The Two Types of Federal Student Loans Available for Graduate Students
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Generally students request this loan first because it has a more favorable interest rate and origination fee than the Direct PLUS loan, and it does not require a check for adverse credit history. Visit Studentaid.ed.gov to see the yearly and lifetime borrowing limits and current interest rates and origination fees.
- Direct PLUS Loan
This credit-based loan is available to students who have reached their annual or lifetime borrowing limit on their Unsubsidized loans, or for students who find that the Unsubsidized loan is insufficient to cover tuition or educational costs. Direct PLUS loans do require a check for adverse credit history; however, there is a process to request an appeal or use an endorser, if credit is declined initially. Visit Studentaid.ed.gov to see the current interest rates and origination fees.
Many Students Don't Know
The steps to request federal aid can be completed even before you are accepted into Fielding. Waiting until the last minute to apply for aid can lead to unexpected and often lengthy delays.Financial Aid Checklist
Am I Eligible to Receive Federal Student Loans?
Federal student loans for graduate students are not need-based. This means that to receive these loans you are not required to show financial need and your income information is not used to determine your eligibility. A few of the Basic eligibility requirements are:
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen and have a valid Social Security number (Certain exceptions apply)
- not be incarcerated. Having a conviction for a drug offense or being subject to an involuntary civil commitment after completing a period of incarceration for a sexual offense may limit your eligibility for federal student aid
- be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
- not be in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant
- maintain satisfactory academic progress
- maintain at least half-time enrollment (minimum 4 credits)
How Much Can I Borrow?
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan has both yearly and lifetime borrowing limits.
Students who have reached their yearly or lifetime borrowing limit in the Unsubsidized loan can obtain additional funding using the Direct PLUS loan program. The Direct PLUS loan has no lifetime borrowing limit as long as credit requirements are met, but it is capped by the yearly Cost of Attendance (COA) budget which includes tuition, books/supplies, transportation (for programs with in-person events), room/board, and personal expenses.