Financial Aid

Student Loans

Student loans, like any consumer loans, must be repaid. In addition to federal loans, there are alternative loan options available to you. Federal loans often have the best interest rates, deferment options, and repayment plans. Therefore, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal loans prior to considering other loans. The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 was signed into law on August 2, 2011. This Act makes two changes to the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. Please review a letter from the U.S. Department of Education which summarizes these changes.

Note: In order to receive federal loans, students must be registered at least half-time. Half-time is a minimum of 6 credits per semester for undergraduate students and 4.5 credits per semester for graduate students.


Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

The government will pay the loan interest during in-school enrollment periods and grace period for the subsidized loan(s). Qualifying for the subsidized loan is determined from the FAFSA.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 3.86% (fixed) for undergraduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014
  • 4.66% (fixed) for undergraduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • 1.072% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between December 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014
  • 1.073% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The borrower is responsible for paying all of the interest from the time the loan is disbursed for the unsubsidized loan(s). Paying the interest on this loan while in school will reduce the compounded interest charged over the life of the loan. Borrowers should update all their demographic information as it changes in order to receive important information regarding their loans.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 3.86% (fixed) for undergraduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014
  • 4.66% (fixed) for undergraduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • 5.41% (fixed) for graduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014
  • 6.21% (fixed) for graduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • 1.072% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between December 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014
  • 1.073% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015

Parent PLUS Loan

The Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to credit-worthy parents of dependent, undergraduate students. PLUS loans are not subsidized and parents are responsible for all interest that accrues on the loan from the day it is disbursed until the loan is paid-in-full.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 6.41% (fixed) for loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014
  • 7.21% (fixed) for loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • 4.288% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between December 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014
  • 4.292% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015

Graduate PLUS Loan

This loan program is a credit-based loan for student's working on a master's or doctorate program. Students must have applied and utilized their federal loan eligibility first before applying for additional funds.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 6.41% (fixed) for loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014
  • 7.21% (fixed) for loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • 4.288% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between December 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014
  • 4.292% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are non-federal loans used to supplement financial aid for credit worthy students and their families.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • Variable based on the credit worthiness of the borrower and cosigner

Perkins Loan

The Perkins Loan is a long-term, low-interest federal loan program. Eligibility for the loan and the actual amount awarded are determined by the Financial Aid Office. You must show financial need to be eligible to receive funds under this program. Freshman students are given priority in the awarding of Perkins Loan since they are limited in the amount they may borrow under the Direct Loan program.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 5% (fixed) for loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • No processing fee is assessed

Federal Nursing Loan

The Federal Nursing Student Loan is a low-interest federal loan. This loan is to assist with educational expenses for undergraduate and graduate students who are admitted to the College of Nursing. You must show financial need to be eligible to receive funds under this program. Grand Valley State University is the lender for Federal Nursing Loan funds.

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 5% (fixed) for loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015
  • No processing fee is assessed

Federal Direct Loan Servicers

If you do not know your loan servicer, you can retrieve Federal Direct Loan information online as well as access your loan history by going to the National Student Loan Database and using your Federal Student Aid PIN.


Federal Direct Loan Program Maximums

The U.S. Department of Education sets borrowing limits for the Federal Direct Loan program. The following chart provides annual and aggregate limits.

Year Dependent Undergraduate Independent Undergraduate* Graduate and Professional

Freshman

0-24 credits earned

$5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $20,500

Sophomore

25-54 credits earned

$6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Junior & Senior

55+ credits earned

$7,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Aggregate Loan Limits (maximum loan debt) **

$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

* These limits also apply to dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow under the PLUS program.
** The graduate aggregate loan limit includes loans borrowed as an undergraduate.

Page last modified June 23, 2014