Two types of federal student loans are available for graduate students –
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan – This loan is available to eligible graduate students to help cover the cost of higher education with no credit check required. More information: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized
- Annual and Lifetime Limits apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans:
- Graduate students are eligible for up to $20,500 each year and $138,500 total lifetime.
- Clinical Psychology PhD students only are eligible for an additional $16,667 annually and an additional $85,500 total lifetime.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan – This credit-based loan is available to students who have reached their annual or lifetime borrowing limit on their Unsubsidized federal 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. More information: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/plus/grad
Both types of federal student loans are eligible for a variety of repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs through the Department of Education. More information: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment
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:
How Much Can I Borrow?
The maximum amount of financial aid for any student is determined by the Cost of Attendance (COA) budget which includes tuition, books/supplies, transportation (for programs with in-person events), room/board, and personal expenses. Loans can be used to fill any gaps between any scholarships, grants, or other funding that you have and the total cost of attendance.
How is my loan packaged and when will I receive a refund?
Loans are generally packaged with equal disbursements for one full year with an anticipated disbursement date approximately one week before the start of each of the three terms (or 5 modules for the OD&L program). In special circumstances, such as when a student will be graduating in one or two terms, we can originate the loan to be disbursed equally over one or two terms. Your Offer Letter will be available in WebAdvisor Self-Service once your loan has been packaged, and it includes the details about your loan period, loan amounts, and anticipated disbursement dates for each term. Federal and private student loan funds are sent directly to the school. The funds are credited to your student account on your anticipated disbursement date, and any owed balance is paid from that credit. Any remaining credit balance after applicable charges have been paid will be refunded to you by the student accounts office in the form of a check or automatic deposit within 14 days of disbursement.
Should I Borrow Federal or Private?
Beyond having highly flexible repayment options such as income-based repayment and loan forgiveness options, there are several reasons why students may prefer to use federal student loans over private student loans. If you are not eligible for a federal student loan, you may wish to consider a private student loan. In some cases, you may be able to restore your federal aid eligibility, so be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office before considering a private loan. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information to students choosing between student loan options.
Federal vs. Private Loan Comparison
Private Student Loans
Fielding does not endorse any loan or lender, and we will work with any student loan provider that you select. International students generally need a US co-signer for a private student loan.
The student loans offered by private lenders vary widely, so be sure to carefully research the loan options and borrower benefits, such as:
- Academic progress & registration level requirements
- Interest rate – fixed vs. variable, including co-signer benefits
- Re-payment terms, including deferment options if you experience hardship
- In-school deferment options, especially if there is a limited number of years
If you determine that a private loan is the correct choice for you, you may apply directly through the lender or through ELM Select. The lender will do a credit check, and that credit check may affect your credit score. After you apply for the loan, the lender will contact the Financial Aid Office for certification. Some additional information will be needed from you by the Financial Aid Office to complete that certification.
Student Lending Code of Conduct
To prohibit a conflict of interest when administering financial aid, employees of Fielding comply with the following policy.
Student Lending Policy