A "loan" is a form of financial aid.  It is money that you borrow, which must be repaid often with interest.  The most common kinds of loans are :

Federal Perkins Loans
This is a low-interest (presently 5 percent) federal loan made available through the College to matriculated students enrolled at least half-time.  Loans are awarded according to need and repayment begins nine months after graduation or termination of college attendance.

Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan Program


These loans are available directly from the federal government to graduate students who need additional funds. Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year minus any subsidized loans received within the same award year. An origination fee of 1 percent of the loan amount is deducted from the amount borrowed. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8 percent. Two repayment options for interest are available. Students may begin repayment while still attending school by paying the interest, with repayment of the principal deferred until after graduation or termination of attendance. The aggregate total that may be borrowed from this program is $138,500 minus any subsidized loans received including undergraduate loans.

Loan Limit Table
For students, who have obtained baccalaureate degrees and are enrolled in coursework necessary for professional credentials or state certifications that are required for employment as teachers in an elementary or secondary school, the additional unsubsidized loan limit has been increased from $5,000 to $7,000.  The subsidized/unsubsidized combined loan limit has not been increased for these students.

Effective Date: The increased loan limits are shown below in italics and are effective for any loan certified or originated on or after July 1, 2007: 

Annual Loan Limits


Graduate and Professional Students


Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012






Aggregate Loan Limits


Unsubsidized Aggregate


Effective July 1, 2008

Graduate and Professional Students


Unchanged at $138,500
(maximum 65,500 subsidized)

Graduate Plus Loan
The Grad PLUS Loan, a low interest, federally backed student loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Government, like its undergraduate counterpart, can be used to pay for the total cost of education less any aid a student has already been awarded.  Also like the undergraduate version, eligibility for the Graduate PLUS Loan is largely dependent on the borrower's credit rating and history, as opposed to the purely financial need-based Graduate Direct Loan. The annual interest rate is fixed at 7.9 percent. An origination fee is deducted from the loan amount.           

Alternative Loans
These are private lender loans for students who may not be eligible for Federal Direct Student Loans or for students who are eligible and need additional funds to help meet additional educational expenses including tuition and housing.  The amount that a student may borrow is limited to the “cost of attendance” as determined by federal approved standard budgets.  Students who are non-matriculated or who are registered for less than 6 credits may also apply.  All applicants are subject to credit review or may require a co-signer.  Students who do not have eligible citizenship status for federal financial aid may borrow an Alternative Loan if they have a co-signer with eligible citizenship status.

Contact the bank of your choice to inquire about their private educational loan opportunities.  When you have selected a lender, you may ask a loan representative questions like:

  • What are your current interest rates?
  • Do I need a co-borrower?
  • After school, what are my repayment options?

Financial Aid Estimator
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