Federal Loan Programs
The University of Chicago administers several loan programs to assist students in covering educational costs. For most student borrowers, the Federal program provides the most appealing choice for loan options. The Federal program offers:
- Cancellation/Forgiveness options
- Low interest rates with fixed interest caps
- Deferment Options
|Federal Loan Types||Loan Fees (Origination)||Interest Rate||Maximum Annual Loan Amount||Receipt of Funds||Repayment|
|Federal Perkins Loan||None||Fixed 5%||$8,000||Disbursed to Student Account||Begins 9 month after graduation/leave school/drop below half-time|
|Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan||
|Fixed 5.84%||$20,500||Disbursed to Student Account||Begins 6 month after graduation/leave school/drop below half-time|
|Federal Direct PLUS (GradPLUS) Loan||4.276%||Fixed 6.84%||May borrow up to the cost of attendance||Disbursed to Student Account||Begins after loan has disbursed. Students may be eligible for a deferment. Please contact your loan servicer for more information.|
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan program provides a low-interest loan to students. This loan has no fees and no interest accruing while in school. It is highly recommended that you apply early to be considered for this loan. It is offered to the neediest students on a first-come, first-served basis.
New for 2016-2017
The University of Chicago may disburse the Federal Perkins loan to a continuing Perkins loan borrower, provided they receive a first disbursement of the loan on or before September 30, 2016 and;
- Are an eligible graduate student who has received a Perkins Loan before October 1, 2015 at the University of Chicago.
- Have received their most recent Perkins Loan disbursement for enrollment in an academic program at the University of Chicago.
- Receive this Perkins Loan disbursement to continue or complete the academic program for which the student received their most recent Perkins Loan disbursement.
- Are enrolled at least half-time (200 units or equivalent)
New graduate students who will begin enrollment on or after Summer 2016 will not be eligible to receive the Federal Perkins Loan.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan provides a fixed rate, low-interest loan. First-time borrowers must complete and sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance loan counseling in order to receive this loan. Continuing borrowers who have completed an MPN within the last 10 years do not have to complete a new note. If you have completed entrance loan counseling at any time in the past, you do not have to complete it again. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is subject to fees. Fees are deducted up front from each disbursement.
Federal Direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan
The Federal Direct PLUS loan program offers a federal loan for graduate students. Approval for this loan is contingent upon your credit rating. Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid.
A Grad PLUS application must be completed every year at studentloans.gov for each award year you wish to borrow the loan and for subsequent requests for the Grad PLUS loan within an award year.
First-time borrowers must complete and sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance loan counseling in order to receive this loan. Continuing borrowers who have completed an MPN within the last 10 years do not have to complete a new note. If you have completed entrance loan counseling at any time in the past, you do not have to complete it again. The Grad PLUS loan is subject to fees. Fees are deducted up front from each disbursement.
A loan request may be denied if there’s an adverse credit rating. If this happens, it’s recommended that you contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-557-7394 or their website to confirm why the loan was denied and explore the appeal process. There’s also the option to reapply for the loan with an eligible endorser (cosigner).
Students who obtain a Grad PLUS loan after documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an eligible endorser (cosigner) will be required to complete special PLUS loan counseling. This additional loan counseling is in addition to the Grad PLUS loan entrance counseling.
The credit check for a Grad PLUS loan applicant will be valid for 180 days from the date of application.
The Alternative Loan is a non-Federal loan and should be used as a last resort. Approval for an Alternative Loan is contingent upon your credit rating. A loan request may be denied if there’s an adverse credit rating. If this happens, it’s recommended that you to contact the lender to appeal the decision or reapply with a cosigner. Learn more about the Alternative Loan Program.
The total amount of financial assistance received (including other loans, scholarships, gifts, stipends, and Federal Work-Study funds) cannot exceed your estimated cost of attendance for the academic year. Students enrolled less than half time (below 200 units) may borrow only up to their tuition, applicable fees and books.