To receive a Federal Student Loan or Parent Plus Loan, a student must:
- Be enrolled at least half time and making satisfactory academic progress.
- Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund on financial aid received while attending any institution.
- Be registered with the Selective Service if required.
Choose Loans Carefully
If you do need to borrow a private loan, do some research and choose the one that is best for you.
Federal Direct Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. For a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you canreceive Direct Subsidized Loans is limited to no more than 150% of the published program length. Changes to enrollment may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on your loans. Interest is generally not charged on the loan during periods of
- At least half time enrollment
- Grace periods
- Periods of deferment
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, unlike the Direct Subsidized Loan, interest begins from the date the loan is disbursed until paid in full.
Federal Direct Plus Loans are available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students who cannot meet all of their financial obligations with other financial aid. Plus loans are limited to the cost of attendance less any financial aid received by the student. Repayment on a Plus loan begins 60 days after the second disbursement, although deferments are available.
To apply for a Plus loan, refer to the loan process.
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students (Grad PLUS) is an educational loan for graduate and professional students enrolled at least half-time. Financial need is not a requirement, but good credit is required. The maximum annual loan amount is based on the student's Cost of Attendance (COA) minus other aid received (scholarships, tuition waivers, other loans, etc.).
The first loan payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan for the award year. There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans. However, the Direct Loan Servicing Center will automatically grant you an in-school deferment on your Direct Grad PLUS Loan as long as you remain enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time.
Direct Loan Overview information can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/index.html.
Federal Perkins Loans
A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5%) loan for students with exceptional financial need and funding availability. The proceeds are federal funds allocated to the institution to award to students who demonstrate need through filing a FAFSA. Repayment on Perkins Loans begins nine months after you cease to be at least a half time student. You will be allowed up to 10 years to repay the loan in full. Your monthly payment amount will depend on the size of your debt and the length of your repayment period.
The private/alternative loan is an educational loan through a lender chosen by the borrower to provide a source of financial assistance for your education that is not covered by other forms of financial aid. The loan programs are not federally guaranteed or subsidized. These loans are offered by lenders from the private sector and have no connection to the federal government. Interest rates are variable and based on market interest rates (such as Prime Rate or LIBOR) that can change on a quarterly basis.
Eligibility is based on the review of the borrower's and/or co-borrower's credit worthiness and ability to repay the loan. Approval is not guaranteed. Maximum loan amount is limited to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you are receiving. Students are responsible for researching the terms and conditions of all loan programs. Students interested in a Private/Alternative loan should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the amount of student loan you should request and/or pursue any other financial aid options. This loan should be used after all other Federal funds have been exhausted. Federal aid is always a better option. The student should then review all lenders terms and conditions to select the loan program which best meets their needs.