A loan is a financial award that must be repaid. The following loans are available through the USDE:
Federal Direct Loans
There are two types of Federal Direct Loan Programs: subsidized and unsubsidized.
The following are the maximum amounts dependent and independent students can borrow each year.
Dependent undergraduates (excluding dependent students whose parents are ineligible for PLUS)
Independent undergraduates (including dependent students whose parents are ineligible for PLUS (see below))
After reviewing the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office determines the maximum amount that a student can borrow each year based on:
EFC (Expected Family Contribution); Dependency status (whether they are considered dependent or independent according to the student’s FAFSA); Grade level at the beginning of the loan period.
Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) — The PLUS program allows qualified parents to borrow funds to help support their dependent children while their son/daughter is attending college. Unlike the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, the parent must pass a credit check; if the parent does not pass the credit check they may either appeal or provide a co-signer for the loan.
The EFC is not used in calculating PLUS eligibility (i.e., PLUS can replace the EFC), and the total amount a parent can borrow may not exceed the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all other aid received.
A dependent student whose parent is ineligible for a PLUS loan may be eligible for increased unsubsidized loans as shown above.
If a student obtains a loan to pay for an educational program, the student will have the responsibility to repay the full amount of the loan plus interest, less the amount any refund. If a student has received federal student financial aid program funds, the student is entitled to a refund of moneys not paid from federal student financial aid program funds.
Loans Fees 2018-19
At each disbursement the Department of Education deducts a fee. The loan fee for Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) is 1.062% for loans on or after 10/1/18 and before 10/1/19; the fee for the PLUS loan is 4.248% for loans on or after 10/1/18 and before 10/1/19.
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is money that is earned while attending school and that does not have to be repaid. FWS is a form of student employment — a need-based financial aid award that allows students to work on campus part-time. It is not a grant (because students must work to earn it), and it is not a loan (because students do not have to repay it).
In order to receive FWS, students must complete the FAFSA and have FWS eligibility. Federal funding is limited. FWS funds are distributed on an as-available basis. Students can only apply for FWS positions if they have this as part of their financial aid package. They are paid an hourly wage on a bi-weekly basis for hours worked, and their paycheck will be sent directly to them instead of applied to their bill. Note: students who are awarded FWS must complete all of the forms listed in the FWS Guidelines.