Federal Perkins Loan
Perkins is a need-based federal loan. The interest rate is fixed at 5 percent, and the student does not begin repaying the loan until nine months after he/she graduates or drops below half-time status. Awards may be made as long as funds are available.
Federal Direct Loan Program
The Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) is a long-term, low-interest loan, for which undergraduate, graduate and professional students may apply. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8 percent. For a subsidized loan, the government will pay the interest while the student is in school. For an unsubsidized loan, the student can either pay the interest while in school or have it capitalized (i.e., added to the principle). Payments on the principle amount do not begin until six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time status.
Graduate students may borrow no more than $20,500 per year, or no more than the established Cost of Attendance, whichever is lower. Graduate students may borrow no more than $138,500 during their graduate career. Applications for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan are available on our website, but students should not submit a Stafford Loan application until they have received a financial aid award notice explaining their eligibility.
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans
The Grad PLUS is a credit-based loan. Grad PLUS borrowers may apply for an amount up to the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received by the student for the academic year. The interest rate on the Grad PLUS is fixed at 8.5 percent. Interest begins to accrue on the date of the first loan disbursement. The first payment is due within 60 days of the last disbursement for the loan period. At times a Grad PLUS borrower may receive a deferment while he/she is enrolled at an eligible school. Contact the lender for details regarding this provision. Students must meet the same general eligibility requirements for federal financial aid that must be met in order to receive a Federal Stafford Loan.
Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (FTEACH)
TEACH is designed for students who intend to teach full time in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Students who receive the TEACH Grant must fulfill a service obligation.
Many banks are now offering credit-based alternative loans to students who either do not qualify for the Stafford or PLUS loans or cannot receive enough money through these loan programs to cover their educational expenses. Terms of these private loans vary, but interest rates are normally higher than for the Stafford loan or PLUS. The Office of Student Financial Aid strongly encourages students to exhaust other sources of aid before pursuing an alternative loan. Interested individuals may obtain more Information about alternative loan options from the financial aid website www.northgeorgia.edu/finaid.