Graduate students may use student loans to finance their education. Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Grad Plus Loans, and private educational loans are available for students enrolled at least half-time.
A Direct Loan is a federally guaranteed loan. Graduate level students are only eligible for Federal Unsubsidized Loans beginning with the 2013-14 Academic Year. An unsubsidized loan is a loan in which the government does not waive the interest and it does accrue while the student is in school. You will have the option to pay this interest or to have it capitalized. The principle loan payments are deferred while a student is enrolled at least half-time (a minimum of 4.5 credits for fall/spring and 3 credits for summer) and repayment on the loans does not start until 6 months after the student drops below half-time enrollment, graduates or withdraws.
To qualify for this loan, you must file a FAFSA. The Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need based loan and the majority of students will be eligible for this loan. Once we have reviewed your FAFSA information, this loan will be listed on your award letter.
To complete the application process as a first time borrower, you will need to complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. Visit www.studentloans.gov and sign in to complete the process.
Updated February 2017
The Federal Grad Plus Loan is a federal loan with a fixed interest rate of 6.31% with an origination fee of 4.273%. You must file a FAFSA and borrow the maximum amount of loan through the Direct Loan program before you will be eligible for a Grad Plus. This loan is also based on your credit history, so it is possible that you may be required to have a co-borrower.
Payments on this loan may be deferred while you are in school and enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program (4.5 hours per semester during Fall and Spring terms and 3 hours during the summer term). Interest does accrue on this loan during the deferment period. There is no grace period for the Grad Plus loan. It will go into repayment as soon as you drop below half-time enrollment, graduate, or withdraw from school.
For more information about loans, contact the Financial Aid Office.