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 award 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 NSLDS website.

PA College adheres to the Student Lending Code of Conduct.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is only offered to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need as determined by 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?

Yes. If you are a first time borrower of federal loans, you must complete Entrance Counseling and a Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note (MPN)). Both of these can be completed online using the link below and must be done before your loan(s) will apply to your account balance. The MPN is valid for 10 years, and the Entrance Counseling is only done during the first semester you borrow loan(s) at PA College.

If you are transferring to PA College and had a Federal Direct Loan at a previous school, your MPN will transfer automatically. You will need to use the link below to transfer your Entrance Counseling to PA College.

Important Links/Information

Entrance Counseling/Loan Agreement

Do I have to borrow the full amount that was offered to me?

No. In fact, we recommend only borrowing the amount you need. After you click the “Accept” button when accepting your financial aid, you are able to change the amount to what you would like to borrow. Please keep in mind the amount you borrow will be split equally in half between fall and spring semesters.

What are the current interest rates on Federal Direct Loans?

While interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan, the interest rates can change each year you accept a new loan. For the current rates, please visit the Department of Education’s website for Federal Direct Loans.

Are there fees to borrow these loans?

Yes. These fees are called “origination fees” and are charged by the Department of Education.  For the current charges, visit the Department of Education’s website for Federal Direct Loans.

When do I begin repayment on my loan(s)?

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you’ll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you’ll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly.

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 alternative student 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?

The application for the Graduate PLUS Loan can be found online at studentloans.gov.  Sign in using your Social Security number and your FSA ID.  After you’re signed in, choose “Request a Direct PLUS Loan” and follow the prompts.  Include the following on your application to ensure successful processing:

  • Award Year 2019–2020 (for Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020)
  • School Name: Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
  • Loan Amount: Maximum amount (cost of attendance less any other aid) or specify your loan amount*
  • Loan Period:
    • 08/2019–05/2020 (Fall 2019 and Spring 2020)
    • 08/2019–12/2019 (Fall 2019 only)
    • 01/2020–05/2020 (Spring 2020 only)
    • 05/2020–08/2020 (Summer 2020 only)

*Your loan will have two disbursements if you choose a full year loan period. Half of your loan will disburse in the fall and the other half in the spring. For example, a $10,000 Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan will have a $5,000 disbursement in September and a $5,000 disbursement in January, less the origination fee.

What are the credit criteria for the loan?

Credit approval is based on federally mandated criteria and not your credit score. In order to qualify, you must not have any of the following items on your credit report:

  • Any current delinquency of 90 days or more
  • Default, bankruptcy, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, write-off of a Title IV debt, or open collection within the last 5 years

Recent changes in the law that governs the terms and conditions of PLUS Loans establish a specific extenuating circumstance for certain PLUS Loan applicants who would otherwise be considered to have an adverse credit history. Specifically, a PLUS Loan applicant may qualify for a PLUS Loan based on extenuating circumstances if the applicant:

  • Has been or is delinquent for 180 days or less on mortgage loan payments or on medical bill payments for the applicant or the applicant’s family, and
  • Does not otherwise have an adverse credit history as determined in accordance with the federal regulations that apply to PLUS Loan applicants.

What types of credit decisions will be made?

Credit Approval

Credit approval is valid for three months. Your credit is evaluated every time you request a new loan unless you have had a credit decision within the preceding three months.

If you think you may have one or more of the items outlined in the credit requirements listed above you may want to obtain your credit report in advance. You may be able to fix an item such as the delinquency by simply making a payment and bringing your delinquency to less than 90 days. If you have had a situation with a discharge or collection item for example, you may be able to obtain a “settled in full” status if you work with the entity to reach a satisfactory arrangement. If you are able to fix an item, it is no longer considered in the credit evaluation and it may result in your credit being approved.

Credit Denial Options

Correspondence will be sent to Federal Direct PLUS Loan applicants, by Direct Loans, who receive an adverse credit determination. Information will include instructions to appeal the denial of a Federal Direct PLUS Loan application.  Such options include:

  • Apply with an endorser
  • Correct any invalid information on your credit report that may have led to the denial
  • Appeal the denial

If you have an endorsed or appeal approved PLUS loan you will now be required to complete the PLUS counseling component on www.studentloans.gov.

The Department of Education will inform you at the time of your appeal approval or when your PLUS loan is endorsed to complete this new PLUS counseling requirement.

Information for PLUS counseling requirements can be found at www.studentloans.gov.

For additional information about these options, contact Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394.

Do I have to be enrolled for a minimum number of credits to receive this loan?

Yes.  To receive any federal student loan (including the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan), you must be enrolled at least half-time. Half-time for all semesters is six (6) credits.

Undergraduate students do not qualify for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

What are the current interest rates and fees for this loan?

Visit the Department of Education’s website for the most current information about Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.

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 all 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 alternative student 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.

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How do I apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

The application for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan can be found online at studentloans.gov.  The parent must sign in using the parent’s Social Security number and FSA ID.  After signing in, choose “Request a Direct PLUS Loan” followed by “Parent PLUS.”  Continue to follow the remaining prompts.  Include the following on your application to ensure successful processing:

  • Award Year: 2019-2020 (for loans for fall 2019, spring 2020, and summer 2020)
  • Credit Balance: Indicate if you or your student should receive any refund from the PLUS loan
  • School Name: Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
  • Loan Amount: Maximum amount (cost of attendance less any other aid) or specify your loan amount*
  • Loan Period: 08/2019 – 05/2020 (for a full year loan) – if your student will graduate in the fall and only need a fall disbursement, choose 08/2019-12/2019

*Your loan will have two disbursements if you choose a full year loan period. Half of the loan will disburse in the fall and the other half in the spring. For example, a $10,000 Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan will have a $5,000 disbursement in September and a $5,000 disbursement in January, less the origination fee.

What are the credit criteria for the loan?

Credit approval is based on federally mandated criteria and not your credit score. In order to qualify, you must not have any of the following items on your credit report:

  • Any current delinquency of 90 days or more
  • Default, bankruptcy, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, write-off of a Title IV debt, or open collection within the last 5 years

Recent changes in the law that governs the terms and conditions of Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans establish a specific extenuating circumstance for certain Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan applicants who would otherwise be considered to have an adverse credit history. Specifically, a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan applicant may qualify for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan based on extenuating circumstances if the applicant:

  • Has been or is delinquent for 180 days or less on mortgage loan payments or on medical bill payments for the applicant or the applicant’s family, and
  • Does not otherwise have an adverse credit history as determined in accordance with the federal regulations that apply to PLUS Loan applicants.

What types of credit decisions will be made?

Credit Approval

Credit approval is valid for three months. Your credit is evaluated every time you request a new loan unless you have had a credit decision within the preceding three months.

If you think you may have one or more of the items outlined in the credit requirements listed above you may want to obtain your credit report in advance. You may be able to fix an item such as the delinquency by simply making a payment and bringing your delinquency to less than 90 days. If you have had a situation with a discharge or collection item for example, you may be able to obtain a “settled in full” status if you work with the entity to reach a satisfactory arrangement. If you are able to fix an item, it is no longer considered in the credit evaluation and it may result in your credit being approved.

Credit Denial Options

If your Parent PLUS Loan is credit denied, there are additional options available to the parent. At the time of denial, the Direct Loan online application process will provide information regarding obtaining an endorser or appealing a credit decision or the parent can contact Applicant Services for PLUS Loan borrowers at 1.800.557.7394.

PA College will also be informed of this credit denial within a 3 to 5 day time frame. At that time, PA College will offer the student additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility that the student can accept in Self-Service.

What happens if the parent endorser or credit appeal is approved?

PA College will receive notification from Direct Lending and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan will be awarded in the student’s Self-Service portal. If the additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan was already awarded to the student at the time the Fedreal Direct Parent PLUS Loan endorser/credit appeal is received, the additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan will be cancelled and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan will be awarded in its place.

What are the eligibility requirements for me and my student?

Parent requirements:

  • Must be the biological or adoptive parent of the student
  • Step-parents may apply if married to the biological or adoptive parent and the step-parent’s income and assets are listed on the FAFSA
  • Parent applying for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan must not have defaulted on any previous student or parent loans
  • Parent must re-apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan each academic year

Student requirements:

  • Have a FAFSA completed and on file
  • Be considered dependent by FAFSA
  • Enrolled half-time (6 credits)
  • Meeting financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

What are the current interest rates and fees for this loan?

Visit the Department of Education’s website for the most current information about Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans.

When do I begin loan repayment?

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student. For more information on repayment of PLUS, visit the Direct Loan Program FAQs page.

  • First payment is due 60 days after the PLUS loan is fully disbursed*
  • Standard repayment is 10 years
  • Interest accrues while the student is enrolled

*Parents may contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 to request a deferment of payment based on the dependent student’s enrollment status.

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.

Other Types of Aid