Most aid offers will include some long-term low-interest federal loans. Loans are
serious obligations because they must be repaid, with interest. The interest rate
and the point at which loans go into repayment vary based on which type of loans you
borrow. For federal loan interest rates, go here.
Applying for Federal Student Loans
To apply for all federal loan programs, follow these steps:
- First, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- In March and April of each year, we start sending financial aid notifications to FAFSA applicants. Your notification will include your maximum loan amounts.
- Next, follow these instructions to accept your aid offers.
- To borrow loans, you must also complete these additional loan steps.
Available Loan Programs
- Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Student Loans — These are two of the largest federal loan programs. Unsubsidized loans do not require
financial need, but students must show financial need to qualify for subsidized loans.
- Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans for Undergraduate Students — This program allows parents of undergraduate students to borrow loans for their dependent
- Federal Graduate Student PLUS Loans — This program allows graduate students to borrow additional loan funds if they are
unable to meet their borrowing needs from the federal direct unsubsidized loan program
- Federal Direct Consolidation Loans — If you get loans from several different federal loan programs, after you finish school,
you may want to use this program to combine all your federal loans into a single loan
with a single loan servicer.
- Private/Alternative Loans — Unless you have excellent credit rating, these loans usually charge higher interest
rates than the federal student loan programs. Because their interest rates are usually
higher, students/families should only consider borrowing private loans after fully
exploring and or exhausting their federal loan options.
Loan Counseling and Repayment
For information about loan counseling and repayment options, see Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Notes.
Loan Forgiveness & Repayment Programs
If you are a Maryland resident, explore these Maryland loan repayment programs: