Federal Direct Loans Make Graduate School Possible
Graduate students often receive help with graduate school expenses through government and private education loans, which all must be repaid. IU South Bend graduate students may be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan and/or a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. However, those who do not qualify for a federal loan should consider applying for an alternative loan through a private lending institution.
The first step before applying for either a federal loan or a private alternative loan is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
About Federal Loans
Federal loans must be requested through FAFSA. There are two types of loans available to graduate students at IU South Bend – Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
Both Federal Direct Loans – The graduate student is expected to pay the interest while enrolled in school or have it capitalized. To be eligible, the student must be enrolled at least half-time (4 credit hours or more) and meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.
When a graduate student accepts a Federal Direct Loan, he or she is borrowing from the federal government.
Grad Plus Loan - Graduate students apply for the loan here. Student must be enrolled at least half-time (4 credit hours or more) in a graduate or professional program, cannot have an adverse credit history, and must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to be eligible for the loan. Please read the information on the Grad Plus Loan FAQ for more details.
How Federal Funds Are Applied to a Graduate Student’s Account
Once the student has applied for the FAFSA and when applicable, Federal Grad PLUS Loan and are approved, the financial aid office will determine the student’s eligibility amount and assigns the aid to the student’s financial aid account. The student must complete the Federal Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.
About Student Alternative Private Loans
Private lending institutions, such as banks and credit unions, also provide graduate student loans, which are limited by the Cost of Attendance and are based on the students credit history. Generally, Federal Direct Loans are applied for first since they may be more favorable due to their repayment terms and interest rates. Private loan sources are a way to supplement federal student aid, if needed.
Before applying for a private loan, we require students to meet with an IU South Bend Financial Aid Representative to discuss their loan options.