To qualify for any federal assistance a student must be a U.S. citizen or hold an alien registration card, must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling Session at www.studentloans.gov.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Unsubsidized loans may not exceed the annual loan limits of $20,500. This loan is not interest-free while the student is enrolled. However, students have the option to capitalize interest payments. Visit www.studentloans.gov to obtain current interest rates.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
A federal loan specifically for graduate students who wish to borrow additional loan funds for educational purposes. The Graduate PLUS loan should be utilized after Stafford loan funds are exhausted. You may borrow up to the cost of your education less any other financial aid awarded. Credit guidelines apply and repayment generally begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan. Repayment can be spread over 10 years. In some cases repayment of this loan can be deferred. Applications can be submitted online at: www.studentloans.gov.
This loan is for students to cover college expenses that are not covered by other financial aid resources. The Financial Aid Office strongly suggests exhausting other loan options before looking into Alternative Loans as they are not subject to federal Direct loan regulations. Interest rates, fees, and loan amounts are subject to your credit score and most students are required to have a cosigner to qualify. Once you have considered federal loan options, you can use the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace to instantly and accurately compare rates and terms from multiple alternative loan lenders side-by-side. This will help you make an informed decision about the most appropriate loan for you.
If you are interested in pursuing another alternative loan option other than the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace you may go to www.elmselect.com. This will give you a side-by-side comparison of general information of 6 more lenders. The information is not customized to each borrower but you will be able to gather general information such as their interest rate range.
Private scholarships are another good way to help fund an education and can be obtained from many sources - FinAid can help you start your search.
For information on an interest-free monthly payment plan, please visit Student Accounts.