To receive a Federal Student Loan or Parent Plus Loan, a student must:
- Students must be enrolled at least half time and making satisfactory academic progress.
- Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Borrowers may not be in default on any FSA loan or owe an overpayment on an FSA Grant or loan and have not made repayment arrangements for the default or overpayment.
- 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 can receive 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 are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrated financial need. The amount you can borrow is determined by your school and based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid received. You are responsible for paying interest during all periods. If you choose not to pay interest during attendance, or during grace, deferment, or forbearance periods, interest will accrue and be capitalized.
Federal Direct Plus Loans are available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students who cannot meet all of their cost of education with other financial aid. Plus loans require good credit and are limited to the cost of attendance less any financial aid received by the student. Repayment on a Plus loan usually begins once your loan is fully disbursed, although deferments are available.
Interest accrues on loans during periods you are not making payments. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized when you begin making payments.
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.).
Borrowers are not required to many any payments while enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
Visit FSA Loans for additional Direct Loan Information
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.