When scholarships and grants don’t cover your educational costs, the next step is to look for loans that will “fill the gap.” College is one of the most significant and worthwhile investments of time, effort and money that you will make during your entire life. Carefully consider your return on investment and research your future career’s median salary before deciding how much money you will borrow. The investment you make now will lead to a marketable degree from a respected university that will equip you to make the world a better place.
Types of Loans
Federal Direct Loans are offered to undergraduate students at a low fixed interest rate. Students must be enrolled at least half time (6 units) to be eligible. Repayment begins six months after the student leaves school or drops below half-time status. Students must complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note before they can receive their first disbursement (see section below).
The Federal Direct Loan program offers the following types of loans:
Subsidized: These loans are for students who demonstrate financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
Unsubsidized: These loans are not based on financial need and interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. Students need to complete the FAFSA.
PLUS: These loans are for parents of dependent students. PLUS Loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. To apply for the Parent PLUS Loan, one parent needs to log in to complete the application process. The parent also needs to complete a Master Promissory Note on the same website. Repayment begins within 60 days of the loan being fully disbursed, unless the borrower chooses to defer payments. For full details on Parent PLUS, refer to the loan application or visit their website.
Learn more about federal loans.
Private loans are available when federal loans and other aid do not cover your cost of education. Private educational loan programs vary by lender. Please contact specific lenders to find out about terms and conditions that may apply. View a list of venders.
Current Interest Rates
Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans - 4.45% (Fixed - valid July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018)
Parent PLUS Loans - 7% (Fixed - valid July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018)
A loan fee (or origination fee) is an expense of borrowing a Federal Direct Loan (Sub/Unsub/PLUS). It is the percentage of the amount of each loan the borrower receives and is subtracted proportionately from each disbursement. For Federal Direct Loans originated or disbursed on 10/01/2016 to 09/30/2017, the following loan fees will be applied:
Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans – 1.069% (10/01/2016 to 09/30/2017) Current Fees
Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans – 1.066% (10/01/2017 to 09/30/2018)
Parent PLUS Loan – 4.276% (10/01/2016 to 09/30/2017) Current Fees
Parent PLUS Loan – 4.264% (10/01/2017 to 09/30/2018)
Example: $5,500 loan for the 2017–2018 school year:
|FA17 Disbursement||$2,750 x 1.069%||= $2,721|
|SP18 Disbursement||$2,750 x 1.069%||= $2,721|
|Total Received||= $5,442|
|Dependent Students*||Independent Students|
|Freshman (0–29 units)||$5,500 ($3,500 sub)||$9,500 ($3,500 sub)|
|Sophomore (30–59 units)||$6,500 ($4,500 sub)||$10,500 ($4,500 sub)|
|Junior (60–89 units)||$7,500 ($5,500 sub)||$12,500 ($5,500 sub)|
|Senior (90+ units)||$7,500 ($5,500 sub)||$12,500 ($5,500 sub)|
|Total||$31,000 ($23,000 sub)||$57,500 ($23,000 sub)|
Amount in parentheses represents the maximum amount of subsidized loans a student is eligible to receive at that grade level. Subsidized loans are need based, so the amounts can vary depending on the FAFSA. The remaining amount (up to the limit for that grade level) is offered in the form of a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. (Example: If a freshman can receive $5,500 in total Federal Stafford Loans, and the FAFSA determines they can receive $3,500 in subsidized loans, they will then receive $2,000 in unsubsidized loans. $3,500 + $2,000 = $5,500.)
*Dependent students whose parents cannot get approved for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan will receive an additional $4,000/year unsubsidized loan if a freshman or sophomore, or $5,000 unsubsidized loan if a junior or senior. These additional amounts cannot exceed the independent aggregate limit.
All first-time borrowers are required to complete a Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling. Loans will not be processed if documents are missing.
Master Promissory Note: A legal agreement between the borrower and lender to repay the loans.
Read the FAQs for more information.
Entrance Counseling: An interactive session that shows your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower.
Read the FAQs for more information.