Borrowing to Pay for College
A college education is an investment. As students and parents explore academic options, many also look to borrowing as a way to finance college costs over more than four years. Borrowing is a common practice, and ensures you will have the tools necessary to earn a degree. Many loan options are available. Due to recent legislation regarding federal loans, Elon will participate in the Direct Loan program only. All Stafford, PLUS, and Graduate PLUS loans will be processed with the Department of Education as your lender. Please view individual program links below for further information.
Students must file the FAFSA to be considered for these loans.
- Federal Stafford Student Loan (subsidized): Moderate interest loans awarded directly to students. Freshmen may borrow up to $3,500 annually, sophomores up to $4,500 annually, and juniors and seniors up to $5,500 annually. These loans are federally guaranteed and no interest accrues, nor is any payment due, until six months after the student ceases to be at least a half-time student. The interest rate is a fixed 6.8 percent for undergraduate subsidized loans. These rates are effective July 1, 2012.
- Federal Perkins Loan: Federal funds managed by the university are awarded to students demonstrating high need. No interest accrues and no payment is due while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Repayment begins nine months after the student ceases to be at least a half-time student. Amounts vary from $400 to $3,000.
LOANS NOT BASED ON NEED
FAFSA required for Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, PLUS Loan, and Graduate PLUS Loan only.
- Federal Stafford Student Loan (unsubsidized): Available to all students regardless of need. Loan amounts are the same as for the need-based subsidized program. However, under this program borrowers do not qualify for federal interest subsidy payments. Thus interest accrues while the student is in school. Repayment of principal begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled half-time. The interest rate is a fixed 6.8 percent.
- Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): Parents may borrow up to the cost of education, less any other aid, per academic year for each dependent enrolled at least half-time. Interest rate is a fixed 7.9 percent. Payment of PLUS loans may be deferred while the student is enrolled in school. Please check with the Department of Education regarding this option. If deferment is not requested payment will begin 60 days after the final loan disbursement for the academic year in which the loan was made.
- Graduate PLUS Loan: For graduate students who need financial assistance beyond the $20,500 Stafford Loan maximum, there is the federal Graduate PLUS Loan program. The Graduate PLUS Loan allows for the deferment of repayment while the student is enrolled in school. The Graduate PLUS Loan carries a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent. The maximum amount a student may borrow from the Graduate PLUS Loan program is Elon’s cost of attendance less any Stafford Loans and other forms of financial aid a student may be receiving.
- Private Alternative Loan Programs: Elon participates in a number of other private and state-funded loan programs. In general, these programs allow for extended repayment terms. Alternative lenders often have fee and interest rate structures that are competitive with the federal loan programs.