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Financial Aid

Repaying Loans

When a student graduates, leaves school, or falls below half time enrollment they must begin loan repayment. Students can access total federal loan history at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Click here for more information on Federal Direct Loan repayment options and sample repayment schedules.

Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford loan program allows students to borrow from the federal government. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in at least 6 hours (5 hours for the Graduate College and School of Public Health). Repayment begins 6 months after students leave school or fall below half time enrollment. There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized (Undergraduates Only)

Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford loans are need-based loans for which the government pays the interest while the student is enrolled greater than half-time. First-time Direct Loan borrowers may receive subsidized loans for no more than 150% of the length of their academic program (i.e. 6 years for a 4-year program). Once a student has reached the 150% time limit, they will not be eligible for additional subsidized loans and will lose the interest subsidy on prior loans.

Unsubsidized

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans are not need-based and interest accrues from the date of first disbursement. Students can pay interest quarterly while in school or allow it to accumulate and capitalize when repayment begins.

Interest Rates

There are several interest rates for Federal Direct Stafford loans depending on the date of disbursement, type of loan, and academic level. The rates range from 3%-8%. See complete interest rate information here.

Origination Fees

There is approximately a 1% origination fee for Federal Direct Stafford loans.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

First time UIC borrowers of Stafford loans must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to pay back the loan to the federal government, with interest, according to the terms of the program. Complete the MPN online here.

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling MUST be completed before any Direct Loan funds disburse. This should be completed no later than two weeks prior to the start of the term. The counseling session and quiz helps students understand their loan responsibilities.

Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Students must complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling upon leaving school.

Annual and Aggregate Limits

Federal regulations limit the amount of Stafford loans students can borrow each academic year and over their entire academic career. Limits are listed in the chart below.

Annual Limits for Stafford Loans

 Subsidized Combined Annual Maximum (subsidized & unsubsidized)
Dependent  
Undergraduates  
Freshman (1-29 credit hours)$3,500$5,500
Sophomore (30-59 credit hours)$4,500$6,500
Junior/Senior (60+ hours)$5,500$7,500
   
Independent Undergraduates  
Freshman (1-29 credit hours)$3,500 $9,500
Sophomore (30-59 credit hours)$4,500 $10,500
Junior/Senior (60+ hours)$5,500 $12,500
   
Graduate & Professional Students  
Graduate $0$20,500
Pharmacy, Master of Public Health $0$33,000
Dentistry (DDS & IDP only) $0$40,500


Aggregate Limits for Stafford Loans

 SubsidizedCombined Annual Maximum (subsidized & unsubsidized)
Undergraduates    
Dependent $23,000 $31,000
Independent $23,000$57,500
   
Graduate & Professional Students  
Graduate$65,500$138,500
Pharmacy, Master of Public Health & Dentistry DDS & IDP$65,500$224,000

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loans

Parents of a dependent undergraduate student may borrow a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) pending credit approval by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours to receive a Parent PLUS loan. Parents can borrow up to the total Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all financial aid and other resources received. The PLUS Loan is unsubsidized and the borrower will be charged interest from disbursement until it is paid in full. Repayment may begin 60 days after the loan is disbursed or parents can defer repayment while the student is in school. For more information visit the U.S. Department of Education website. If a parent is denied a PLUS Loan and does not use an endorser, the student is eligible to borrow an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Freshmen and sophomores can borrow up to an additional $4,000 annually, and juniors and seniors can borrow up to an additional $5,000 annually.

Graduate PLUS Loans

Graduate students may borrow under the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program, pending a credit approval by the U.S. Department of Education. Students in professional degree programs must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours, and students in the Graduate College or School of Public Health must be enrolled at least 5 credit hours to be eligible. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid or resources received. The Graduate PLUS Loan is unsubsidized and interest accrues from the time it disburses until paid in full. Repayment begins six months after falling below half-time enrollment. The FAFSA must be completed for the academic year to be eligible for a PLUS Loan.

Interest Rates

Direct PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 have an interest rate of 6.31%. There is a roughly 4.27% origination fee.

PLUS Application

PLUS applicants must submit an electronic application to apply for a credit check. Credit checks results are valid for 90 days.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The parent borrower must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to repay the loan with interest. The appropriate parent must complete the MPN here.

Credit Approval

requirements and agree to repay the loan if the borrower cannot. The borrower may also still receive a loan if they can demonstrate extenuating circumstances. For more information please contact Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394.

Campus-Based Loans

The loans below are federal programs that utilize campus-based funds. When you borrow any of the loans below, you are borrowing from UIC.

Federal Perkins Loan

Most Federal Perkins Loan funds are awarded during the summer term. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. Due to a significant reduction in funding, the Federal Perkins Loan may only be awarded to:

  • Students who show exceptional financial need (Expected Family Contribution under 10,000)
  • Students with remaining financial need after other financial assistance
  • Students enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (5 or more for the Graduate College and School of Public Health)

The interest rate for this loan is fixed at 5% and there is no origination fee. Due to limited funding, in most cases we award $4,000 to undergraduates and $6,000 to graduate/professional students. Like Stafford Loans, there are aggregate limits for the Federal Perkins Loan. The federal government pays interest on (subsidizes) the loan until students begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. Repayment begins after a one-time grace period of 9 months after a student leaves school or falls below half time enrollment. The Federal Perkins loan program also has unique teacher cancellation provisions.

Aggregate Limits for Federal Perkins Loans

 Aggregate Maximum
Undergraduate Students:  
Who have not completed two academic years of undergraduate work $11,000
Who have completed two academic years and are pursuing a bachelor's degree $27,500
  
Graduate & Professional Students:  
Includes loans borrowed as an undergraduate $60,000

Federal Nursing Student Loan (NSL)

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Borrowers of campus-based loans must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to make repayment with interest according to the terms of the loan. If required, students will receive an email 48 - 72 hours after acceptance of the loan. After receiving the email students must follow to complete the Master Promissory Note online here. Campus-based MPNs are valid for up to ten years of borrowing.

Campus-Based Loan Requirements:

Direct PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 have an interest rate of 6.31%. There is a roughly 4.27% origination fee.

PLUS Application

PLUS applicants must submit an electronic application to apply for a credit check. Credit checks results are valid for 90 days.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The parent borrower must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to repay the loan with interest. The appropriate parent must complete the MPN here.

UIC Financial Counselor™

Students must complete a UIC Financial Counselor™ each year before disbursement of the loan. This session and quiz helps students understand their loan responsibilities.

Truth in Lending Act Disclosures (TILA)

Students applying for HPSL or Federal NSL must provide additional information prior to loan processing. Students may be prompted to provide information when completing the MPN or by a separate email request. The University is required to provide disclosures prior to the loan disbursement.

Alternative Loans

The terms and conditions of Federal Student Loans are generally more favorable than private education loans. Students are encouraged to apply for federal aid first and speak to a financial aid staff member about eligibility prior to pursuing alternative loans. UIC does not have a preferred lender list or private loan arrangements. Finaid.org maintains a thorough list of private lenders which students may review. UIC is not responsible for the accuracy or updating of lender information on this website. Most alternative loans require an applicant and/or cosigner credit check and repayment sometimes begins immediately.

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