Incomplete: Student will receive no credit for an "I" grade although the "I" is counted as attempted credits. If, however, the incomplete grade is resolved and a passing grade is received, the credits earned will be counted.

W - Withdrawal: No credit received; however counted as attempted credit.

AUD - Audit: No credits received; not counted as attempted credits.

P - Pass: Student receives credit but GPA is not affected.

H - Honors: Student receives credit but GPA is not affected.

N - Not Passing: No credit received; however counted as attempted credit.

IP and * - In Progress: No credit received; however, when the incomplete grade is resolved and a passing grade is received, the credits earned will be counted.

Repeat of Course:
The last grade earned is always used in calculating the GPA. If the student failed the course the first time but passes it the second time, the appropriate number of credits will be received after the second attempt. If, however, the student passed the course the first time, repeats it in an attempt to improve the cumulative GPA but receives a failing grade, the appropriate number of credits will be deducted from the cumulative credits earned total. Maximum hours earned for any course cannot exceed the number of credits listed for that course.

Regaining Eligibility:
If a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards, but meets the standards later at some point, the student can once again be eligible to receive federal aid. In such cases, financial aid eligibility will begin with the academic semester after which the student reestablishes progress.

It is the student's responsibility to contact Duquesne's Financial Aid Office after completing coursework that allows the student to regain eligibility for aid. If taking coursework at another
institution to regain eligibility, students should be aware that:

1. Any courses to be taken elsewhere must have prior written approval by the academic adviser to be transferred back to the student's program at Duquesne.

2. Only "credits" transfer back to Duquesne, actual "grades" do not. If the student's deficiency is in cumulative GPA, taking courses at another institution will not resolve that deficiency. Credits taken elsewhere must be accepted as transfer credits in order to be counted towards satisfactory academic progress.

Appeal Process:
Students whose federal financial aid eligibility has been suspended may appeal that status if they have experienced extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to meet the academic progress standards. In general, extenuating circumstances can include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, death of relative or friend, difficulties with accommodations for students with disabilities, and adversity due to unforeseen events. Students interested in appealing their termination of federal financial aid eligibility can request a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form from the Financial Aid Office. The completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Academic Progress Appeal Committee c/o the Duquesne University Financial Aid Office. 

In the appeal, the student must address the reason for failing to make SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP in the next evaluation. Students should submit the appeal prior to August 1st for Fall semester consideration or prior to December 1st for Spring semester consideration.

The student will be notified via email and/or in writing of the Committee's decision. A student whose appeal is approved is considered to be on Financial Aid Probation and may receive federal and institutional aid for one term, after which he/she must meet the SAP standards or be successfully following an Academic Plan for Financial Aid Eligibility. 

As part of the appeal process, the student may be required to agree to an Academic Plan to Regain Federal Financial Aid Eligibility. The purpose of such a plan is to assure the student is on track to successfully complete his/her program.

State Grant Academic Progress:
Academic progress requirements for state grant programs can vary from the federal academic progress policy. As an example, academic progress requirements for the Pennsylvania State Grant are communicated directly to recipients with their state grant notification from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

COVID-19 Impact:
If a student does not complete attempted credits due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this results in the student not meeting the quantitative component on the SAP policy, Duquesne University will exclude those attempted credits from the quantitative measurement without requiring an appeal.

If after disregarding these attempted credits, the student meets the SAP policy, the student is eligible for federal financial aid.  If after disregarding the attempted credits, the student still does not meet the SAP policy, the student would need to submit an appeal, if appropriate.

The Financial Aid Office at Duquesne is here to assist students in acquiring funding to help pay for their college education. Our main role is to administer any federal and/or state monies for which a student is eligible. Additionally, we strive to assist students who would normally be deprived of a college education because of inadequate funds to attend college. Every attempt is made to meet a student's demonstrated need. However, this is not always possible.

We believe that higher education should not be a privilege reserved only for those who can afford to purchase it. We feel that educational opportunities should not be limited by the financial resources of students and their families. However, because the total resources available for financial assistance to students at Duquesne University are limited, we have adopted the following principles:

  1. The family of a student is expected to make a maximum effort to assist the student with college expenses. Financial assistance from the University is viewed only as supplementary to the efforts of the student and the family.
  2. To determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the resulting demonstrated financial need. the University utilizes the needs analysis provided through the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  3. Financial assistance consists of scholarships, grants, loans and employment which may be offered to students in various combinations.
  4. In selecting students for financial aid, the University shall place emphasis on financial need and/or academic achievement in accordance with criteria of various programs of aid.
  5. Awards based exclusively on criteria other than demonstrated need (i.e. academic achievements, club memberships, community awards, etc.) may be made to students who do not other-wise qualify for financial assistance; however such awards must be considered as a resource in determining eligibility for need based awards.
  6. Where need based funds are involved, the total amount of financial assistance offered to a student cannot exceed demonstrated financial need. The only exceptions to this restriction could be PLUS Loans, private alternative loans, as well as Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, all of which can be used to reduce the expected Family Contribution used to determine need.
  7. A student who needs financial aid is expected to apply for the Federal Stafford Loan as well as state grant assistance (note: undergraduates who are Pennsylvania residents must apply by May 1 of each year).

Financial Aid staff members are prohibited from accepting gifts, cash or other payments from any lender of student and parent loans or from any guarantee agency. Gifts include, but are not limited to, travel, hotel or motel lodging, entertainment, restaurant meals, office supplies and event tickets.

Exceptions may include such things as newsletters or reprints of articles or presentations designed to inform college officials about relevant issues.

In order to ensure the fair and consistent selection of lenders for student and parent loans, the following additional policies governing the University's relationship with lenders will apply in all cases:

  1. No officer, trustee or employee of the University who makes financial aid decisions for the University or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the University's financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of an student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service. Any officer, trustee or employee of the University who serves as a member or participant of a Lending Institution board shall recuse himself or herself from any board discussions regarding the University's financial aid operations.
  2. Financial Aid and its staff members will not engage in financial arrangements with lenders that result in a financial benefit to the University or its employees, including revenue sharing, referral fees or stock options.
  3. Financial Aid and its employees will not accept any gifts from lenders.
  4. Financial Aid and it employees will not accept printing or publication services from lenders at no cost or at a rate below market price.
  5. The use of Duquesne University's name, emblem or logo by lenders is prohibited.
  6. Financial Aid and its employees will not accept staffing assistance or "call center" services from lenders. Calls to borrowers as part of a lender's normal customer service activities are exempt from this policy.