Stafford Loans: For All Students
Federal Direct Stafford Loans are low-interest loans administered by the U.S. Department of Education. If you choose to use your Federal Stafford Loans, you must complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
- Subsidized loans are given based on need, and you won’t accrue interest or be required to pay off the loan while you are enrolled at least half-time in school. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program.
- Unsubsidized loans are available to students who do not qualify for a Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan or qualify for only a partial Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan. Under this program, you as the borrower are responsible for the interest that accrues while you are in school. You can elect to make monthly payments while enrolled or defer all payments until six months after your status drops below half-time. All Graduate Stafford Loans are unsubsidized.
Parent PLUS Loans: For Undergraduates
The U.S. Department of Education offers the Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan program, which lets parents borrow a Parent PLUS Loan to pay your education expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student and enrolled at least half-time. Parents must be creditworthy to receive the loan. The parent is financially responsible for this loan—not the student.
After filing a FAFSA, visit this Web site to apply for a Parent PLUS loan. Be sure to put in an actual dollar amount that you wish to borrow) and sign a PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). Because the credit check performed during the Parent PLUS loan application process is only valid for 180 days, we recommend that families do not complete a Parent PLUS loan MPN until after May 1. If the loan is denied, and you do not wish to appeal the decision, we will award an additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
Direct Grad PLUS Loan: For Graduates
The U.S. Department of Education offers the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan. Graduate students are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial aid. To apply, you must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program. Students must also be creditworthy to receive the loan. To apply, complete the FAFSA and borrow the annual maximum Stafford Loan eligibility.
Private and Alternative Loans
In addition to the federal programs, you may want to explore private and alternative loans.