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Types of College Loans for Students and Parents

Students and parents have several options for borrowing money to help to pay for college.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of attendance. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education and are assigned to a loan servicer. Students must be enrolled for at least 6 credits to be eligible for Direct Student Loans.


How to Apply

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Accept all or a portion of the award on KnightWeb.
  3. If you accept a Student Direct Loan, you must complete the following steps:

Entrance Counseling

Electronic Master Promissory Note


Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Direct Loans

What's the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans?

Subsidized

A Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal student loan for which a borrower isn’t generally responsible for paying the interest while in an in-school, grace, or deferment period. Definition of subsidized from student aid site.

  • Available to undergraduate students only.
  • Must have financial need
  • Interest does not accrue while in school at least half-time (6 credits or more) and/or during a period of deferment

Unsubsidized

An unsubsidized loan borrowed through the Direct Loan Program offers students a low, fixed interest rate and flexible repayment terms. It is not based on financial need. The borrower is responsible for paying all the accumulated interest, until the loan balance is paid off. Definition of unsubsidized from student aid site.


How much can I borrow in federal student loans?

See the table below. For more information, see borrowing limit information on the Federal Student Aid website.

Borrowing limits for dependent undergraduate students

Year in school (credits)

Annual maximum:

subsidized only

Annual maximum:

combined subsidized & unsubsidized

Freshman (0-29)

$3,500

$5,500

Sophomore (30-59)

$4,500

$6,500

Junior (60-89)

$5,500

$7,500

Senior (90+)

$5,500

$7,500

 

Borrowing limits for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied the Federal Parent PLUS Loan

Year in school (credits)

Annual maximum:

subsidized only

Annual maximum:

combined subsidized & unsubsidized

Freshman (0-29)

$3,500

$9,500

Sophomore (30-59)

$4,500

$10,500

Junior (60-89)

$5,500

$12,500

Senior (90+)

$5,500

$12,500

 

Unsubsidized direct loan borrowing limit for graduate students

The annual maximum for unsubsidized direct loans (for loan periods beginning after July 1, 2012) is $20,500.

 

Aggregate (total) borrowing limits for federal subsidized & unsubsidized loans

Type of borrower

Aggregate maximum:

subsidized

Aggregate maximum:

combined subsidized & unsubsidized

Dependent, undergraduate students

$23,000

$31,000

Independent, undergraduate students & dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied the Federal PLUS Loan

$23,000

$57,500

Graduate students

$65,500

$138,500

 

Federal Perkins Loans

IMPORTANT: The Federal Perkins Loan program ended on October 1, 2017. This information is for previous Federal Perkins Loan recipients only.

Perkins is a low-interest federal student loan program. Funds are limited and not guaranteed from year to year. The loan is awarded through Geneseo and the loan servicer is the Student Loan Service Center (SLSC).

  • The interest rate is fixed at 5.0%
  • Must have financial need
  • No origination fee
  • Repayment begins 9 months after leaving school

Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (Parent PLUS)

A PLUS loan is meant to assist families in covering costs beyond any student financial aid. PLUS Loans are borrowed through the Department of Education and assigned to a loan servicer.

  • Parents of dependent, undergraduate students may apply for the Parent PLUS.
  • The student must be eligible for federal student aid and enrolled for at least 6 credit hours.
  • The loan is credit-based, therefore, the parent must not have adverse credit history.

Current Interest Rate

Current Origination Fee

Repayment Information

How to Apply

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. The parent must then log-in and apply on StudentAid.gov after May 1st for the next academic year. Remember that the PARENT is the borrower and STUDENT is the student.
  3. The parent must "Request a Direct PLUS Loan." (A credit decision is immediate.)
  4. If approved, complete the Master Promissory Note on the same site.
  5. If denied, three options are available:
    • Request a credit appeal.
    • Provide an endorser.
    • Not pursue the PLUS Loan: The student may use additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Additional loan limits are available up to $6,000/academic year for 1st and 2nd year students (59 or less credit hours earned); and up to $7,000/academic year for 3rd and 4th year students (60 or more credit hours earned).

Federal Direct PLUS for Graduate Students

A Graduate PLUS loan is only available for graduate students working toward their Master's or other Professional Degree. Unsubsidized Direct Loan should be used first.

  • The student must be eligible for federal student aid and enrolled for at least 6 credit hours.
  • The loan is credit-based, therefore, the student must not have adverse credit history.

Current Interest Rate

Current Origination Fee

Repayment Information

How to Apply

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Graduate students must log-in and apply on StudentAid.gov
  3. Select the option "Request a Direct PLUS Loan." (A credit decision is immediate.)
  4. If approved, complete the Master Promissory Note & Entrance Counseling on the same site.
    • Select the MPN and Entrance Counseling option for the Graduate PLUS Loan.
    • If denied, three options are available:
      1. Request a credit appeal.
      2. Provide an endorser.

Private Educational Loans

Be advised that you should always consider federal loan options first. Federal vs. Private Loans

A Private Student Loan is meant to cover the cost of attendance beyond the student's federal, state and campus financial aid. Students may contact the lender of your choice. You may choose any lender. On ELMSelect.com, Geneseo displays a "Historical Lender" list that includes companies that our students have traditionally used

For a comparison of these lenders and/or to apply, please visit www.ELMSelect.com. Your application will be processed by the lender and SUNY Geneseo will be contacted if you are approved. We will certify the loan upon notification from the lender.

Application & Solicitation Disclosures are available from each individual lender website.