Educational Loans

If you are interested in applying for Federal Direct Loans (U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens only), you should not wait for an admission decision before applying.

You should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 and no later than July 1 for aid for the following academic year.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Direct Subsidized Loans are for undergraduate students to help pay for the cost of his or her education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. Eligibility for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans is determined by the information you submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and according to U.S. Department of Education regulations. Read more about the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized Loan.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are based on need.
  • No interest is charged while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
  • The U.S. Government charges a small fee, which will reduce the amount of the loan disbursed to your account.
  • Repayment begins six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
Interest Rate*
2017-2018: 4.45% fixed, undergraduates
Loan Fees
2017-2018: 1.066%
Credit Check
No
Eligibility
Must be enrolled at least half-time (six or more credits per semester)
Annual Loan Maximum
Freshman (0-23 credits): $3,500
Sophomores (24-53 credits): $4,500
Juniors and Seniors (54-84+ credits): $5,500
Lifetime Loan Maximum
Undergraduate students: $23,000
Repayment Begins
Principal is not due while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Payments begin following a six-month grace period after graduation or if enrollment falls below half-time.
Repayment Terms
10 years (other repayment plans available based on special circumstances)
Eligible for Federal Loan Deferments, Forbearances, or Loan Forgiveness
Yes
Eligible for Federal Consolidation
Yes
Interest Payments Eligible for Federal Tax Deduction
Yes
*Federal subsidized loan borrowers have a limit on the maximum length of time they are eligible to borrow. Students matriculated in a four year program may be eligible for federal subsidized loans for up to six years, if they have not reached their maximum aggregate loan eligibility. Students who change majors multiple times, or who drop or retake classes excessively, are most likely to be affected.

To Accept Your Federal Direct Subsidized Loan:

Once students receive their SU Financial Aid Award Notice listing a loan estimate, they must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling session to complete the application process for a Direct Loan. Visit your MySlice Financial Aid To Do List for instructions.

To Decline Your Federal Direct Subsidized Loan/Reduce the Loan Amount:

To reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely, students must notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs by completing the Loan Reduction/Cancellation Form.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Unsubsidized Direct Loans are for students to help pay for the cost of his or her education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. Eligibility for Unsubsidized Loans is determined by the information you submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and according to U.S. Department of Education regulations. Read more about the difference between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan.

  • An unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not based on need.
  • Interest is charged while you are enrolled at least half-time.
  • You may choose to defer the interest, but if this option is selected, the interest will be capitalized (added to the principal amount).
  • The U.S. Government charges a small fee, which will reduce the amount of the loan disbursed to your account.
Interest Rate
2017-2018: 4.45% fixed, undergraduate
2017-2018: 6.00% fixed, graduate
Loan Fees
2017-2018: 1.066%
Credit Check
No
Eligibility
Must be at least half-time (six or more credits per semester)
Annual Loan Maximum*
Undergraduate: up to $2,000Graduate: up to $20,500
Lifetime Loan Maximum
Dependent Students: $31,000
Independent Students: $57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Graduate Students: $138,500 (of which no more than $65,500 can be subsidized loan). This total includes undergraduate borrowing.
Repayment Begins
Principal is not due while the student is enrolled at least half-time or during the six-month grace period. Interest is due while in school, but can be deferred. If the interest is deferred, it will be capitalized (added to principal).
Repayment Terms
10 years (other repayment plans available based on special circumstances)
Eligible for Federal Loan: Deferments, Forbearances, or Loan Forgiveness
Yes
Eligible for Federal Consolidation
Yes
Interest Payments Eligible for Federal Tax Deduction
Yes
*Most undergraduate students are eligible to receive up to $2,000 in unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Students who do not receive full eligibility for subsidized loans (based on need and student’s academic level) may receive the difference in unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Graduate students may be eligible for up to $20,500 in unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan.

Undergraduate students whose parents are denied the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan may apply for an additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan; the maximum amount is:

Freshmen and sophomores with 0-53 credits – $4,000
Junior and senior with 54+ credits – $5,000

To Accept Your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan:

Once students receive their SU Financial Aid Award Notice listing a loan estimate, they must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling session to complete the application process for a Direct Loan. Visit your MySlice Financial Aid To Do List for instructions.

To Decline Your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan/Reduce the Loan Amount:

To reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely, students must notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs by completing the Loan Reduction/Cancellation Form.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (for parents)

The Federal Direct PLUS (FPLUS) loan is a loan parents can obtain to help pay for the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed to apply. The loan funds are borrowed from the federal government.

Parents may apply for an FPLUS loan at any time during the academic year. Parents are encouraged to budget their cost for the entire academic year to determine the FPLUS loan needed and then submit an FPLUS application to cover those costs. Parents must reapply for an FPLUS loan each year their child is an undergraduate student.

Parents who wish to apply for an FPLUS loan will be subject to a credit check as part of the application process. Payment of principal and interest begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Upon request, payment deferment privileges may be available with some restrictions.

Please note: the definition of ‘parent’ for FPLUS loan is :

  • any biological or adoptive parent, or
  • the parent’s spouse that reported income and assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Interest Rate
2017-2018: 7.00% fixed
Loan Fees
2017-2018: 4.264%
Credit Check
Yes (no adverse credit)
Eligibility
Must be at least half-time (six or more credits per semester)
Annual Loan Maximum
Total cost of attendance minus all aid resources and loans received.
Lifetime Loan Maximum
None
Repayment Begins
60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Requests to defer payments while the student is enrolled may be made during the application process.
Repayment Terms
10 years (other repayment plans available based on special circumstances)
Eligible for Federal Loan: Deferments, Forbearances, or Loan Forgiveness
Yes
Eligible for Federal Consolidation
Yes
Interest Payments Eligible for Federal Tax Deduction
Yes

To Apply for a Federal PLUS Loan:

  1. Determine the amount of FPLUS loan that you wish to borrow using our Loan Worksheet.
  2. Go to studentloans.gov, and click on the green “Sign In” box.
  3. After signing in, select
    • Apply for a PLUS Loan, then
    • On the next page, under “Direct PLUS Loan Request for Parent Borrowers” select “Complete PLUS Request for Parents”
    • Follow steps 1 – 4 to complete the online credit check
    • Upon completing step 4, a credit decision will be displayed.
  4. Syracuse University will transmit final loan approval and disbursement request to the Department of Education.

To Decline Your Federal Loan/Reduce the Loan Amount:

To reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely, students must notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs by completing the Loan Reduction/Cancellation Form.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a long-term, fixed-rate loan borrowed by graduate students to bridge the financial gap between their educational cost of attendance and their other financial aid.

  • Students must borrow their maximum eligibility in Federal Direct Loans before they may apply for this loan program.
  • Eligibility is calculated by the Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid.
Interest Rate
2017-2018: 7.00% fixed
Loan Fees
2017-2018: 4.264%
Credit Check
Yes (no adverse credit)
Eligibility
Must be at least half-time (six or more credits per semester)
Annual Loan Maximum
Total cost of attendance minus all aid resources and loans received.
Lifetime Loan Maximum
None
Repayment Begins
Payment of principal and interest begins once the loan is fully disbursed. The loan will be placed into deferment for graduate students while you are enrolled at least half-time.
Repayment Terms
10 to 25 years based on balance owed
Eligible for Federal Loan: Deferments, Forbearances, or Loan Forgiveness
Yes
Eligible for Federal Consolidation
Yes
Interest Payments Eligible for Federal Tax Deduction
Yes

To Apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan:

  1. Determine the amount of FPLUS loan that you wish to borrow using our Loan Worksheet.
  2. Go online to studentloans.gov and click on the green Sign In box.
  3. After signing in, select:
    • Apply for a PLUS loan, then
    • On the next page, under “Direct PLUS Loan Request for Graduate/Professional Student Borrowers”  select “Complete PLUS Request for Graduate/Professional Students”
    • Follow steps 1 – 4 to complete the online credit check
    • Upon completing step 4, a credit decision will be displayed.
    • Complete the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan master promissory note.
  4. Syracuse University will transmit final loan approval and disbursement request to the Department of Education.
  5. For new borrowers, an entrance counseling or loan counseling session must be completed on studentloans.gov.

To Decline Your Federal Loan/Reduce the Loan Amount:

To reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely, students must notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs by completing the Loan Reduction/Cancellation Form.

Choosing an Alternative (Private) Loan

Alternative education loans are offered through banks, many credit unions, and states to help bridge the gap between financial aid and the cost of education. Alternative loans are not federally sponsored or guaranteed; therefore, the FAFSA is not required. Students should apply for alternative loans only if additional funding is needed after applying for all federal student and parent loans. 

Alternative loans must be certified or approved by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs to ensure the loan does not exceed the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid.

Graduate Students: You are eligible to borrow up to the full cost of attendance by using a combination of Federal Direct and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans. This makes alternative loans (with their higher fees and interest rates) unnecessary for most students.

Interest Rate
Varies by lender
Loan Fees
Varies by lender
Credit Check
Yes
Cosigner Required
Varies by lender, but usually yes
Annual Loan Maximum
Total cost of attendance minus all aid resources and loans received.
Lifetime Loan Maximum
Varies by lender
Repayment Begins
Varies by lender
Repayment Terms
Varies by lender
Eligible for Loan Deferments or Forbearances
Varies by lender
Eligible for Federal Consolidation
No
Eligible for Alternative/Private Loan Consolidation
Varies by lender
Interest Payments Eligible for Federal Tax Deduction
Check with a tax advisor

To assist you in making your borrowing decision:

Review and compare alternative lenders, and the products they offer, on the ELM Select List.

This list represents lenders that Syracuse University students have used in the past.  Syracuse University does not endorse any particular loan program; you may select a lender that does not appear on this list. Lending institutions are solely responsible for posting and updating their information on ELM Select.

If you select a lender on the list by selecting their link, you will be connected to the lender’s website and application. Once your completed application has been credit approved, your lender will electronically transmit it to our office for certification.

Once the Financial Aid Office has approved your application, the amount of your loan will appear on MySlice under My Financial Aid.

As part of the application process, your lender will require that you complete a Private Education Loan Application Self-Certification form. The form can be submitted by fax, paper, or electronically depending on your lender. It requires you to list your cost of attendance, estimated financial assistance, and the difference between both. This information can be found on your MySlice under My Financial Aid. Submit this form directly to your lender, not to Syracuse University.

To Decline Your Federal Loan/Reduce the Loan Amount:

To reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely, students must notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs by completing the Loan Reduction/Cancellation Form.