2017-2018 Academic Year Loans

There are several loan programs available to undergraduate students and their parents to help pay for college. There are two basic categories of loans:
  1. Need-based
  2. Non-need based

Need-based loans include the Federal Perkins, Nursing, and Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. Non-need based loans include the Federal Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct Parent PLUS loans, as well as private/alternative loans. When you apply for financial aid, you are automatically considered for Perkins, Nursing, and Direct Loans. Direct Parent PLUS loans require completion of two applications, one with the federal government and one with UVA. All private alternative loans require separate application to be filed with the lender of your choice.

The University of Virginia participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program. This program offers low-interest loans to dependent and independent, undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in school at least half-time (minimum of six credit hours per semester) in a degree-seeking program. Student Financial Services certifies private loans that come from a private lending institution such as a bank or credit union. The University does not offer financial aid for students in certificate programs.

As you consider whether to accept part or all of the loans offered to you, please carefully consider the terms and repayment for each type of loan. The Federal Student Aid Repayment Estimator is an excellent resource.

 

Loan Summary

Note: The listed interest rates are for loans originated in the 2017-2018 academic year (disbursed July 1, 2017 or later).

Loan

Interest

Eligibility

Terms

How to Apply

Perkins

5% fixed

• Need-based

• For first undergraduate degree

• Must be enrolled at least half-time

• Repayment deferred, no interest while in school at least half-time

• 9-month grace period to begin repayment

• Deferment/cancellation options available

• Automatic consideration for this when you apply for financial aid

• Must sign Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling to receive funds. Go to https://www.ecsi.net/promw28/

Nursing

5% fixed

• Need-based

• Must be enrolled full-time in nursing program

• Repayment deferred, no interest while in school at least half-time

• 9-month grace period to begin repayment

• Deferment/cancellation options available

• Automatic consideration for this when you apply for financial aid

• Must sign Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling to receive funds. Go to https://www.ecsi.net/promw28/

Direct Subsidized

4.45% fixed

 

• Need-based

• Must be in a degree-seeking program at least half-time (at least six credit hours)

• Limits based on year in school. See chart below.

• Repayment deferred, no interest while enrolled at least half-time

• Interest accrues during 6-month grace period before repayment begins

• Limited deferment provisions

• 1.069% origination fee

• Automatic consideration for this when you apply for financial aid

• Must sign Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling to receive funds. Go to StudentLoans.gov.

Direct Unsubsidized

4.45% fixed

 

• Non-need based

• Enrolled at least half-time (at least six credit hours) in a degree-seeking program

• Limits based on year in school. See chart below.

• Interest accrues from time loan is disbursed and is capitalized when the loan enters repayment. Interest payments may be made while in school to lower overall payments once loan enters repayment.

• Repayment of principal deferred while enrolled at least half-time (at least six credit hours)

• Limited deferment provisions

• 1.069% origination fee

• Automatic consideration for this when you apply for financial aid

• Must sign Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling to receive funds. Go to StudentLoans.gov.

Direct PLUS (Parent PLUS)

7.00% fixed

• Non-need based

• May borrow up to cost of attendance minus other aid

• Student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program (at least six credit hours per term)

• Parent borrows on behalf of student.

• Interest begins to accrue upon loan disbursement.

• Repayment of principal and interest begins after the loan is fully disbursed.

• Limited deferment provisions

• 4.276% origination fee

Must complete:

• UVA Direct PLUS application

• STUDENT must complete FAFSA

• PARENT must sign Master Promissory Note to receive funds. Go to StudentLoans.gov.

• PARENT must pass Department of Education credit check.  Those who apply with a credit-worthy endorser or appeal a decision must complete credit counseling with StudentLoans.gov.

Private

Varies

• Non-need based

• Most likely will need a credit-worthy co-signer

 

• Varies by lender

• Varies by lender

• Student must accept or decline other financial aid before private loans will be certified by SFS

• Must be in a degree-seeking program.

 

General Information about Loans

Federal Perkins and Nursing Loan Program

Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Direct Loan Maximums

Direct PLUS (Parent PLUS) Loan Program

Private Loans

Information About Loan Consolidation

Federal Perkins and Nursing Loans

The Federal Perkins and Nursing Loans are based on financial need. These loans must be repaid.

The Perkins Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need. Preference is given to students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. The University typically awards amounts ranging from $500 to $4,000 a year for undergraduates.

The Nursing Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need and who are enrolled in the University's undergraduate Nursing Program. Annual award amounts range from $500 to $2,500 to first- and second-year students, and up to $4,000 to third- and fourth-year students.

Unlike other federal loan programs, origination fees are not deducted from Perkins and Nursing Loans. No interest is charged while students are enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis (at least six credit hours) in a degree-seeking program.

Perkins and Nursing Loan Promissory Notes: Students awarded a Perkins or Nursing loan should use their Federal Student Aid FSA ID to sign their Master Promissory Note. This is the same FSA ID you would have used to electronically sign your FAFSA.   Once signed, this promissory note will serve for any future Perkins loans received at UVA.

Students who do not complete the Perkins Loan promissory note by October 15 will have their loan canceled for the full academic year, and SFS will not be able to reinstate the loan.

If you decline all or a portion of the Nursing or Perkins loan after your official award is posted, you will not be eligible for a reinstatement of the loan unless all three conditions below apply AND funds remain available:

  • You were offered the maximum amount, but in the process of entering a lesser amount, you mistakenly entered an amount different from what you intended, and
  • You notify Student Financial Services within 2 business days of your error. Changes you make to your awards are time and date stamped by the SIS. Notification may be made by email, phone or in-person contact, and
  • You submit a Financial Aid Change Form Increase to request the reauthorization of the Federal Perkins loan.

Disbursement Procedures: One-half of the loan is applied directly to the student's account each semester, as long as the required Promissory Note is on file and entrance counseling has been completed.

Exit Interview: It is the Perkins and Nursing Loan student's responsibility to have an exit interview before leaving the University or in the event they register less than half-time (fewer than six credit hours). Exit Counseling can be completed onlineIf you also have Direct Loans, please note that the exit interview for Perkins and Nursing loans must be completed seperately. Failure to complete exit counseling in a timely manner will result in a hold on your official university transcript.

Repayment: Your loan will be serviced by Heartland ECSI and you will make payments through them. Repayment begins nine months after the student leaves school or drops below half-time (six credit hours). At that time, interest will begin to accrue at a rate of 5% each year with a minimum yearly payment of $480 or minimum monthly payment of $40. The actual monthly repayment will depend on the amount of the student's debt. Repayment may be spread over a ten-year period from the date of the first payment, and loans can be consolidated for repayment.

 

 

Direct Loans

The University of Virginia participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Under the direct loan program, loans are made by the U.S. Department of Education instead of private lenders.  Full disclosure information about Direct Loans is available from the Department of Education or from SFS upon demand. For more information about the application process for federal direct loans, please click here for undergraduate students or here for graduate students.

Direct Subsidized Loan
Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for the Direct Subsidized Loan. The federal government will pay the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time (minimum of six credit hours) in a degree-seeking program. Repayment of the loan principal begins six months after the student leaves school or is enrolled less than half-time (fewer than six credit hours). Interest will begin to accrue at the time the student is no longer enrolled at least half time and at a fixed rate. The minimum monthly payment is $50.  There is a 1.069% loan origination fee.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Students who do not demonstrate financial need, in whole or in part, are eligible for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Graduate students are eligible for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Under this program, students are responsible for paying all interest on the loan, including interest that accrues while the student is in school. Repayment of the interest on the unsubsidized loan begins within 60 days after disbursement unless interest capitalization is requested. There is a 1.069% loan origination fee. Students whose parents are unwilling to provide information to complete the FAFSA can apply for unsubsidized loans with the proper supporting documentation.

 

Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Through the Direct Loan Program, independent undergraduate students and students whose parents were denied the Direct Parent PLUS loan may borrow up to the following additional amounts per academic year:

First and Second Year Students--$4,000
Third and Fourth Year Students--$5,000
Preparatory Coursework--$7,000

Please note that if you apply for the additional unsubsidized loan after a denial of a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, you will not have the opportunity to either appeal the denial or add an endorser (co-signer) on this loan. Your Direct Parent PLUS Loan will be cancelled and cannot be reinstated. If a new Direct Parent PLUS Loan request is received and approved by the lender, the additional Unsubsidized Loan will be cancelled.

 

Master Promissory Note: All borrowers are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) the first time they borrow a Direct Loan (including the Direct Parent PLUS Loan). The MPN does not show loan amounts because it can serve as the student's promissory note for future years. The amount of the subsidized and unsubsidized loans will be included in the student's financial aid award notification.

Students will receive their Loan Disclosure Statement for each new loan borrowed. The disclosure statements provide information about the types and amounts of loans borrowed, the loan period, and the anticipated disbursement dates. Students should maintain the statements for their records.

Students initially accept, decline, or reduce loan amounts in the Student Information System (SIS). After a loan is accepted in SIS, any other changes require completion of a Financial Aid Change Form Increase or a Financial Aid Change Form Decrease. Note that increases are subject to annual maximums. If you have borrowed more than you need, excess funds must be returned to UVA within 120 days of disbursement. The loan fee will be reduced or eliminated in proportion to the amount of the disbursement returned.

 

Disbursement Procedure: The financial aid award indicates the total loan amount of the Direct Loan the student is awarded. The net amount disbursed will be the gross amount of the loan less fees.

The Direct Student Loan is normally payable in two disbursements, one-half of the total in each semester. Loan funds cannot be credited to the student's account until approved by the Department of Education and the student has enrolled in sufficient credit hours.

Students will receive an email once their loan has been disbursed to their University Student Account (billing account statement). The disbursement will first pay current term outstanding tuition, fees, and room and board due to the University of Virginia for the current semester, and the remaining funds will be sent to the student by check to their local address or direct deposit to their own personal bank account.  Please note that excess funds cannot be applied to bookstore charges, library fines or parking violation charges.

In the case of an over-award, one or both of the loan disbursements may be reduced or canceled. Similarly, if tuition charges are reduced because of a change in enrollment or additional departmental or non-university awards, one or both of the loan disbursements may need to be adjusted or canceled.

If a student fails to enroll in sufficient credit hours, their loan will be canceled, typically within 30 days of the start of classes.

 

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling: All first-time borrowers of federal loans must be informed of their borrower obligations before their first loan disbursement can be credited to their University account. Loan entrance counseling information online.

 

150% Rule: As part of the law that extended the 3.4 percent interest rate for Direct Subsidized Loans until July 1, 2013, a new borrower on or after July 1, 2013, becomes ineligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans if the period during which the borrower has received such loans exceeds 150 percent of the published length of the borrower’s educational program. The borrower also becomes responsible for accruing interest during all periods as of the date the borrower exceeds the 150 percent limit.

 

Direct Loan Exit Counseling: It is the student's responsibility to undergo exit counseling before leaving the University or in the event he or she registers for less than half-time basis (minimum six credit hours). Student loan history can be found at www.nslds.ed.gov; use your Federal Student Aid FSA ID (available at fsaid.ed.gov) to access the data. It is the student's responsibility to contact Student Financial Services in the event they withdraw from the University or enroll less than half-time (minimum six credit hours) to obtain exit counseling information. Exit counseling information online.

Direct Loan Exit Counseling session covers the following federal student loan types:

William D. Ford Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (for graduate/professional students)
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans (for graduate/professional students)

 

Repayment: Repayment for Direct Loans begins six months after the student leaves school or drops below half-time (six credit hours). Under the Standard Repayment Plan, the student will pay a fixed amount, based on the amount of the loan, every month over a 10-year period. Additional repayment plans are available that decrease the monthly payment, but increase the length of the time over which the balance is paid (and thus increase the total amount paid for most plans). For more information on repayment plans, deferment, and other repayment topics, please see the FSA Guide to Repaying Your Federal Student Loans.

 
 

Direct Loan Maximums

(Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

  Dependent Undergraduate Students Unsubsidized Loan (All Undergraduate Students) Additional Unsubsidized Loan * Graduate Students (Unsubsidized only)
First Year $3,500 $2,000 $4,000 $20,500 each academic year
Second Year $4,500 $2,000 $4,000 $20,500 each academic year
Third Year $5,500 $2,000 $5,000 $20,500 each academic year
Fourth Year $5,500 $2,000 $5,000 $20,500 each academic year

*Additional Direct loans are available only for Independent students and Dependent students whose parents have been denied a Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

To see the aggregate limits for Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) for undergraduates and graduates, click here.  If your status changes mid-year, say from second-year to third-year student, and you wish to have your Federal Direct Loan adjust as a result fo the change in eligibility, please contact SFS directly.

Direct PLUS (Parent PLUS) Loan

The Direct Parent PLUS Loan is made to parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled in school at least half-time (minimum six credit hours) in a degree-seeking program. Parents must be U.S. citizens or registered permanent residents to apply for the PLUS. Direct Parent PLUS loans require completion of two applications, one with the federal government and one with UVAEligibility for the PLUS is not based on demonstrated financial need. Parents with adverse credit history or who have filed bankruptcy in the past may be denied the PLUS.  Those who apply with a credit-worthy endorser or appeal a decision must complete credit counseling with StudentLoans.gov. Students whose parents have been denied the PLUS loan may receive an additional unsubsidized Direct loan (see chart above for eligible amount).

Eligible parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any financial assistance. There is a 4.276% origination fee for Direct Parent PLUS Loans.  Repayment begins within 60 days after the full disbursement of the loan, but parents may request a deferment while the student is in school.

Credit balances are refunded to the parent unless the parent requests they be refunded to the student. Also, it is important to note that we cannot award the PLUS loan until the student has either accepted or declined any other awards that are part of their financial aid.

PLUS Application and Promissory Note: First, a FAFSA must be completed for each student for whom a parent intends to take out a PLUS loan. We recommend that parents not apply for this loan until the Official Financial Aid Award has been created for the student. Parent credit checks are good for 180 days. We begin to certify Direct Parent PLUS Loans for the upcoming school year after a student's financial aid award has been completed. Applying too early or applying for a second loan could result in the requirement of a second credit check. For this reason, the Federal Direct Parent PLUS application at studentloans.gov is unavailable for the University of Virginia until early May.

All parent borrowers will also be required to complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application and first-time borrowers will have to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov. Current regulations allow a parent to sign one promissory note (Master Promissory Note) that will be used for future PLUS loans borrowed. The PLUS MPN does not show loan amounts because it can serve as a parent's promissory note for future years. The amount of the PLUS loan eligibility will be included in the most recent financial aid award notification. Please note that every application for the PLUS loan will result in a credit history inquiry. A FAFSA must be on file for the student whose parent(s) are taking out the PLUS loan.

Parent borrowers will receive their PLUS Disclosure Statement for each new loan borrowed. The disclosure statements provide information about the amount of money borrowed, the loan period, and the anticipated disbursement dates. Parents should maintain the statements for their records.

Parents may decline or reduce the amount of their loan(s) by completing a Financial Aid Change Form Decrease and submitting it to Student Financial Services. Once a Direct Parent PLUS Loan has been reduced or canceled, a new University of Virginia Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application must be completed and a new loan processed in order increase the amount of your total Direct Parent PLUS Loan. If 90 days have passed since the last credit check a new credit check will be conducted. If you have borrowed more than you need, excess funds must be returned to UVA within 120 days of disbursement. The loan fee will be reduced or eliminated in proportion to the amount of the disbursement returned.

Please note that parents who do not submit a signed promissory note by October 1 will have their loan application inactivated for the academic year. If your PLUS loan application is denied, you will receive information about how to add an endorser from the federal government. If you plan to use an endorser, please notify us by email at sfs@virginia.edu.

Disbursement Procedure: The PLUS is normally payable in two disbursements, one-half of the total in each semester. Loan funds cannot be credited to the student's account until approved by the lender and the student has enrolled in sufficient credit hours. All undergraduates at the University must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours).

The total loan amount of the PLUS awarded can be found in the Finances section of the Student Center in the SIS. The actual amount disbursed will be less due to origination fees.

In the case of an over-award, one or both of the loan disbursements may be reduced or canceled.  Similarly, if tuition charges are reduced because of a change in enrollment, one or both of the disbursements may need to be adjusted.

Repayment: Under the PLUS program, repayment must begin within 60 days after full disbursement of the loan. There is no grace period for the PLUS loan. Parents must repay both principal and interest on the loan even while the student is enrolled in school, or parents may request a deferment of principal as long as the student remains enrolled as a full-time student. Parents can choose the Standard, Extended, or Graduated Repayment Plan. The Income Contingent repayment plan is not an option for the PLUS.

Forbearance

For information about obtaining a forbearance on your federal student loans, please see the information here.

 

Private Alternative Loan Programs

There are many ways to pay for higher education. Private loans are not backed by the federal government and therefore may have terms and conditions less favorable than federally funded student and parent loans. We encourage all students and parents to first consider and apply for federal student loans before applying for private loans.  Because these are private loans, lenders can change the terms and conditions of these loans without notifying UVA. Therefore, we suggest you verify this information with the lender prior to applying for a loan with that company.  

Choosing the right loan requires a good understanding of your options, your responsibilities, and the various details of each lender's loan products. FASTChoice provides information about private loans in an easy-to-understand format to help you determine which private student loan meets your needs.  UVA does not endorse or represent any of the lenders participating in FASTChoice, nor will the University or its representatives be able to provide advice on choosing a lender.

Applying for a Private Loan: Please do not complete a Private loan request more than 90 days before the start of your program begin date. By Federal guideline, lenders cannot process a loan that does not disburse within the credit decision expiration date.

Most institutions have an on-line application followed by a credit check and require a credit-worthy co-signer who is a United States citizen.  Once the application is complete and UVA is notified, we will certify the loan amount.  You must be in a degree-seeking program for the University to certify a private alternative loan. You will then most likely be required to complete either an on-line or paper promissory note.  SFS cannot award a private loan until you have either accepted or declined any other awards that are part of the financial aid award. If you wish to borrow additional funds after a private loan has been certified, you must complete a new loan application with the lender of your choice. 

Carefully consider the interest rates, loan fees, and terms of the private loan program before making a selection.  Below is some information to consider before selecting a private loan. 

  • Know Your Score—Most private loans are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and/or co-signer.  Students need to know their credit score.  The higher the credit score, the better the interest rate.  Students can get their credit score at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.  This site has been created by the three crediting bureaus and allows students to get a copy of their free credit report and to buy a copy of their credit score.
  • LIBOR—London Interbank Offered Rate.  The interest rate on some private loans is based on the LIBOR 3-month rate or the LIBOR 1-month rate.  The interest rate for the loan is probably variable and will change based on the rate.
  • Prepayment Fee—Make sure the private loan does not have a prepayment fee for early repayment.
  • Deferment—Most private loans offer a deferred payment option.  If loan payments are deferred, interest will accrue.  Our recommendation is to pay the interest if at all possible so that your principal will not increase.  Some interest rates for deferment may be different than the repayment interest rate.
  • Repayment Fee—A few lenders actually charge a fee for going into repayment.  Shop around to avoid this fee.
  • Late Payment—Find out from the lender at what point a payment will be considered late.
  • Credit-Worthy Borrower—A borrower or co-signer who has sufficient credit to borrow or co-sign for a loan and who is a United States citizen.
  • Credit-Ready Borrower—A borrower who does not have any credit history but is ready to establish credit.
  • Repayment—Read the terms and conditions of your loan as some plans require immediate repayment while other provide terms for deferment. Please do not complete a Private loan request more than 90 days from the start of your program begin date:  Most lenders will not process a loan that does not disburse within the credit decision expires.