Federal Direct Loan Program
College can be expensive when you add up the cost of tuition, books, housing, transportation and other fees. When you submit your application to the admissions office, make sure that to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In addition to Federal grants and other financial aid, you may need to consider a William D. Ford Direct Loan (or Federal Direct Student Loan). The U.S. Department of Education offers two student loan programs:
Direct Stafford Loans ~ Subsidized & Unsubidized
Eligible Borrowers: Dependent or Independent Students that are enrolled in a qualified Title IV college, university or technical schools that will result in a degree or certification upon completion. Students may be enrolled in an undergraduate, undergraduate or professional program.
Subsidized vs Unsubsidized Loan: Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need. Interest is paid by the Federal government while the student is enrolled in school or in certain deferment statuses. Graduate and professional students are no longer eligible for subsidized Stafford loans. Both subsidized and unsubsidized loans have the principle payments deferred while in school, however, the interest for unsubsidized loans is due quarterly or will be capitalized or added to the principle amount of the entire loan when it goes into repayment.
Loan Amounts and Limits: Loan amounts are based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the schools cost of attendance. The amount for which a student would be eligible at a two year community college versus a four year private college may vary due to the cost of attendance. However, there are loan limits determined by student status, year in school and if the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized.
A detailed explanation of eligibility, grace periods, interest, loan amounts and limits is available at Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
Direct PLUS Loans ~ Parent & Professional/Graduate Students
Eligible Borrowers: Parents of dependent undergraduate students; graduate or professional students borrowing for themselves
Loan Amounts and Limits: Annual amounts are limited to the cost of education less any financial aid awarded; there are no aggregate loan limits as the annual limits are based on the cost of education each year.
A detailed explanation of eligibility, grace periods, interest, loan amounts and limits is available at Federal Direct PLUS Loans.
The U.S. Department of Education offers attractive interest rates, repayment plans and default prevention options to help students manage their debt when they graduate or leave school.
Private Student Loans
The decision to take out a private student loan can only be made by you but by doing your research and asking questions, you will be making an informed decision. Private student loans are offered by financial institutions such as banks or credit unions. Visit our Private Loans page for more information and additional resources about private loans.