Loans

Students walking through the Oak Grove

Investing in your education is a big step. That’s why we’ve brought together some information on the types of loans available to you. We want to help you make good choices for your future.

First, File Your FAFSA

Apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study aid with one form.

Submit the FAFSA Online

IUP’s school code is 003277.

Borrow Wisely: College Loans Are Not All Alike

  • Some are through the government. Some are through private lenders like banks.

  • For some loans, often referred to as deferred, you don’t have to pay anything back until after you graduate. For others, you are expected to begin making payments while you are still in school, sometimes within a couple of months of borrowing the money.

  • Some do not charge you interest while you are in school. Others begin charging you interest immediately, even if your payments do not begin until after you graduate.

  • Some do not require co-signers. Some do require co-signers, who agree to pay back the loan if you do not.

  • Some are set at a fixed interest rate, which stays the same throughout the loan period. Others follow a variable interest rate, which can go up or down.

  • Some you can pay back early to save money on interest.

  • Some have extra fees.

Where Do You Start?

We strongly recommend that all students apply for federal financial aid each year by first filing the FAFSA. Based on your FAFSA, you might get a student-aid offer that includes federal loans.

Consider borrowing through these federal student loans first, before you borrow through private student loans. The terms of the federal student loans are generally better for you.

Learn more about:

Federal Loans for Undergraduate Students (Including Parent PLUS)

Applying for federal student loans begins with filing the FAFSA. Federal student loans for undergraduate students fall into two categories:

  1. Federal Direct Loans (which can be subsidized or unsubsidized) — Students apply for these.

  2. Federal Direct PLUS Loans (known as Parent PLUS loans) — Parents apply for these.

1. Federal Direct Loans—Two Types, Subsidized and Unsubsidized

Federal Direct Loans are funded by the federal government and administered by IUP. After completing the FAFSA, you might be offered one or both types of Federal Direct Loans—subsidized and unsubsidized.

  • Subsidized (Sub) loans — These are based on your financial need, which is determined by taking the cost of your education and subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated from your FAFSA.

  • Unsubsidized (Unsub) loans — Unsubsidized loans may be offered to you regardless of need, but you still must fill out the FAFSA to be considered for them.

Am I Eligible?

Your eligibility for these loans is based on your cost of education, EFC, and other aid resources.

You must be enrolled at least half-time in any given semester (6 credits for undergraduate students).

You must also be making satisfactory academic progress.

Terms—Interest Added During College for Unsubsidized Loans

For both types of Federal Direct Loans, your interest is calculated at a fixed rate. You can find more information about the current interest rate at the US Department of Education (USDE) website.

  • Subsidized loan: If your loan is subsidized, the interest does not accrue (accumulate) while you are enrolled.

  • Unsubsidized loan: If you have an unsubsidized loan, your interest does accrue (grow) while you are enrolled and during the six-month grace period before repayment begins, typically after graduation.

How Much Can I Borrow?

  • There is a limit to what you can borrow each academic year based on your grade level.

  • There is also a maximum total (known as the aggregate maximum) you can borrow for your entire bachelor’s degree.

  • Dependent students are held to an aggregate maximum of $31,000.

  • Dependent students who have had a Parent PLUS Loan denial (see below for more about these loans) are held to an aggregate maximum of $57,500.

  • Independent students are held to an aggregate maximum of $57,500.

  • For more information regarding the annual or aggregate limits, please see the USDE website.

Limits on the Time You Are Eligible to Borrow Money

Important information: For first-time borrowers, the USDE limits the amount of time you are eligible to borrow Direct Subsidized Loans. For more information, please read the following USDEs publication.

Dependent Undergraduate Students
Year  Subsidized Unsubsidized Total Sub/Unsub
1st Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit  $3,500* $2,000 $5,500
2nd Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit  $4,500* $2,000 $6,500
3rd & Beyond Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit  $5,500* $2,000 $7,500
Subsidized & Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit  $23,000*   $31,000

*No more than this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Independent Students and Dependent Undergraduate Students whose parent were unable to obtain PLUS loans
Year Subsidized Unsubsidized Total Sub/Unsub
1st Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit  $3,500* $6,000 $9,500
2nd Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit  $4,500* $6,000 $10,500
3rd & Beyond Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit  $5,500* $7,000 $12,500
Subsidized & Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit  $23,000*   $57,500

*No more than this amount may be in subsidized loans.

How to Apply, Fees, and Requirements

  • You are automatically considered for the Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) when you file the FAFSA.

  • Each Federal Direct Loan will have an origination fee deducted from the amount of the loan. The fee is taken from the USDE before funds are sent to the school. For more information on the origination fee please visit the USDE website.

  • You must complete the Master Promissory Note before any loan funds can be disbursed. The Financial Aid Office will notify you through your IUP email account or by letter to complete the MPN.

  • First-time Direct Loan borrowers must also complete Loan Entrance Counseling before any loan funds are disbursed.

  • Student data and loan information will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) once you have registered at least half-time for a term or academic year. This information will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and other institutions determined to be authorized users of the system.

  • You can check your MyIUP account for any incomplete financial aid requirements, such as signing your master promissory note, entrance counseling, and verification, which may impact your eligibility.

2. Federal Direct PLUS Loan: Parent

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

  • Parents of dependent, undergraduate students can apply for the Parent PLUS Loan.

  • Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for these parent-based loans.

  • The student must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (six credits for undergraduate students).

Terms—Repayment Usually Begins in Just a Few Months

  • Repayment of principal and interest begins 60 days after the funds are fully disbursed to the school for the loan period in most cases. Some limited deferment provisions, which delay the start of payments, are available.

  • Interest is set at a fixed rate. You can find more information regarding the current interest rate at the USDE website.

How Much Can We Borrow?

  • Amounts up to the cost of education minus other financial aid may be borrowed.

  • Parents and students should talk about what they can afford before borrowing. Though the parent is legally responsible for the loan, families often discuss the student’s willingness to help repay it.

  • The school will limit the amount of the loan if it exceeds the total cost of attendance.

How to Apply

  • The Parent PLUS application becomes available for the upcoming academic year in late July. A FAFSA must be on file. To log in, the parent will need their FSA ID (the same FSA ID they used to sign the FAFSA electronically).

  • The application will be available until the last week of classes.

  • There will be an origination fee deducted from the amount of the loan. The fee is taken from the USDE before funds are sent to the school. For more information regarding the origination fee and amount, please visit the USDE website.

  • The parent will be notified of the credit decision immediately. The Financial Aid Office receives electronic notification and will process the application within five to seven business days.

  • A credit check is valid for 180 days, so your parent should not apply any earlier than 90 days before the start of a semester.

  • If your parent is credit approved, they will be required to complete the Master Promissory Note for the PLUS Loan.

  • Credit approval is based solely on the absence of an adverse credit history as defined by the USDE and does not take debt or income into account when determining credit worthiness.

  • If a parent is credit denied for the PLUS loan, they will have the option to appeal the credit denial or pursue an endorser/co-signer. They will need to complete PLUS credit counseling if obtaining an endorser/co-signer.

  • If credit is denied, the student may be eligible for additional funding in an unsubsidized Direct Loan. The parent should select the option "do not wish to pursue" for this to happen. The Financial Aid Office will automatically review a student’s record for eligibility.

  • Borrower data, student data, and loan information will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) once the student has registered at least half-time for a term or academic year. This information will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and other institutions determined to be authorized users of the system.

Federal Loans for Graduate Students

1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Graduate students, regardless of need, are eligible to apply for federal direct loans—unsubsidized loans funded by the federal government and administered by IUP.

Am I Eligible?

  • Your eligibility is based on your cost of education, Expected Family Contribution (calculated from the FAFSA), and other aid resources.

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time in any given semester, (4.5 credits for graduate students).

  • You must also be making satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for these loans.

Terms—Interest Added During College

  • Interest accrues while you are enrolled and during the six-month grace period before repayment begins. The interest is fixed. You can find more information regarding the current interest rate at the USDE website.

  • Repayment can be deferred until after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment (4.5 credits).

How Much Can I Borrow?

  • Graduate students are eligible to borrow up to $20,500 during an academic year.

  • There is also a maximum total (known as the aggregate maximum) you can borrow for all degrees. This limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study. That limit is $138,500 for graduate students.

  • For more information regarding the annual or aggregate limits, please see the USDE website.

Graduate Students
Year Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
Graduate or Professional Student Annual Loan Limit $0 $20,500 $20,500
Subsidized & Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $65,500*   $138,500

The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.
*
No more than $65,500 can be subsidized funds.

How to Apply, Fees, and Requirements

  • You are automatically considered for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan when you file the FAFSA.

  • The Direct Unsubsidized Loan will have an origination fee deducted from the amount of the loan. The fee is taken from the USDE before funds are sent to the school. For more information on the origination fee, please visit the USDE website.

  • You must complete the Master Promissory Note before any loan funds can be disbursed. The Financial Aid Office will notify you through your IUP email account or by letter to complete the MPN.

  • First-time Direct Loan borrowers must also complete loan entrance counseling before any loan funds are disbursed.

  • Student data and loan information will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) once you have registered at least half-time for a term or academic year. This information will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and other institutions determined to be authorized users of the system.

  • You can check your MyIUP account for any incomplete financial aid requirements, such as signing you master promissory note, entrance counseling, and verification, which may impact your eligibility.

2. Federal Direct PLUS Loan: Graduate PLUS

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

  • Graduate students are eligible to apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, often called the Graduate PLUS loan.

  • Students must also be making satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for these loans.

Terms—Repayment Usually Begins in Just a Few Months

  • Repayment of principal and interest begins 60 days after the funds are fully disbursed for the loan period. Some limited deferment provisions are available.

  • Interest is fixed and you can find more information regarding the current interest rate at the USDE website.

How Much Can I Borrow?

  • Amounts up to the cost of education minus other financial aid may be borrowed if the student is enrolled on at least a half-time basis (4.5 credits for graduate students).

  • Your income and other debts are not factored in when approving the loan, which is based solely on the absence of an adverse credit history. You should consider what you can afford before you borrow.

To Apply:

  • The PLUS application becomes available for the upcoming academic year in late July. A student FAFSA must be on file. To log in, you’ll need your FSA ID (the same FSA ID you used to sign the FAFSA electronically).

  • The application will be available until the last week of classes.

  • There will be an origination fee deducted from the amount of the loan. The fee is taken from the USDE before funds are sent to the school. For more information regarding the origination fee and amount, please visit the USDE website.

  • You will be notified of the credit decision immediately. The Financial Aid Office receives electronic notification and will process the application within five to seven business days.

  • A credit check is valid for 180 days, so you should not apply any earlier than 90 days before the start of a semester.

  • If your credit is approved, you’ll be required to complete the Master Promissory Note for the PLUS Loan.

  • Credit approval is based solely on the absence of an adverse credit history as defined by the USDE and does not take your debt or income into account when determining credit worthiness. If you are credit denied for the PLUS loan, you will have the option to appeal the credit denial or pursue an endorser/co-signer. You will need to complete PLUS credit counseling if obtaining an endorser/co-signer.

  • Borrower data, student data, and loan information will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) once the student has registered at least half-time for a term or academic year. This information will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and other institutions determined to be authorized users of the system.

You Could Also Consider Private/Alternative Loans

If you decide to get a private student loan, you might want to shop around and compare your options.

Learn more about:

Private/Alternative Loans

We strongly recommend that all students apply for federal funding each year by filing the FAFSA and consider borrowing from federal loan sources before they borrow from private student loans. The terms of the federal student loans are generally better.

Alternative private student loans and alternative private parent loans are made through private lending institutions not affiliated with the US Department of Education or IUP. These may be an option if you need more aid beyond your FAFSA offer, are enrolled less than half-time, are in a non-degree-seeking program, or are not maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Terms and Conditions

Many privately financed educational loan programs are available. Each program offers its own terms and conditions. You should review and evaluate them on:

  • Interest rates

  • Application fees

  • Credit evaluation

  • Deferment options

  • Repayment plans

  • How they approach unique circumstances, such as past due balances, academic progress requirements, program enrollment, and citizenship qualifications

Credit-Worthy Cosigner

In most cases, when you borrow through an alternative private student loan, you’ll need a credit-worthy cosigner. Some lenders also make cosigner options available for parents or other credit-worthy individuals who are borrowing alternative private parent loans for their undergraduate or graduate students.

Less than Half-Time

Students who are less than half-time are only eligible to borrow a private alternative loan up to the costs of their tuition, fees, and book expenses (not room/board). IUP policy allows a one-semester exception for students who are less than half-time to borrow up to tuition, fees, books, and room/board expenses. Please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions.

Processing Time

Please allow two to four weeks processing time once the lender has notified IUP of your eligibility.

To Apply and Compare Lenders

  • You can apply as well as review and compare lenders that IUP students have used in the last few years on ELM Select.

  • This list is offered for your convenience—IUP does not endorse any of these loan programs, and you’re not limited to those on this list.

  • Lending institutions are solely responsible for posting and updating their information to ELM Select.

  • It is your responsibility, as the consumer, to assess the advantages and disadvantages of these programs and make your selection based on those features that best meet your financial needs.

Private/Alternative Loan Disclosures

See the following disclosures for more information related to private and alternative loans.

Disclosure Requirements

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 mandated several significant changes to provide a significant amount of additional information to families who choose to use private educational loans. The regulations change the disclosure requirements for the Truth In Lending Act for non-Title IV education loans made expressly for post-secondary education expenses.

These regulations went into effect on February 14, 2010, and require all private education loan lenders to produce the following disclosures to borrowers.

Application Disclosure

The lender must provide a general range of rates and fees so that borrowers can make informed decisions when choosing a private loan lender.

The Application Disclosure provides general information about interest rates, fees, default or late payment costs, and repayment terms. In addition, it includes an example of the total cost of a loan based on the maximum interest rate offered by a lender, a defined loan amount, and calculations for each payment option.

Loan Approval Disclosure

When an applicant is conditionally approved for a loan, the lender must send this disclosure with borrower-specific rates and fees.

The Approval Disclosure, showing the conditions of the approval, must be provided before the loan begins or with any notice to the applicant that the loan is approved.

The Approval Disclosure provides information specific to the loan being approved by the lender, including detailed information on the interest rate and itemization of fees associated with the loan application (including fees associated with late payments and defaults).

Borrowers typically have 30 calendar days to accept the loan terms offered. The borrower can accept the terms of the loan by mail, by phone, or electronically.

Final Disclosure (and Self-Certification Form)

This is sent to the borrower after the loan terms are accepted and the school has certified the student’s eligibility for the loan. The final disclosure gives the borrower a right-to-cancel period of 10 business days.

In addition, the borrower must complete and submit the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification. This form will include information about the availability of federal student loans, the student’s cost of attendance, estimated amount of financial assistance, and the difference between the student’s cost of attendance and estimated financial aid. This form is provided by the lender. If necessary, it may also be obtained at the university financial aid office.