Student Loans

The School of Engineering participates in the Federal Direct Loan program through the U.S. Department of Education. We also offer a limited amount of Federal Perkins Loans.

Students must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify for any federal loan. Undergraduate students are considered half-time at 6 credits. Graduate students must enroll for at least 4.5 credits to qualify.

Students must be enrolled in a degree granting program. Graduate students working toward a certificate are not eligible for Federal Direct Loans at the School of Engineering.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loans

The federal government offers several educational loans for students and parents.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct student loans are borrowed by the student. The student has the sole responsibility for the repayment of the loan. Funds are applied directly to the student’s account. For full year loans, one half will be disbursed for the fall and the second half for the spring. Repayment is required six months after the student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

For subsidized loans, the government will pay the interest for the student while the student remains in attendance at least half-time.

Students are responsible for any interest accruing on unsubsidized loans.

The interest rate as of July 1, 2012 will be fixed at 6.8%.

Annual loan limits are as follows:

  • $3,500 for freshmen
  • $4,500 for sophomores
  • $5,500 for juniors and seniors

Students must demonstrate need by completing the FAFSA each year to qualify for the above amounts as subsidized for undergraduate students. If need is not demonstrated, then above amounts will be unsubsidized.

All undergraduate students may borrow an additional $2,000 per year in an unsubsidized loan.

As of July 1, 2011 graduate students may only qualify for unsubsidized loans. Yearly aggregate may not exceed $20,500.

The total allowable aggregate limit for undergraduate students is $31,000. No more than $23,000 of these loans may be subsidized. Graduate students may not borrow more than $138,000 (combined undergraduate loans and graduate loans.)

Parent PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers parents of dependent children attending an undergraduate school the opportunity to apply for the Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). This loan is in the parent’s name and repayment is the responsibility of the parent applying. PLUS loans are subject to credit approval by Direct Lending.

The Direct PLUS loan has a fixed 7.9% interest rate. The Direct Loan Program, through five different loan services throughout the country, manages Direct PLUS loans. Once your loan is with a servicer, it will not be sold or transferred to another lender or company.

For instructions on how to apply for a loan please see our Direct PLUS loan instructions online.

Graduate PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers Graduate PLUS loans to students working toward a Masters or Doctorate Degree. This loan is in the student’s name and repayment is solely the responsibility of the student. Graduate PLUS loans are subject to credit approval by Direct Lending.

The Direct PLUS loan has a fixed 7.9% interest rate. The Direct Loan Program, through five different loan services throughout the country, manages Direct PLUS loans. Once your loan is with a servicer, it will not be sold or transferred to another lender or company.

For instructions on who to apply for a loan please see our Direct PLUS loan instructions online.

Perkins Loans

Perkins loan funding is limited and awarded on a first come basis to the financially neediest students. They are a federal loan. The interest rate is 5% upon repayment. Students begin repayment 9 months after they leave school or drop to below half-time enrollment.

Eligible students will be awarded Perkins Loan in their financial aid packages. For first time borrowers, Instructions will be sent on completing the MPN.

Alternative/Private Loans

An Alternative Student Loan is a private student loan in the Student’s name. These loans can be used when students have remaining balances and have exhausted their eligibility for federal loans. A creditworthy co-signer is highly recommended to keep the loan fees and interest rate to a minimum and usually required by the lender. The interest rate on the alternative student loan varies by lender and can depend on the creditworthiness of the student and their co-signer. To apply for an Alternative Student Loan, you must apply directly with the lender of your choice.

For more information on alternative loans and a list of various lenders, please visit the site for more Alternative Loan Information and Applications.

Student Loans/ Financial Awareness Couseling

Take advantage of the government's recently introduced website for managing federal loans. We encourage students to visit, please click here for information.