Graduate Student Loans
Federal Stafford Loan
This is a low-interest government subsidized loan and unsubsidized loan. Graduate/professional students can borrow up to $20,500 per year in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans (maximum of $8,500 in Subsidized Stafford) dependent on your tuition cost and financial need. The interest rate for students borrowing prior to July 2006 will be variable, set annually and capped at 8.25%. July 2006 to the present the rates are fixed and set annually.
If you are a new borrower or a previous borrower who is enrolling in graduate school before the end of your six month grace period, the interest and principal of your current and/or previous loans will continue to be be deferred until six months after graduation. If, on the other hand, you have started repayment on your previous loans, you must be enrolled as a full-time student in order to be eligible for deferment. If you are enrolled on a part-time basis, you may be eligible for a forebearance while enrolled. Be sure to contact your lender or loan servicer for more information.
Students must qualify for the Federal Stafford Loan by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrating need. Federal regulations require that students be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a degree-granting program. You must also complete a Graduate Application for Student Loans and your particular academic department must complete the enrollment verification form.
Subsidized and Unsubsidized
If you are found to be ineligible for the Federally Subsidized Stafford Loan you may be eligible for an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
The difference between the two loans is that the interest on the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan must be paid while the student is in school or the student may opt to allow the interest to accrue and be capitalized.
Total borrowing under the two programs cannot exceed $20,500 per year. Summer is the beginning of an academic year so if you intend to borrow for the summer you must complete the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year.
New for 2012 - Due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan program will no longer be available to graduate students as of July 1, 2012. Graduate students will still be able to borrow loan funds from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan program.
Private Loan Borrowing
Need to borrow more than just your Stafford Loans? Not enrolled at least half time so you aren't eligible for Stafford Loans? There are options available for you, click here for more information.