Loans

Loans

Learn about applying for loans that can make paying tuition more affordable.

If you apply for financial aid by filing the FAFSA, you may be offered loans as part of your financial aid offer. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. Some loans are need-based; others are available to any enrolled student.

Borrowing can be costly. We recommend you consider borrowing only if you have exhausted all other options and only borrow what you need. Make a budget for yourself to keep your debt within manageable limits.

All federal loans (Federal Direct Loans including PLUS) students receive are reported on the National Student Loan Data System. The information is accessible to guaranty agencies, lenders and authorized users at schools. You can access your information using your Department of Education FSA ID at the Federal Student Aid website.

PA College Student Lending Code of Conduct.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is only offered to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan does not charge interest to the student as long as he/she is enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Interest accrues from the start of the 6-month grace period and throughout the repayment period.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan. You are responsible for paying all interest on the loan.

Interest is charged beginning the day the loan is paid to you until the day the loan is repaid in full. You either may choose to pay the accumulated interest while you are in school, or to have the unpaid, interest capitalized, i.e., added to the principal balance of the loan.

NOTE: If your loan interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount you have to repay.

Annual and Aggregate Loan Maximums

 Dependent Undergraduate StudentDependent Undergraduate Student with a Parent PLUS Loan denial*Independent Undergraduate StudentGraduate and Professional Degree Student
First-Year

(0 – 29 credits)
$5,500

A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized
$9,500

A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized
$9,500

A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized
$20,500

Entire amount is unsubsidized
Second-Year

(30 – 59 credits)
$6,500

A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized
$10,500

A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized
$10,500

A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized
 
Third-, Fourth-, and Fifth-Years

(60+ credits)
$7,500

A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized
$12,500

A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized
$12,500

A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized
 
Career Maximum Loan Amounts$31,000

A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized
$57,500

A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized
$57,500

A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized
$138,500

The graduate debt limit includes Federal Direct Loans received for undergraduate study.
Are there additional steps I need to do to receive my loan?
Do I have to borrow the full amount that was offered to me?
What are the current interest rates on Federal Direct Loans?
Are there fees to borrow these loans?
When do I begin repayment on my loan(s)?

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that enables graduate and professional students with good credit histories to help meet educational expenses.

Even though the Graduate PLUS Loan is available to all graduate and professional students regardless of financial need, you must still file the FASFA to be eligible.

The Graduate PLUS Loan has a higher interest rate than Federal Direct Loans and students should exhaust their Federal Direct Loan eligibility before applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan. A credit check is required, although credit requirements are less stringent than for student alternative loans.

For additional information concerning Federal Direct Loans including interest rates, fees, consolidation, deferments, and loan calculators, see the Federal Student Aid Direct Loan Site.

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?
What are the credit criteria for the loan?
What types of credit decisions will be made?
Do I have to be enrolled for a minimum number of credits to receive this loan?
What are the current interest rates and fees for this loan?

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan helps parents assist with their student’s educational costs. PLUS loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the education expenses of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student (as determined by Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)).

Even though the Parent PLUS Loan is available to dependent undergraduate students regardless of financial need, the student must still file the FASFA to be eligible.  The Parent PLUS Loan is the parent’s loan for the student.  At no time can the loan be transferred to the student’s name.

The Parent PLUS Loan has a higher interest rate than Federal Direct Loans and students should exhaust their Federal Direct Loan eligibility before applying for a Parent PLUS Loan. A credit check is required, although credit requirements are less stringent than for student alternative loans.

For additional information concerning Federal Direct Loans including interest rates, fees, consolidation, deferments, and loan calculators, see the Federal Student Aid Direct Loan Site.

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan?
What are the credit criteria for the loan?
What types of credit decisions will be made?
What are the eligibility requirements for me and my student?
What are the current interest rates and fees for this loan?
When do I begin loan repayment?

Private Loans

PA College strongly encourages you to complete the FAFSA prior to applying for a private educational loan to ensure you receive all federal and state assistance you qualify for prior to completing a private educational loan application. After determining what you are eligible for, you can consider other options for educational financing to assist you in meeting college costs.

You should weigh the options between a Federal Direct PLUS Loan (parents of dependent undergraduate student or graduate/masters degree students only), Private/Alternative Parent Loans (any credit-worthy person who is not the student wishing to gift the cost of education on their behalf) and a Private/Alternative Student Loan (student & credit-worthy co-signer).  

Our office provides a historical list of private lenders our students have used on ELMSelect and the lenders are displayed in no particular order. You are not obligated to borrow only from the lenders listed in ELMSelect. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences will process alternative loans from lenders who are not listed.

Self-Certification Form

The Federal Truth in Lending Act requires a lender to obtain a self-certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private education loan. The school is required on request to provide the form or the required information only for students admitted or enrolled at the school. Submit the signed Self-Certification Form to your private lender.