Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and mortgages. However, with the low interest rates and flexible repayment options, student loans can be a much needed answer for funding your education!
Direct Student Loans
These loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) to be eligible. The Financial Aid Office will review the results of your FAFSA and determine the amount you can borrow. For current interest rates you can go to www.studentaid.ed.gov. Repayment is deferred until 6 months after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half time!
Subsidized Stafford Loans: The student must have financial need to qualify. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest that accrues while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: The student is not required to have financial need to qualify. The student is responsible for the interest that accrues, but has the option to defer the interest.
How do I apply for a loan? You must first complete online loan entrance counseling, and then complete a master promissory note. Each of these steps can be completed by going to www.studentloans.gov
Parents can obtain a PLUS Loan to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. This type of loan does require a credit check.
Alternative Loans (Private Loans)
Several banks and lending agencies offer private educational loans to creditworthy borrowers or to borrowers with credit-worthy cosigners. These loans are not federally subsidized. Because the interest rates for private educational loans are generally higher than Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans interest rates, we recommend that you exhaust your Federal educational loan eligibility before considering alternative loans. When shopping for a private loan, students need to be educated consumers. Factors to consider when searching for an alternative student loan include the following: the interest rate, loan origination fee, repayment terms, approval requirements, borrower benefits, etc. We use a preferred lender list, which includes Sallie Mae, Discover, Citizens LendKey, SoFi, and Nelnet Student Loans. However, you are not required to use our preferred lender list; you are free to select any lender of your choice.
For loan counseling and further instructions on selecting a lender, please visit SCU private loans. Loan counseling is not a requirement for the private loans, but we strongly recommend it so that you may be a better informed borrower.