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Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and mortgages.  Many students find that they must borrow money to finance a portion of their education. Before you borrow, consider carefully how much you will need to borrow and the burden your loans will impose after you leave school. The Financial Aid Administrator at your institution can provide you with more information on the responsibilities you assume when you borrow money.

Entrance and Exit Loan Counseling

It is required by law that all students receiving Perkins and Direct Loans undergo both entrance and exit counseling. This counseling provides critical information about your loans and your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower.

Click here for information from US Department of Education

Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan program provides low interest, long term loans to eligible students through the U.S. Department of Education.

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:

  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
    A subsidized Federal Direct Loan is awarded based on financial need and accrues no interest while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time, during the grace period or during periods of deferment.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
    An unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not dependent upon need. Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed until final payment. The student has the option to make interest payments while in school and during the grace period.

 If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. It is important that you understand how interest is calculated and the fees associated with your loan. Both of these factors will impact the amount you will be required to repay. Please visit: for more information.

If you indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in loans, we will automatically consider you for both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, first awarding the maximum subsidized amount, then the maximum unsubsidized amount according to program limits and your eligibility.   

Additional Information:  Direct Loans on studentaid.govItem Title visible when collapsed

  Dependent Student (whose parents were not denied a PLUS loan) Independent Student  (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS Loan)
1ST Year (Freshman):
0 - 29 credit hours
$5,500 (no more than $3500 subsidized) $9,500 (no more than $3500 subsidized)
2nd Year (Sophomore):
30 - 59 credit hours
$6,500 (no more than $4500 subsidized) $10,500 (no more than $4500 subsidized)
3rd Year+(Junior/Senior):
60+ credit hours
$7,500 (no more than $5500 subsidized) $12,500 (no more than $5500 subsidized)

Federal regulations require that we limit or reduce the amount of a Federal Direct Loan under certain prescribed conditions. These conditions are as follows: (1) you are an undergraduate and you apply for a Stafford Loan and are enrolled less than a full academic year (fall and spring semesters), or (2) you will complete all degree requirements at the end of the semester or term. If both of these conditions occur, the Federal Direct Loan amount may be reduced. We will make this adjustment and send you a revised award letter.

Interest Rates

Interest rates for Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, and before July 1, 2022, are listed as follows:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate): 3.73%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate or Professional): 5.28%
  • Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional Students): 6.28%

Loan Fees

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
On or after 10/1/2020 and before 10/1/2022: 1.05%

Direct PLUS Loans
On or after 10/1/2020 and before 10/1/2022: 4.228%

Click here for further information on Direct Loan fees and Interest rates. 

First-time borrowers must complete entrance loan counseling and sign a promissory note with the U.S. Department of Education online at prior to disbursement of funds.

Students who have graduated or are no longer enrolled who received Federal Direct Loans must complete exit counseling at Complete Exit Counseling.

Exit Counseling Guide

 The Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is designed to assist the parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time in meeting educational expenses. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a non-need-based program and the lender is the U.S. Department of Education. However, the parent borrower must pass a credit check. A completed current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be on file for the student before a Parent PLUS loan can be processed. A parent may borrow up to the student’s full cost of attendance for educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and living allowance, less any other financial aid the student receives.

Parent PLUS Loans, interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full. Repayment begins within 60 days after the final loan disbursement or parent borrowers may choose to defer payments on a Parent PLUS loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Accruing interest can either be paid monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly.

Dependent students whose parents have applied for but were unable to get a PLUS Loan are eligible to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds.

 To complete the PLUS MPN:

  • Go to 

  • Click the ‘Log in’ button then key the necessary credentials.

  • Click “Complete Master Promissory Note” at the center OR lower left of the page. 

  • Select ‘Preview’ or ‘Complete’ PLUS MPN for Parents

  • Follow the instructions and read the information carefully to sign your MPN.

Private loans are loans that help bridge the gap between the cost of education and financial aid available through federal programs. We encourage all students and parents to consider applying for federal student loans before applying for private loans. Because these are private loans, lenders can change the terms and conditions of their loans; therefore, we suggest you verify this information with the lender prior to applying for a private loan with that company. Please know that the University or its representatives will not be able to endorse, represent nor be able to provide advice on any of the lenders of your choosing. These lenders are not recommended by the University, merely a listing of lenders our students have used in the past. Most lenders have applications available on-line followed by a credit check and an applicant must not have adverse credit. If so, you have the option of getting a co-signer. A co-signer must have good credit.

How to Apply

  • Research lenders to determine which one is best for you
  • Apply directly with the lender of choice
  • Complete all required documentation
  • You are encouraged to only borrow needed funds

Prior Private Loan Lenders

Listed below is a list of lenders our students have used, but you are not limited to these lenders.  You may choose any lender of your choice.

  • Citibank
  • CU Student Loan
  • Discover
  • Empower FCU
  • Regions Smart Option
  • SC Student Loan Corporation (PAL)
  • Sallie Mae
  • Wells Fargo


Most private loan disbursements are made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from your lender to the University. These funds are applied to the student’s account with any excess being released to the student after all University fees have been paid in full.

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data. 


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