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Loans are a form of financial assistance which must be repaid. Some loans are available regardless of your need profile, and others take into account your family's financial need.  A number of low-interest loan options are sponsored by the federal government, while others are available through banks or other lenders. There are many types of loans, both for students and for parents of dependent students. Below you'll find more details on loan options that may assist you in affording an Oglethorpe education.

Direct Loans -- (Quick links to information on Entrance and Exit Counseling and the MPN)
Federal Perkins Loans
Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Alternative Loans

Direct Loans
These are low-interest federal loans available through banks and other lending institutions. To qualify, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled in at least 6 hours per semester. Interest rates for Direct Loans currently fall in the 3.86-5.41% range. Direct Loan eligibility will be reflected in a student’s financial aid award letter from Oglethorpe.

Direct Subsidized Loan
Students with financial need qualify for the Direct Subsidized Loan. The federal government pays (subsidizes) the accruing interest on this need-based loan as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time. In other words, a student does not begin to pay interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan until the eligible study and the six-month grace period (and any deferment period) have been completed.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need and are available to students who do not show financial need. The student is responsible for paying interest from the time the loan is disbursed, including while s/he is in school. Students may choose to capitalize the loan (allow interest to accumulate and be added to the principal of the loan), although this increases the amount that has to be repaid. Students who do show financial need may qualify for a combination of Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans.


Dependent Student1

Independent Student2

1st-year undergraduate

$5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)

$9,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)

2nd-year undergraduate

$6,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)

$10,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)

3rd and 4th-year undergraduate

$7,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)

$12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)

1 Except those whose parents are unable to borrow a Direct PLUS loan.
2 These limits also apply to dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a Direct PLUS loan.

Aggregate Limits for Direct Loans

-$31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a Direct PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

-$57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a Direct PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

Federal Perkins Loans
Perkins Loans are available to students with demonstrated financial need. Qualified students may receive a maximum of $4,000 per year and an aggregate maximum of $20,000 for all years as an undergraduate. Exceptional need for financial assistance will determine the student’s annual award. The Federal Perkins Loan bears simple interest at the rate of 5% per year, and interest does not accrue until nine months after the student ends his or her studies.

Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Direct PLUS Loans are made available through banks and other lenders to credit-worthy parents of dependent undergraduate students. The annual loan limit available to parents is equal to the student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid that the student will receive. If the Direct PLUS Loan is denied due to adverse credit, a student may be eligible to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan in the amount of $4,000 (freshmen and sophomores) or $5,000 (juniors and seniors).

Alternative Loans
Alternative loans, or private loans, are available to students or to parents of dependent students who need additional financial assistance. Since most private loans are credit-based, you will most likely need a cosigner to qualify. A cosigner is a person who agrees to assume responsibility with you on your private student loan. Your cosigner does not have to be a parent or relative – a cosigner can be any credit-worthy individual. Cosigners increase your chances of getting approved, may help lower your interest rate and may speed up the application process. A good cosigner has an established credit history, no serious derogatory items on his or her credit report, a history of paying bills on time, steady employment and no overextended credit.






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