Graduate Federal Loan Options
Loans are borrowed funds that must be repaid. Many graduate and professional students take advantage of loans to help finance their education as well as their living expenses. Some loans provide low- or no-interest options, and some do not need to be repaid until six months after graduation.
Your financial aid award details your Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility only if you filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you need to borrow funds beyond those available through the Federal Stafford Loan program, your next best option is to borrow using the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program.
Federal loan programs offer a secure borrowing option even in today's uncertain economy. The unsubsidized Stafford Loan should be the first borrowing option considered by graduate/professional students, followed by the the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan.
For each academic year, you may borrow up to - but not more than - a school's cost of attendance, minus the amount of other financial assistance that the student receives. It is important not to borrow more than you can afford to repay, even if you can afford to borrow more. Selecting "Max Amount" will not default to the total balance owed, but to the difference between offered aid and cost of attendance. Saint Louis University is only able to process PLUS loans in dollar amounts, if cents are listed on the application, the loan will be rounded down to the nearest dollar. Please contact your admission or financial aid counselor for assistance in determining the right amount for your situation.
When asked for your "Requested Loan Period Start Date" make sure and indicate the month and year that you begin your studies (e.g. August 2012). Your "Requested Loan Period End Date" will be the month you complete your studies for the term or choose to end your PLUS term (e.g. May 2013).
Detailed information regarding the federal loan program for the 2012-2013 academic year is illustrated below. Loan information effective July 1, 2012.
Preparatory Coursework or Teacher Certification
Students who fall into certain categories may qualify for loan amounts different from the limits listed above.
If you are taking coursework that is not part of an eligible program such as preparatory coursework or pursuing a teacher certification after you have a degree, you have different loan limits:
- If you are taking preparatory coursework required for enrollment in an undergraduate degree or certificate program (course of study not to exceed 12 months), you would be eligible to borrow up to $2,625 as a dependent undergraduate student and up to $8,625 (maximum $2,625 subsidized) as an independent student or dependent student whose parent is not eligible for PLUS.
- If you are taking preparatory coursework for enrollment in a graduate or professional program, you would be eligible to borrow up to $5,500 as a dependent undergraduate student and up to $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized) for an independent student or dependent student whose parent is not eligible for PLUS.
- If you already have a baccalaureate degree and are taking coursework necessary for state certification (or professional credential) required for teaching, you would be eligible to borrow up to $5,500 as a dependent undergraduate student and up to $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized) for an independent student or dependent student whose parent is not eligible for PLUS.
For a student borrowing from the Federal Loan program, the following steps must be completed:
- Complete a FAFSA for the academic year.
- Accept your Financial Aid Award through mySLU.
(This award is created after the Office of Student Financial Services evaluates a valid FAFSA record for an admitted or continuing student).
- Apply for a Graduate PLUS loan and complete a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling by clicking here. The MPN is good for 10 years. If you have previously borrowed from the Federal Direct Loan Program, you may not need to complete a new master promissory note. Please apply for your Graduate PLUS loan no sooner than 90 days before the student's start date. The U.S. Department of Education will complete a credit check which is valid for 90 days.
- Returning Stafford and/or PLUS Loan Borrowers, click here.
The policies, regulations, procedures, and fees are subject to change without prior notice, if necessary, to keep Saint Louis University policies in compliance with State and Federal laws and/or with rules and regulations of Saint Louis