Tuition, Financial Aid and Billing FAQ

Tuition & Fees 

How much does the online Master of Social Work program cost?

For the 2020–2021 academic year, the cost per credit is $1,590. The total cost of the program is approximately $98,210 for Traditional Track students and $64,000 for students who have full Advanced Standing. You are billed for the number of credits for which you are enrolled. Tuition typically increases each year, and this figure does not take into consideration the increase.

Are there fees assessed in addition to tuition?

There is a $20-per-credit fee assessed for online programs. 

How much is the enrollment deposit?

When you confirm your enrollment, you will pay a $100 confirmation fee.

Can I use federal financial aid to cover the deposit?

Federal financial aid cannot be used to pay your enrollment deposit.

Will I be able to view my financial aid award before submitting the deposit?

Financial aid packages are created after you are admitted to the Mandel School and you have completed both the FAFSA and the CWRU Financial Aid Form. The financial aid packages are sent out via email as soon as the determination is made. We will be able to give you the exact details of your aid package prior to you submitting your deposit.

Types of Financial Aid

What types of financial aid and funding options are available for graduate students?

Below are sources of funding that may be available to you. Please refer to the specific section for more information.

*Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply.

Institutional Scholarships

Does the Mandel School offer institutional scholarships for this program?

Yes, the Mandel School does offer scholarship support to students in the online program. Our Mandel School Scholarship requires a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate degree. If you do not get awarded a scholarship in the first semester, we will automatically reconsider you for our scholarship in your second semester.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan 

What is the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federal loan offered to students to help with the cost of education. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on income or financial need.

What criteria are used to determine eligibility for federal student aid?

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on income. In order to apply for federal student aid, you must: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number (SSN)
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you are male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through FSA
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit 

Learn more about federal student aid eligibility criteria on the Federal Student Aid website.

What is the aggregate loan limit?

The aggregate loan limit is the total amount that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study. In addition to borrowing limitations based on the cost of attendance for the program, students are also limited in terms of lifetime borrowing. The aggregate loan limit for all federal loans, including undergraduate and graduate study, is $138,500.

If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit. You can learn more about graduate annual loan limits on the Federal Student Aid website.

How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit?

You may visit the National Student Loan Data System website to view your federal student loan borrowing history. Please note that private education loans are not listed on this site.

What is the difference between a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and a Direct Subsidized Loan?

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans while students are enrolled in their undergraduate program. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students and does not require demonstration of financial need. The Unsubsidized Loan begins accruing interest as soon as funds are disbursed. To learn more about the difference between unsubsidized and subsidized loans, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

How much am I eligible for with the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

Most graduate-level students are potentially eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year from the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Learn more about graduate annual loan limits on the Federal Student Aid website.

How do I apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

To apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the current Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate?

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate is determined on an annual basis. Learn more about interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website.

Are there any additional loan fees for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

There is a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. Information on Unsubsidized Loan origination fees can be found on the Interest Rates and Fees page of the Federal Student Aid website.

When will my loan be disbursed to my student account?

Your federal loans will disburse the first day of class. You must complete your Master Promissory Note and your entrance counseling on the Federal Student Aid website in order to accept the loans that are offered to you.

When will my refund from my student loan(s) be available?

Students whose accounts carry a credit balance after financial aid has been applied will be issued a refund within 14 business days of the posted credits exceeding charges.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

What is the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay education expenses in addition to the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. To learn about Direct PLUS Loans, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Do Direct PLUS Loans affect my aggregate loan limit?

Only Direct Subsidized/Direct Unsubsidized Loans (formerly referred to as Stafford loans) and federal loans made through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program count toward your aggregate loan limit. 

What are the eligibility criteria to apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

A credit check will be conducted when applying for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. In addition to the federal student aid eligibility criteria, applicants cannot have an adverse credit history. 

What are the credit criteria to receive the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

One of the eligibility requirements to receive a Graduate PLUS Loan is that you must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed to determine whether a Graduate PLUS Loan applicant meets this requirement. Learn more about Graduate PLUS Loans on the Federal Student Aid website.

How much can I borrow from the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

If approved for the Grad PLUS Loan, you can borrow up to the cost of attendance as determined by the program. The cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, and allowances for indirect expenses like books, supplies and living expenses. 

When can I apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

The credit decision for a Grad PLUS Loan is good for 180 days. For fall and spring semesters, you can apply anytime after May 15. Typically, students apply around 45 days prior to the start of classes in order for the loan to disburse at the proper time. If you are interested in applying for a Grad PLUS Loan for the summer term, please adhere to the May 15 date as well. 

How do I apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

In order to apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed the FAFSA, apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan by completing the credit application on the Federal Student Aid website. You must also complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note (MPN).

What are my options if I’m denied the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

If you are denied the Graduate PLUS Loan, you may reapply with an endorser or follow the instructions to appeal the denial on the Department of Education’s website.

What is the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan current interest rate?

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan interest rate is determined at the beginning of each academic year and is available on the Federal Student Aid website’s Interest Rates and Fees page.

Are there any additional loan fees for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

There is a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. Learn more about Direct Graduate PLUS Loan origination fees on the Federal Student Aid website’s Interest Rates and Fees page.

When will my loan be disbursed to my student account?

Your federal loans will disburse the first day of class. To accept the loans that are offered to you, you must complete your Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling on the Federal Student Aid website

Private Education Loans

What are private education loans?

Private education loans, also known as alternative loans, are offered by private lenders to help students bridge the gap between the cost of education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in federal loans.

Are there any private loans that CWRU recommends?

CWRU offers an extensive list of private student loans for which graduate students can apply. Visit Fast Choice to view this list.

Employer Benefits

How does my employer go about paying the school?

There are several different forms of employer support: direct billing from CWRU to your employer, or tuition reimbursement directly to the student, either after registration or when the term is complete and grades are issued. 

Written authorization is required for special billing arrangements. If a third party (for example, an employer; private trust fund; or domestic, foreign or other government agency) will pay all or part of your tuition and fees, Student Financial Services will bill your sponsor directly. A copy of your sponsor’s agreement must be forwarded to Student Financial Services during the first week of each semester.

Some employers reimburse for graduate education. Every organization and agency has specific guidelines on the terms and conditions regarding their internal employer reimbursement process. Please review the terms and conditions with your human resource representative at your place of employment. We will be glad to provide any documentation that your HR department needs to process the benefits in a timely manner.

Military Education Benefits

How do I apply for military education benefits?

To begin the process of applying for military education benefits for which you are eligible, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

What documents are required to process military education benefits?

Visit to complete the Education Benefits Application, which generates a request for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Once approved for benefits, the VA will mail the COE to you within six to eight weeks after you submit the application. 

What is the process to have military benefits certified at CWRU?

You should submit one copy of your COE to the University’s Registrar’s office so your enrollment is certified properly. It can be faxed to 216.368.4310, scanned and emailed to, or delivered to Enrollment Services, Yost Hall, Room 135.

In addition to the COE, you must be registered for the upcoming semester. We will begin initial certifications one to two weeks prior to the upcoming semester.

The School Certifying Official will certify VA Education Benefits twice at the beginning of the term. The first certification process will entail enrollment information only. This will happen one to two weeks prior to the start of the term. This will allow for an applicable BAH/book stipends to process. After the designated Drop/Add period found on the university’s Academic Calendar ends, certifications are resubmitted to the VA. The second certification process includes both enrollment and financial (net tuition and fees) information. 

Will I receive credit for my military benefits on my tuition bill?

Military benefits are posted to your student account once they are received from the VA. 

What is the difference between active and non-active duty?

Active duty means someone who is serving in the military full time and is not currently eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP). Non-active duty means someone who is not currently serving or is no longer serving in any capacity of military service of the United States and is eligible for YRP if at 100 percent per the COE.

What are the eligibility factors for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

You are potentially eligible for this VA-administered program if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

What is the current tuition and fee payment rate, and monthly housing allowance (MHA)?

The tuition and fee payment rate and MHA are determined at the beginning of each military academic year on Aug. 1. The current rate table is located on the Education and Training page of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP)?

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows degree-granting private colleges and universities in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the annual maximum cap for the resident tuition and fees at public institutions.

Veterans who are utilizing Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and who are entitled to 100% of their benefit may be eligible. To participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, you must be using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at 100% eligibility, not be on active duty, and not be a military spouse. There are a limited number of Yellow Ribbon awards available.

Does CWRU participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP)?

Yes, CWRU does participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. In order to be eligible to participate in Yellow Ribbon, you must be 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Who can I contact at CWRU for questions about using military education benefits?

General Certification/Registration, Degree Verification, Diploma Services:
Office of the University Registrar
Yost Hall, Room 135

A list of the most frequently asked questions about military benefits can be found on the University Registrar webpage.

The FAFSA and Financial Aid Application Process

How do I apply for federal financial aid?

To receive a financial aid award, you must be accepted into the program and have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the Case Western Reserve University code 003137. Financial aid awards for new students are reviewed on a rolling basis. All financial aid award notices are sent electronically to your email address on file at CWRU.

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application the Department of Education uses to determine if you are eligible to receive federal student aid.

Where can I find the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available online at The FAFSA is a free application; you will not be asked to pay.

Do I need my parents’ tax information to complete the FAFSA?

If you are applying for graduate school, you are considered an independent student and do not need to include your parents’ information to complete the FAFSA.

What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measurement of your ability to contribute toward your educational costs. As a graduate/professional student, your EFC is not a factor in your eligibility for federal student loans.

When should I complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available every Oct. 1 for the upcoming academic year. New students planning to use federal student aid should complete a FAFSA while applying for admission. Continuing students will need to submit a FAFSA each year they plan to receive federal student aid.

The FAFSA must be completed each academic year in order to remain eligible for federal student aid. Please reference the chart below to determine which FAFSA to complete based on your desired start date:

StartTermFAFSA Year
January 2023
April 2023
August 2023
January 2024

Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes, if you are interested in receiving federal financial aid, you will need to complete the FAFSA for each academic year in which you plan on applying for federal student aid. Please keep in mind that the award year for this program starts in the summer term.

What constitutes an academic year for federal student aid?

An academic year is the year for which financial aid is used to fund your education. Generally, this is the 12-month period that begins on July 1 of one year and ends on June 30 of the following year.

What federal student aid is available to graduate students?

The types of federal student aid graduate students are eligible to apply for include the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. Learn more about the types of federal student aid.

Why am I not eligible for the Pell Grant or Federal Subsidized Loan?

The Department of Education awards Federal Pell Grants and Subsidized Loans only to eligible undergraduate students who have not yet completed their bachelor’s degrees and who demonstrate financial need. Graduate students are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant nor the Direct Subsidized Loan. 

Are there any school-specific supplemental financial aid forms I need to complete?

In addition to the FAFSA, students must submit the CWRU Financial Aid Form, available from the My Financial Aid Portal. You must have an active CWRU Network ID to use this system. If you wish to accept the loan(s) that were offered to you, you will need to complete entrance counseling and the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note (MPN) for both the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. 

Are there academic requirements I must meet to receive financial aid?

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to continue receiving financial aid. Guidelines for graduate students are determined by the individual graduate schools and are published in their bulletins. View the Mandel School’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy here (PDF, 94KB).

How many credits must I be enrolled for in order to receive financial aid?

You must be enrolled at least half-time to receive federal financial aid.

Mandel School







When will I receive my financial aid award?

Assuming you are admitted and your FAFSA is on file with Case Western Reserve, you will receive your financial aid award 45 days before classes start. Financial aid awards are made on an ongoing basis after that point. 

Am I required to accept the full amount that I am offered on my award letter?

No. You can choose to accept all, part or none of your financial aid award.

Billing Policies & Payment Options

When will I receive a tuition bill, and when is payment due?

Enrolled students are billed per semester (summer, fall and spring). Students and authorized users can expect the billing statements to be available after 4 p.m. EST on the billing dates listed on the Student Financial Services webpage

An email notification will be sent to students and their authorized users when billing statements are available to view. When making a payment, please allow enough processing time for receipt of your payment. It may take up to three weeks depending on your payment method for the credit to appear on your account.

How do I view my bill?

CWRU uses a paperless tuition billing system. Instead of mailing a paper bill, the student, as well as any authorized users, will receive a billing notification via email, typically around 4 p.m. on a billing date. The message informs the student that new billing information is available and provides the billing statement access link. Billing statements are only generated for accounts with a balance owed before pending financial aid (if applicable). Billing statements will NOT be generated for accounts that are paid in full or have an actual credit balance at the time of billing.

The current billing statement will include all charges, credits and pending financial aid available since the previous billing cycle. Subsequent billing statements will only reflect new charges and payments. For a summary of activities for a term, please use the Statement of Account page in the Financial Account section of the Student Home.

To access the most current billing statement, please perform the following steps:

  1. Log in to SIS at
  2. Click the “Finances” tile on the Student Home and then the “Financial Account” tile.
  3. Click the “Billing Statements” link.
  4. You are now on the “View & Pay Account” page. In the Billing Statement Information box, click “View Latest Billing Statement” or “Download PDF” to view your prepared billing statement.

How do I pay my bill?

The university’s preferred method of payment is electronically through SIS. However, many more options are available, including payment plans and mailed-in payments. Payments are applied to tuition accounts and not specific charges. Payments are applied to the term with the oldest balance.

Online Electronic Bank Transfer/Credit, Debit Card (Preferred):

Users can access the Student Information System—available at on a desktop or on a mobile device—to make payments. Domestic payments can be made via e-check and credit card. Credit and debit cards accepted are American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Debit and credit card payments made with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover will be charged a 2.7% service fee by the credit card processing agent. Credit card payments are an online option only. To learn how to make an online payment, access the Student Financial Guide.

Occasionally, an online payment from a checking or savings account is invalid. Both the payer and the student will receive an email informing them why the payment failed. Within a few days, the university will be informed and the payment will be removed from the account.

Does CWRU offer a monthly payment plan for this program?

The university makes available three payment plans. There is no payment plan available for summer term.

TMS and E-Z Payment plans are pre-payments or installments toward your educational expenses. It is a monthly budgeting tool only. The university will notify plan participants of under/over budget amounts before the due date so you can plan accordingly. The Extended E-Z Payment Plan allows you to make two monthly payments past the semester’s due date. You can view the list of tuition due dates here.

To enroll in the spring plan, your account must not have an outstanding prior balance. The university has the right to cancel your enrollment in the payment plan.

You can also extend your tuition payment plan by two months. You do not need to be enrolled in the TMS or E-Z plans to take advantage of the Extended E-Z plan. There will be a 2.7% fee added to your plan and account, if enrolled. The plan would run from October through November for the fall semester and from February to March for the spring semester.

What are the consequences if my bill is not paid by the bill due date?

Accounts that remain unpaid after the due date are placed on financial hold. The “Past Due Balance” hold will prevent the student from participating in registration. This hold will also prevent the release of a transcript or a diploma. In addition, past due accounts will be charged a 1.5% late fee during monthly billings starting with the first bill after the payment deadline. 

Can I borrow additional funds for books and/or living expenses?

Yes, you can borrow additional funds in excess of your charges at CWRU to cover books and/or other living expenses. You may receive these funds in the form of a refund from your financial account.

How can I request a refund?

If after all charges are paid and the SIS financial account has a credit balance, we will automatically refund the credit balance if financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) is posted to the account. If financial aid is not posted to the account and the SIS financial account shows a credit balance, we will refund the credit balance upon request or separation or graduation from CWRU.

There are two methods of distribution:

  • Direct deposit (preferred)
  • Mail a check to the student’s current address in the SIS system

Students whose accounts carry a credit balance after financial aid has been applied will be issued a refund within 14 business days of the posted credits exceeding charges. Mailed checks may take up to three weeks to be received by the student. Students have the option to enroll in direct deposit for tuition account refunds through SIS. Direct deposit allows the refund to be conveniently delivered into the designated bank account.

Instructions for enrolling in direct deposit are located on the Student Financial Services webpage.

What is the Title IV Authorization?

Federal regulations require that we refund to you all federal aid in excess of allowable charges (tuition and mandatory fees). By completing the Title IV Authorization, we can apply your federal aid to all of your charges, such as medical insurance, parking fines and other miscellaneous charges. It will help prevent outstanding balances from remaining on your account after a refund is processed. The Title IV authorization must be done prior to the financial aid disbursement and is in effect for future terms unless revoked by the student or the University.  

Loan Repayment

Do I have to repay my student loans while I’m in school?

You can defer payment on your federal student loans if you are enrolled at least half-time. You should be aware that although you can defer payments while you are in school, interest will still accrue on your loan(s). 

Your unsubsidized loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, fall below half-time status, take a leave of absence or withdraw from the program. Most private loans also have deferred payment options while you are in school; however, you will need to check with your loan servicer.

When do I have to start repaying my loan?

After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you’ll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you will be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly. You are not required to pay while in school (although interest will accrue), however if you choose to, there is no penalty to prepay. Learn more about repayment timelines.

What are the repayment plan options, and how do I select one?

The Department of Education (DOE) offers multiple options for repayment. You may visit the DOE website for more information on loan repayment plans.

Is there a repayment calculator or estimator that I can use?

Yes, visit the DOE website for repayment calculators.

Can I consolidate my graduate loans and my undergraduate loans?

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan including both graduate and undergraduate loans. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation.

Are there any loan forgiveness options available?

In certain circumstances, all or a portion of a borrower’s federal student loans may be forgiven under the federal government’s loan forgiveness program. Please review the Department of Education website for more information on federal loan forgiveness programs.

Tax Benefits for Education

How do I qualify for a tuition tax credit?

For details on tax benefits for education, see IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Higher Education (PDF, 2.2MB), which provides detailed information. Case Western Reserve University is unable to provide tax advice. We urge you to contact your tax advisor or the IRS (at 800.829.1040 or visit the IRS website) if you have any questions regarding the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Tax Credits.

What is the 1098-T Form?

It is an informational form filed with the Internal Revenue Service to report the amounts billed to you for qualified tuition and related expenses, and to relay related information. The primary purpose of IRS Form 1098‐T is to inform you that we have provided this required information to the IRS.

What information is included in the 1098-T Form?

Form 1098-T reports amounts paid for qualified tuition, scholarships and grants processed during a calendar year to students enrolled in courses at Case Western Reserve University for which they receive academic credit. The information reported on the 1098-T Form helps students evaluate whether they are eligible for an educational tax credit. 

Who should I contact for more information?

Additional information is available on the Student Financial Services webpage, or you can contact Student Accounts at

Take the Next Step

Request information about the Mandel School’s online Master of Social Work program today.