Student Loan Information

Federal Direct Loan Program

Eligibility Requirements for students borrowing a Federal Direct Loan, both subsidized and unsubsidized:

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program.
  • You must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • You cannot be in default on a federal student loan.

Direct Subsidized loans are for undergraduate students only with demonstrated financial need as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time and during deferment periods. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need and interest is charged during all periods. For loans disbursed from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, the interest rate is 4.29%. There is a 1.073% origination fee for loans disbursed from October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are low-interest loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional degree students. The interest rate is 6.84% for loans disbursed from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016. The origination fee is 4.292% for loans disbursed from October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015.

The eligibility requirements for a parent to borrow a Direct PLUS Loan are:

  • You must be a biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom you are borrowing.
  • Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time. Generally, a child is considered dependent for federal purposes if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents and is not married, a veteran, a graduate/professional degree student, or a ward of the court.
  • A credit check that will be performed and will exclude anyone with an adverse credit history.
  • You and your child must each be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.

Alternative/Private Loans

You may want to consider a private student loan if you need additional funding for educational expenses, and only after you have exhausted all potential scholarships, federal grants, work-study funds and federal loans.

Private student loans are offered by private lenders, such as banks and credit unions. Unlike federal student loans, which are guaranteed by the federal government, private student loan terms vary from lender to lender. It is important to ask questions when deciding to borrow a private loan so that you can compare the terms and choose the one that best fits your needs.