Undergraduate students and their parents should always exhaust federal student loan options before considering a private loan. Federal student loans are made to the student and do not require a cosigner. The payment period does not begin until after graduation. Loans will either be subsidized or unsubsidized based on the financial background of the student.
Federal Perkins Loan
Selection of recipients for this federal student loan is based upon information contained in the FAFSA and funding limitations within the program. Repayment of the loan may extend over a 10-year period. Repayment begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled in a degree program at least half time. The loan bears a 5% interest rate on the unpaid balance of the principal, which starts to accrue at the beginning of the repayment period. Special deferment and cancellation privileges are available. Students are informed of the provisions and responsibilities associated with these loans in the first and final years of their enrollment through online entrance and exit interview counseling.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a low interest loan given by the federal government that pays the accumulated interest while the student is in school. Borrowers begin repayment of both the principal and interest six months after graduation, withdrawal from school, or dropping to less than half-time enrollment status.
Students who are not eligible for need-based aid can borrow unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans. The student is responsible for paying all the interest on the loan, which accrues during enrollment and continues through repayment.
The annual Federal Direct Loan limits (both subsidized and unsubsidized, combined) are : $5,500 for the first year of undergraduate study, $6,500 for the sophomore year, and $7,500 annually for subsequent undergraduate study. The total undergraduate loan limit is $31,000. The annual limit for graduate students is $20,500, depending on individual costs.
All first time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note and loan entrance counseling online. Students will be provided details by the Office of Financial Aid.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans
Bryant University participates in the Federal Direct PLUS Program. This program is recommended because it is a low-rate government loan that allows parents (who are US citizens, US nationals or permanent residents) to borrow funds for undergraduate educational expenses.
Private Student Loans
More information about the advantages of federal student loans over private, non-federal loans, can be found here.