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Loans for Graduate Degree Students
A "loan" is a form of financial aid. It is money that you borrow, which must be repaid often with interest. The most common kinds of loans are:
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan Program
- Graduate Plus Loan
- Alternative Loans
Federal Perkins Loans
There are low-interest (presently 5 percent) federal loans made available through the College to matriculated students enrolled at least half-time. Loans are awarded according to need and repayment begins nine months after graduation or termination of college attendance.
Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan Program
The Budget Control Act of 2011 has eliminated Subsidized Student Loans for graduate students. Eligible graduate students can qualify for an annual maximum of $20,500 in unsubsidized loans.
The Direct Loan Program allows students to borrow money directly from the federal government to help students meet the cost of a graduate education. Students who are matriculated in degree-granting programs and are registered for at least 6 graduate credits per semester are eligible. Students may begin repayment while still attending school by paying the interest, with repayment of the principal deferred until after graduation or termination of attendance. Or, interest may be added to the principal, with repayment of the principal and interest deferred until after graduation or termination of attendance. The aggregate total that may be borrowed from this program is $138,500 including undergraduate loans.
Loan Limit Table
For students, who have obtained baccalaureate degrees and are enrolled in coursework necessary for professional credentials or state certifications that are required for employment as teachers in an elementary or secondary school, the additional unsubsidized loan limit has been increased from $5,000 to $7,000. The subsidized/unsubsidized combined loan limit has not been increased for these students.
Effective Date: The increased loan limits are shown below in italics and are effective for any loan certified or originated on or after July 1, 2007:
Annual Loan Limits
|Unsubsidized Loan Amount|
|Graduate and Professional Students||$20,500|
Aggregate Loan Limits
|Subsidized / Unsubsidized Aggregate|
Effective July 1, 2008
|Graduate and Professional Students||$65,500||Unchanged at $138,500
(maximum 65,500 subsidized)
Repayment Calculator: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action
How to Apply
Please read these instructions carefully. Any failure to follow these instructions may cause delays in the processing of your loan request. You must be enrolled at least half-time within your grade level in order to be eligible for a Direct Loan.
In order to secure a direct loan, there are three steps. You must complete or have completed all of these steps in order for a loan to be processed successfully.
The first is only necessary for a first time borrower of a Direct Loan. The student should complete an electronic master promissory note (eMPN). This can be done by going online to www.studentloans.gov. The student, when asked, should use Brooklyn or Baruch College as the home school and not the Graduate Center as their procedure is slightly different from ours.
Next, you need to complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling which demonstrates in a tutorial the rights and responsibilities of a student loan borrower. This can be done online by going to www.studentloans.gov. The tutorial is followed by a short quiz. Please note that for the entrance counseling you should use the Graduate Center as your school. You should save the results of the quiz since it will need to be forwarded to the school.
- Fall/spring semester application for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Application.
- Summer semester application for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Application.
You must submit the results of the entrance counseling along with the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Application
Graduate Plus Loan
The Grad PLUS Loan, a low interest, federally backed student loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Government, like its undergraduate counterpart, can be used to pay for the total cost of education less any aid a student has already been awarded. Also like the undergraduate version, eligibility for the Graduate PLUS Loan is largely dependent on the borrower's credit rating and history, as opposed to the purely financial need-based Graduate Direct Loan. The annual interest rate is fixed at 7.9 percent. An origination fee is deducted from the loan amount.
These are private lender loans for students who may not be eligible for Federal Direct Student Loans or for students who are eligible and need additional funds to help meet additional educational expenses including tuition and housing. The amount that a student may borrow is limited to the cost of attendance as determined by federal approved standard budgets. Students who are non-matriculated or who are registered for less than 6 credits may also apply. All applicants are subject to credit review or may require a co-signer. Students who do not have eligible citizenship status for federal financial aid may borrow an Alternative Loan if they have a co-signer with eligible citizenship status.
Once you select a lender, you must complete a Master Promissory Note then contact the Financial Aid Office at (646) 664-8720 for further instructions.
The choice of a lender is ultimately your decision. Here are some things to consider as you seek possible lenders for alternative loans:
- Interest rate of the loan
- Repayment schedule and monthly amounts
- Length of repayment period
- Total amount you will repay over the life of the loan
- Penalties for missing monthly payments
- Options for loan consolidation
Organizations that provide alternative educational loans can be reached by visiting their websites. The following is a list of lenders to get you started:
- Sallie Mae
- JP Morgan/Chase Bank
- Citizens Bank
- College Board Loans Information
- GMAC Bank
- Key Bank
Please know that the CUNY School of Professional Studies neither endorses nor recommends any lender.