Types of Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loans are a primary source of loan assistance for graduate students. This is a low-interest loan processed through the federal government.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for graduate/professional students has the following terms/features:

  • A fixed interest rate of 5.41% on loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.  The interest rate adjusts each July 1st on new loans and is calculated using a base 10-year Treasury Note Index plus an add-on of 3.60% (not to exceed 9.50%).
  • Interest begins to accrue when loan funds are disbursed. 
  • An origination fee of 1.051% will be withheld from disbursements.  For new loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 the origination fee is 1.072%.
  • The maximum annual loan limit for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is $20,500. Note: Students in the School of Education Licensure programs have reduced loan limits.
  • No credit check and no cosigner required.
  • FAFSA is required.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
  • Aggregate borrowing limit of $138,500 for students enrolled in graduate degree programs (includes outstanding total undergraduate loans and subsidized loan amounts).
  • Standard 10-year repayment plan with option for extending repayment up to 25 years for those whose total subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Loan debt exceeds $30,000.
  • Flexible repayment options.
  • Deferment and Forbearance options are available to temporarily reduce or delay your monthly payments.
  • Loan cancellation in the event of your death or permanent and total disability.
  • Eligible for Federal Loan Consolidation.

While no credit check is performed, if you are in default on a federal loan or owe a refund or repayment of a federal grant, you are not eligible for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan or any other federal student aid program.

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan for graduate/professional students has the following terms/features:

  • A fixed interest rate of 6.41% on loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.  The interest rate adjusts each July 1st on new loans and is calculated using a base 10-year Treasury Note Index plus an add-on of 4.60% (not to exceed 10.50%).
  • Interest begins to accrue when loan funds are disbursed.
  • An origination fee of 4.204% will be withheld from disbursements.  For new loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 the origination fee is 4.288%.
  • Each academic year, a student can borrow up to their total cost of attendance budget as determined by the Graduate Financial Aid Office.
  • Credit Check is required. Students with no adverse credit would be approved for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.
  • FAFSA is required.
  • Ability to defer repayment while you are in school school at least half-time.
  • Repayment for recent loans begins 6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
  • Deferment and Forbearance options are available to temporarily reduce or delay your monthly payments.
  • Loan cancellation in the event of your death or permanent and total disability.
  • Eligible for Federal Loan Consolidation.

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan for licensure students in the School of Education has the following terms/features:

  • A fixed interest rate of 3.86% on loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.  The interest rate adjusts each July 1st on new loans and is calculated using a base 10-year Treasury Note Index plus an add-on of 2.05% (not to exceed 8.25%).
  • Interest is paid by the federal government while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
  • An origination fee of 1.051% will be withheld from disbursements.  For new loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 the origination fee is 1.072%.
  • The maximum annual loan limit for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is $5,500. The actual amount that you will receive may be less, depending on your financial need.
  • No credit check and no cosigner required.
  • FAFSA is required.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
  • Aggregate borrowing limit of $23,000 for students enrolled in licensure programs (includes outstanding undergraduate subsidized loans).
  • Standard 10-year repayment plan with option for extending repayment up to 25 years for those whose total subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Loan debt exceeds $30,000.
  • Flexible repayment options.
  • Deferment and Forbearance options are available to temporarily reduce or delay your monthly payments.
  • Loan cancellation in the event of your death or permanent and total disability.
  • Eligible for Federal Loan Consolidation.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for licensure students in the School of Education has the following terms/features:

  • A fixed interest rate of 3.86% on loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.  The interest rate adjusts each July 1st on new loans and is calculated using a base 10-year Treasury Note Index plus an add-on of 2.05% (not to exceed 8.25%).
  • Interest begins to accrue when loan funds are disbursed.
  • An origination fee of 1.051% will be withheld from disbursements.  For new loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 the origination fee is 1.072%.
  • The maximum annual loan limit for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is determined by your dependency status on the FAFSA.
  • No credit check and no cosigner required.
  • FAFSA is required.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
  • Standard 10-year repayment plan with option for extending repayment up to 25 years for those whose total subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Loan debt exceeds $30,000.
  • Flexible repayment options.
  • Deferment and Forbearance options are available to temporarily reduce or delay your monthly payments.
  • Loan cancellation in the event of your death or permanent and total disability.
  • Eligible for Federal Loan Consolidation.

While no credit check is performed, if you are in default on a federal loan or owe a refund or repayment of a federal grant, you are not eligible for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan or any other federal student aid program.

Private Educational Loans

Private Educational Loans are commercial loans made by banks or other lenders to students. The FAFSA application is not required for these loans. These loans are designed for students and offer rates and fees competitive to secured loans such as car loans or home mortgages. Private Educational Loans are based on a student's overall credit profile. Your history of repayment on prior credit obligations and your current use of credit determine your eligibility and the terms offered to you under these programs.

Private Educational Loans can bridge the gap between your total cost of attendance and your resources, scholarships, grants and the Federal Loans. Private Educational Loans are considered resources for purposes of determining eligibility for other financial aid. Therefore, even though these loans are not federal loans, when included in your financial aid award, your total aid may not exceed your total cost of attendance.

When applying for Private Educational Loans, it is always best to apply with a credit-worthy cosigner. (Some lenders will accept borrowers without cosigners.) Applying with a cosigner often results in reduced fees or interest rates for the loan. A qualifying cosigner can be a spouse, parent or other adult relative or friend, who demonstrates a positive credit record and meets income and asset requirements. Several loan programs now offer a cosigner release option once you make 24 scheduled, consecutive on-time payments and pass a new credit review. See our Lender List for Private Educational Loans.

If you are eligible and plan to borrow a Private Educational Loan, you should contact a lender of your choice from the list provided to see if you are pre-approved for a loan.

Disclosure about Federal Loans

Federal loans are awarded based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who choose to participate in federal loan programs are required to have their loan records submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and those records will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders and colleges determined to be authorized users of that data system.