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:

  1. First, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. In March and April of each year, we start sending financial aid notifications to FAFSA applicants.  Your notification will include your maximum loan amounts.
  3. Next, follow these instructions to accept your aid offers. 
  4. 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 children.
  • 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 listed above.
  • 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: