Loan Programs

Loan Programs

Educational loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. A federal loan, made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, allows eligible students and parents to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education. These loans typically offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources.

Loan Information

General Loan Information
Federal Student Loan Options
Private Student Loans

General Loan Information

To be eligible for any Federal Direct Loan, a student must:

  • Submit a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male
  • Be matriculated in a degree program
  • Be enrolled in at least six credit hours (part time)
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Choose federal first! Federal loans offer the following:

  • Fixed interest rates
  • Deferment, forbearance and grace-period options
  • Multiple repayment plans
  • Loan forgiveness
  • Backing by the U.S. Federal Government

Loan Rates 2020-2021

Loan Type Borrower Type Interest Rate Origination Fee (as of 10/1/19 & subject to change for 2021)
Direct Sub & Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate 2.75% 1.059%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate 4.30% 1.059%
Direct Parent & Grad PLUS Loans Parent/Graduate 5.30% 4.236%

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Federal Student Loan Options

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan: A loan based on financial need. The government typically pays the interest that accrues while in school.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This is similar to the Subsidized Loan, but without the financial need requirement. Many students receive both. While the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Subsidized Loan while you're in school, interest on the Direct Unsubsidized Loan will begin accruing from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.

Yearly Loan Limits

Borrower's Academic Level Dependent Student
(Sub + Unsub = Yearly Limit)
Independent Student
(Sub + Unsub = Yearly Limit)

 1st Year Undergraduate Student
(0-29 earned credits)

$3,500 + $2,000 = $5,500 $3,500 + $6,000 = $9,500

2nd Year Undergraduate Student
(30 - 59 earned credits)

$4,500 + $2,000 = $6,500 $4,500 + $6,000 = $10,500
3rd Year Undergraduate Student
Bachelor's program only
(60 - 89 credits)
$5,500 + $2,000 = $7,500  $5,500 + $7,000 = $12,500
4th Year Undergraduate Student
Bachelor's program only
(90 or more credits)
$5,500 + $2,000 = $7,500 $5,500 + $7,000 = $12,500
Graduate/Professional Student Graduate students are
considered independent
$20,500 (unsubsidized only)

Aggregate Loan Limits

Borrower's Program Level Subsidized + Unsubsidized = Aggregate Limit
 Dependent Undergraduate $23,000 + $8,000 = $31,000
 Independent Undergraduate $23,000 + $34,500 = $57,500
 Graduate/Professional $138,500 (unsubsidized only)

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Federal PLUS Loans

This is a federal loan based on credit history, to help parents or graduate students with the cost of attendance.

To qualify for a Direct PLUS loan, the borrower must be:

  • The biological or adoptive parent of the student or
  • The spouse of the parent and your income and assets were reported on the FAFSA or
  • A graduate or professional student

This type of loan requires a credit check during the application process. If you have adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtain a credit-worthy endorser.
  2. Submit supporting documents if you have an extenuating circumstance relating to your credit history to the U.S. Department of Education.

Visit our Parent Loan Instructions page for step-by-step instructions.

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Private Student Loans

Unlike federal student loans, private loans are made by a bank and the terms of the loan are determined by the lending institution. Private loans are typically based on credit history and students typically are required to have a credit-worthy co-signer.

Things to consider!

  • Federal loans offer benefits such as fixed interest rates and several repayment plans that are not typically offered by private lending institutions.
  • Also, private loans can end up costing you more than a federal student loan.
  • Research and compare several banks before borrowing to find the best option for you.

You can find and complete the Private Loan Self-Certification Form found on our forms page. This certification form should be submitted to the Student Financial Services Office.

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