Federal College Loans
Federal Stafford Loan
Students who demonstrate a financial need as determined by federal guidelines will be eligible to borrow a Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan. Students who do not demonstrate need in the application process will have the option of applying for an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. The major difference between these two loans is that the student who borrows an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan is responsible for the interest that accumulates while he/she is in school. With the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, the federal government pays interest and other costs during the period of enrollment. Repayment by the student begins six months after he/she is no longer enrolled at least on a half-time basis.
The interest rates on loans made during the 2019-20 academic year are 4.53 percent for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduates. Annual borrowing limits are $5,500 for freshmen (0 to 28 hours); $6,500 for sophomores (29 to 58 hours); and $7,500 for juniors and seniors (59 hours or more). Graduate levels are at 6.08 percent, and the annual borrowing limit is $20,500.
Federal PLUS Loans
This is a non-need-based college loan program that allows parents to apply to borrow funds to pay for college expenses. A parent may apply to borrow a maximum of the student’s cost of attendance minus any student financial aid. The PLUS loan has an annual interest rate of 7.08 percent for the 2019-20 academic year. Monthly repayment on PLUS loans begins within 60 days after the second disbursement of the loan. Deferment may be requested at the time of application for the loan.
Private College Loans
Important Private Loan Information
- Students are strongly encouraged to pursue all other types of aid, including federal loans, before applying for a private college loan since grant/scholarship money is free and federal loans have a lower, fixed interest rate.
- A student who has exhausted all other financial aid options may want to consider applying for an alternative educational loan.
- Students can apply for this type of loan on their own, if credit-worthy. If not, a credit-worthy cosigner will be required.
- Students can borrow up to total cost of attendance minus other aid received.
- Payments are deferred as long as the student remains enrolled at least half time. Interest does accrue while in school, so it is strongly encouraged to pay the interest while in school.
Disclosures lenders must provide to borrowers
- Application and Solicitation Disclosure — Provided when an application is initiated.
- Borrower Self-Certification Form – Each private loan lender must obtain a signed and completed self-certification form from the borrower BEFORE disbursements can be made. Although this form should be given to the student by the lender when the initial Application and Solicitation Disclosure is sent, you may obtain a copy of the self-certification form by clicking here.
- Loan Approved Disclosure — Sent after credit is approved. This disclosure provides information about terms of the loan. The borrower must actively accept the loan term within 30 days of receipt of disclosure for the application to proceed.
- Final Disclosure — Sent after the borrower has accepted the terms of the loan and after the school has certified the loan amount (occurs prior to disbursement). The loan cannot be disbursed to the school until up to 7 days have passed from the lender sending disclosures to the borrower.
Private Education Loans
Though we encourage students to utilize Student Employment opportunities and summer earnings to finance their education, we realize there are some situations where students need to borrow beyond this. It is our goal to help each student understand the financial obligations they commit themselves to when borrowing. When selecting a private loan lender, carefully examine the rates and terms associated with the loan. The borrower’s and/or co-borrower’s credit will be examined to determine approval of the loan. Eligibility of the loan amount applied for will be determined by cost of education minus the total of financial aid received.
ATTENTION: Federal Loan Alternatives
You may qualify for Federal college loans or other assistance. Please check your financial aid award and/or contact the Financial Aid Office regarding your eligibility. Current interest rates for federal loans:
|Loan Program||Loan Program|
|Stafford (For Students)||5.05% Fixed - Undergraduate Subsidized|
|5.05% Fixed - Undergraduate Unsubsidized|
|6.60% - Graduate Unsubsidized|
|PLUS (For Parents & Grad Level Students)||7.60% Fixed - Federal Direct Loan (Custodial and Non-custodial parents may each apply)|
Applying for a Private College Loan
Listed below are two application tools that will provide access to multiple lenders. Both INvestEd Marketplace and FASTChoice will allow you to compare lenders and rates for possible alternative loans. As a borrower, you have the option to select any lender you choose. We recommend that you select a lender included in one of the tools below in order to ensure your loans are processed as quickly and smoothly as possible. But please understand that we will process a loan with any lender, even if they are not listed on either tool. If you have any questions regarding the process used to select the lenders included in the INvestEd Marketplace or in FASTChoice, please contact our office.
- Instantly and accurately compares rates and terms from eight private loan lenders side-by-side with one credit check
- Detailed listings of APRs, interest rates, total cost, monthly payments, borrower benefits, fees and repayment options displayed
Each lender available to you in the INvestED Marketplace meets the following criteria:
- Commits to presenting upfront and accurate pricing information
- Only offers school-certified loans
- Provides an online application process for students seeking a loan
- Remains in good regulatory standing
- Products from both national and local lenders compared
- Compare up to 5 lenders at time using filters to help narrow options
- Loan cost estimator to determine total cost of loan and monthly payments for multiple loans side by side
- 15 lenders with more than 55 different loan options
- Undergrad, grad and parent loan options
- Products from both national, local and faith-based lenders