Types of Aid: Graduate Program Students

Graduate Students: Loans

Student Loan Programs

What aid am I eligible for by completing the FAFSA? You may be eligible for federal or state grants (free aid), as well as federal loans (you MUST pay back).

Federal Direct Student Loans 

What is a Federal Direct Student Loan? A form of federal aid for eligible students to assist with educational expenses. Students who borrow federal loan funds are responsible for paying them back.

How do I apply for Federal Student Loans? The first step is filing your FAFSA, and then you must submit all required paperwork to the Financial Aid Office in order to determine your loan eligibility.

What is Borrower Entrance Counseling? Required federal counseling for students to learn about the requirements of the federal loan program. Counseling is completed at studentloans.gov

What is a Master Promissory Note (MPN) A required federal “promise to pay” document. The MPN is completed at studentloans.gov

What is Borrower Exit Counseling? Required federal counseling for students who have graduated, withdrawn from the university, or have dropped below a half-time enrollment status. Exit counseling provides important information about the repayment of your Federal Student Loan(s). Counseling is completed at studentloans.gov

What is a Federal Subsidized Loan? A financial need-based Federal Loan in which the Department of Education pays the interest until the student either graduates or drops below a half-time enrollment status.

What is a Federal Unsubsidized Loan? A non-need based Federal Loan in which the student is responsible for paying any accruing interest. Interest rates begin accruing at the time of disbursement.

What is a Federal PLUS Loan? A loan option for parents to assist their undergraduate dependent students with educational expenses.  Parents can be apply for PLUS loans at studentloans.gov

Responsible Borrowing
If you decide to borrow federal loan funds, make sure that you understand who your lender is and what the terms and conditions of the loan are. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private lending sources such as a bank or financial institution. Federal loans offer student borrowers lower interest rates and more flexibility with repayment options than what a private lending institution will. Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans

To find out more about the Federal Student loan program, go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans

Alternative Loans: Loan option offered through private banks and lenders. Generally only accepted if all other financial aid options have been exhausted.

  • Credit-based loan options offered by private banks and lenders. These loans are only processed after all federal, state, and institutional eligibility has been exhausted.
  • Exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Information regarding these types of loan programs for both student and parent borrowers, as well as a comparison tool for the most frequently used credit-based lenders by UIU students, can be found at FastChoice. Upper Iowa University does not endorse any credit-based loan programs. Borrowers may choose to pursue a credit-based loan with any lender that they wish, this is only a starting point and only provides a reference point for researching these types of loan programs.
  • Students who wish to borrow in a credit-based loan program must also complete the Game Plan, an online credit counseling program before the loan can be certified by the Financial Aid Office.