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Paying For School

Loans

Loans

Loans are borrowed money. You must repay loans with interest. Learn more about loans.

What are Federal Direct Loans?
There are two types of federal direct loans, subsidized and unsubsidized.  Both loans require the completion of the FAFSA to determine a student's financial need. You must be enrolled in at least six credits to receive loans.

What are Subsidized Direct Loans?
The subsidized Direct Loan is for students who have a demonstrated financial need, as determined by the college's Cost of Attendance and Expected Family Contribution derived from the FAFSA.  The Federal Government pays the interest for Direct Subsidized Loans while you are in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.

What are Unsubsidized Direct Loans?
The unsubsidized Direct Loan is a non-need-based loan.   Interest begins accruing for Direct Unsubsidized Loans as soon as the funds are disbursed to your account.

How much can I borrow?
As a rule of thumb, do not borrow more than you need. Consider how much you borrow carefully since more loan debt results in higher monthly payments. 

Independent students who are Freshman (under 30 credits completed) can apply for up to $9500/per year in loans; sophomores (30 or more credits completed) can apply for up to $10,500/per year.  Dependent, freshman can receive up to $5500/year and sophomores $6500/year.

What are the borrowing limits?
There are limits to the amount of loan a student may borrow.  The total amount that a student may borrow for the academic career is called the aggregate limit, which is specified in federal regulations.  Dependent undergraduate students may borrow a combined total of subsidized and unsubsidized loan in the amount of  $31,000.  Independent students may borrow a total of $57,500.  Borrowing more than you need means: 

  • You may reach your loan aggregate quickly.   If you plan to transfer to a four-year school, you may run out of loan money and not be able to complete your Bachelor's degree. 
  • You may find you have borrowed more than you can afford to repay. 

Read more about borrowing responsibly here. (pdf)