Graduate students may use student loans to finance their education. Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Grad Plus Loans, and private educational loans are available.
A Direct Loan is a federally guaranteed loan. There are two types of Direct Loan: subsidized and unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is a loan in which the government waives the interest accrual while the student is enrolled at least half-time. 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. For both loan types, the principle loan payments are deferred while a student is enrolled at least half-time and repayment on the loans does not start until 6 months after the student drops below half-time enrollment, graduates or withdraws.
A graduate level student may be eligible for up to $8,500 in subsidized loans, and $12,000 in unsubsidized loans per academic year.
The current interest rate on a Direct Loan is: subsidized 6.8% (as of July 1, 2010), and unsubsidized 6.8%.
To qualify for this loan, you must file a FAFSA. The Subsidized portion of the loan will depend on the need that is determined from your FAFSA information. If you have no need or low need, you will receive the Unsubsidized portion instead. Either way, you will qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan regardless of your need. 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 LoanMaster Promissory Note and complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. Visit www.studentloans.gov and sign in to complete the process.
The Federal Direct Grad Plus Loan is a federal loan with a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. 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 (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.
The maximum a student may borrow in this program is your cost of attendance minus other financial aid you have received. If you are unsure of the amount you are eligible for, contact our office for help.
To apply for a Federal Grad Plus Loan you will need to sign in and complete the PLUS Request Process at www.studentloans.gov.
For more information about loans, email the Financial Aid Office or call 563/333-6314.