Loans are sources of financial assistance that allow you to spread the cost of education over time. Loans are serious legal obligations. Loans must be repaid. We urge all first-time borrowers to spend some extra time learning about the loan process so that they can make informed choices throughout their education.
Loans are available from federal, state, and private lenders. We always encourage students to borrow their full federal loans before borrowing from state or private lenders. Federal loans are not credit based and do not require a co-signer. Federal loans also have significantly more borrower benefits than state or private lenders.
In order to accept your Federal Direct loan you must complete a two-step process where you complete Entrance Counseling and then sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). To apply for a Federal Loan go to www.studentaid.gov.
Information regarding all federal loans is listed below:
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs
- Subsidized Loans
- Unsubsidized Loans
- Parent PLUS Loans
- Grad PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Loans
The federal government will pay, or subsidize, the interest that accrues on a subsidized loan as long as the student is enrolled in at least 6 credits (this includes during deferment). Interest will accrue and will not be paid by the Department of Education while a student is in his/her grace period.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
The interest will accrue during enrollment and can be paid on a quarterly basis (every 3 months) or can be capitalized (added to the principal) at the time of graduation.
Direct PLUS Loans
The Parent PLUS loan is a parent loan for undergraduate dependent students. The parent can borrow up to the full cost of attendance (less any other financial aid). The PLUS loan is credit based and there is no annual or aggregate (lifetime) loan limit. If a parent is denied a PLUS loan, they can add a co-signer or the student can receive an additional unsubsidized loan ($4,000 for Freshman and Sophomore students and $5,000 for Junior and Senior students) for the award year.
Direct Grad PLUS loans
The Grad PLUS loan is a student loan for graduate students. Students can borrow up to the full cost of attendance (less any other financial aid). The Grad PLUS loan is credit based and there is no annual or aggregate (lifetime) loan limit.
How much can a parent or student borrow?
Students and parents should carefully consider the amount of debt they incur and recognize their student loan is a future financial obligation. When applying for a Direct Loan the borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) which is a legally binding agreement to repay the loan to the U.S. Department of Education.
There is a maximum amount of Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans that a student can borrow both per year and over their lifetime (aggregate). Annual loan limits are based on a student’s academic level (graduate or undergraduate) and dependency status. The aggregate loan limits are shown below.
Annual loan limits are based on a student’s academic level and dependency status. The annual loan limits for undergraduate students are shown below. Graduate students may borrow a maximum of $20,500 per academic year.
The maximum amount you can borrow each school year depends on your grade level and other factors. Below a chart is available which shows the maximum amounts that you may borrow for an academic year.