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 Direct Loan Program
  • Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
  • Alternative Loans

Federal Direct Loan Program (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

This low-interest loan program helps students meet the cost of a college education. The Federal Direct Loan Program allows students to borrow money directly from the federal government. Students who are matriculated in degree-granting programs and are registered for at least 6 credits per semester may be eligible. Students must begin repayment within 6 months after graduation or termination of college attendance. Students who borrow loans have multiple options for repayment. Please visit Repayment Plans on the Federal Student Aid website to read about them.

Maximum Annual Limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

Loans for Dependent Students (Federal Direct Loans)
The Amount You Are Eligible To Borrow Each Academic Year Maximum Subsidized Loan Additional Unsubsidized Loan Total Loan (Combined Subsidized and Unsubsized)
1st year (1 - 29 credits) $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
2nd year (30 - 59 credits) $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
3rd year and Beyond (60 and over credits) $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Loans for Independent Students (Federal Direct Loans)

The Amount You Are Eligible To Borrow Each Academic Year

Maximum Subsidized Loan

Additional Unsubsidized Loan Total Loan (Combined Subsidized and Unsubsized)
1st year undergraduate (1 - 29 credits) $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
2nd year undergraduate (30 - 59 credits) $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
3rd year and Beyond (60 and over credits) $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Maximum Lifetime Loan Amounts (Federal Direct Loans)
Student Level & Dependency Status Maximum Subsidized and Unsubsidized Maximum Subsidized
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 $23,000
Independent Undergraduate $57,500 $23,000

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 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 Direct 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 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.

You must submit the results of the entrance counseling along with the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Application.

Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)

This educational loan enables parents of dependent undergraduate matriculated students to borrow money in order to pay for their child's education. Parents are limited in the amount that they can borrow by the cost of their child's education minus any other financial aid that the student is receiving. The cost of education includes school related expenses as determined by The City University of New York (CUNY). A credit check is performed. If the parent loan is denied, it is possible for a dependent student to borrow additional unsubsidized loans in their own name. There is an origination fee of the loan principal that will be deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. The interest rate is variable and is adjusted each year but will never be higher than 9 percent.

Alternative Loans

If your student status is:

  • Non-matriculated
  • International Student
  • Have reached the federal student aggregated limits

You may be eligible for alternative loans.

Once you have applied and been preapproved by a lender, please 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