Applying for Financial Aid

  • Darden is committed to helping our students find solutions to meeting the financial requirements necessary to obtain an MBA. Students may finance their education through scholarships, education loans or a combination of both. Admitted students are automatically considered for merit based scholarships on the basis of their Application of Admission. Use the links below to learn about how to apply for student loans.

  • How to Apply

    U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens of the United States may apply for Federal Loans, Private Loans or a combination of both. Students who will need a visa to attend Darden will find information by selecting the Options for International Students link. Visit our loan programs page for the terms and conditions of each loan program.

    If you will be using Veterans Benefits, please visit our Veterans Benefits page to learn more about VA Benefits at the Darden School.

    Federal Loans

    Step One: File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    • The FAFSA is your application for both the Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans. It cannot be started until after January 1st of the year you will begin your program and you must have completed your prior year's taxes to complete it.
    • If you are filing the FAFSA for the very first time, you will need to create a FAFSA PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA. You can do this at
    • If you have previously applied for federal financial aid, you should use your original FAFSA PIN, and update your personal information before proceeding.
    • On the "School Selection" tab of the FAFSA, select the University of Virginia (school code: 003745); the Darden School is not listed separately.
    • Students who obtain a PLUS loan after initially being denied for credit reasons will be required to complete additional credit counseling.

    Step Two: Submit a University of Virginia Financial Aid Application

    • If you have accepted an offer of admission to the Darden School, you must complete a University of Virginia Financial Aid Application (UFAA) via the UVA Student Information System (SIS).
    • Instructions about how to access the SIS and complete the financial aid application process can be found in the Darden Admitted Student Portal.

    Step Three: Complete Federal Loan Master Promissory Notes and Entrance Counseling

    • Go to to file Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) and take the required Entrance Counseling.
    • Make sure to complete a separate MPN for each type of Federal loan you intend to borrow (i.e. Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans).
    • Approval to borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan requires that you do not have adverse credit history. If you are unsure if you will qualify, we recommend that you complete a Graduate PLUS Loan Request for a credit decision no more than 90 days prior to the first bill due-date of the fall semester, and resolve any findings on your credit history as quickly as possible.
    • Students who obtain a PLUS loan after initially being denied for credit reasons will be required to complete additional credit counseling.

      Private Loans

      If you are planning on accepting both federal and private loans, you should follow the federal loan application instructions simultaneously.

      Step One: Apply for a Private Loan

      • You must apply for private loans directly with the lender of your choice.
      • Private student loans will require an application and credit approval, completion of a promissory note, completion of a self-certification form and possibly other requirements specific to your chosen loan and/or lender. Check with your lender to make sure you are aware of and understand all requirements.

      Step Two: Inform the University of Virginia of Your Borrowing Choice

      • If you have also applied for federal loans, the University cannot certify your private loan until you have made accept/decline decisions on your financial aid package for any federal loans offered.
      • If you are only applying for private loans, you do not need to file a FAFSA or UFAA, but you must inform the Darden Financial Aid Office that you will not be applying for federal loans. You can do so by sending an email from your UVA email account to or by faxing/mailing/bringing a signed statement to the Darden Financial Aid Office.

      Options for International Students

      Prospective students may find student loans with more favorable terms than the Discover Custom Graduate Loan. Domestic students are encouraged to consider other private and federal student loans, while international students may find alternative private student loan options with a U.S. citizen of Permanent Resident as a co-signer.

      Step One: Determine Your Budget

      • Review Darden's funding requirements on the I-20 Request Form.
      • International students are required to budget an additional $7,000 for a spouse and $4,000 for each additional dependent. (Per University of Virginia policy, family members cannot be included in the budget when applying for a loan.)

      Step Two: Complete the Loan Application (Enrolling Students).

      • Qualified international and domestic students who are offered admission will be provided with detailed instructions on how to complete the Discover Custom Graduate Loan application process and student visa process.