There are various low-interest federal student loan programs available to Northwestern students and/or the parents of dependent students. If your total financial need cannot be met by grants, other campus-based aid or outside sources, you may apply for the federal student loan programs by first, submitting the FAFSA and completing the application process. University of Northwestern – St. Paul participates in direct lending through the U.S. Department of Education.
Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan (For Undergraduate Students)
This is a need-based undergraduate loan that the government pays the interest on while the student is enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis. Loan repayment begins 6 months after a student graduates, withdraws from school, or drops below half-time enrollment. Please read About Federal Direct Student Loans for important details concerning Federal Direct loans, annual and aggregate limits, interest rates, and fees.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
This is a non need-based loan for which all students qualify. In this program, interest begins to accrue while the student is in school and continues to accrue until the loan has been repaid in-full. The interest may be capitalized to the principle amount borrowed or a student may choose to make payments on the interest while in school. As with the Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, repayment begins 6 months after a student graduates, withdraws from school, or drops below half-time enrollment.
Please read About Federal Direct Student Loans for important details concerning Federal Direct loans, annual and aggregate limits, interest rates, and fees.
To apply for Feder al Direct Stafford Loans:
- Once you receive your Financial Aid Award Letter, logon to theROCK and accept your Federal Stafford Loan(s).
- First-time Stafford Loan borrowers, must complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at StudentLoans.gov
Federal Direct Stafford Loan Exit Counseling
Upon graduation, withdrawal from school, or dropping below half-time enrollment, students who have borrowed Federal Direct Stafford Loans will be required to complete Stafford Loan Exit Counseling at StudentLoans.gov.
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
This is a government-insured loan made by the U.S. Department of Education for parents of undergraduate dependent students. The Parent PLUS loan is non need-based, for parents to borrow on behalf of their student, and based partly on the parents' credit worthiness. Parents may borrow up to the cost of education less other financial aid for their child. Interest is paid by the parent and there is no grace period. View the Parent PLUS Loan FAQS for more detailed information.
Repayment starts within 60-days of the final disbursement of the funds for the given academic year. Parents who wish to defer repayment until after their student graduates should go to StudentLoans.gov.
To Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan
- Parents, log in to studentloans.gov with your PIN, select “Request Direct PLUS Loan”, and select "Parent PLUS"
- Complete the 4 step process. Your completed PLUS application is submitted electronically to our Financial Aid Office.
- If this is the first Parent PLUS Loan for this student, you must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov.
- Parents who think they won't qualify for the Parent PLUS loan should contact the Financial Aid office for other options.
For parents without online access, download a paper Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application Form located on the Financial Aid Forms page.
The Direct Loan Program will send you a loan disclosure statement once your loan has been processed. It will show the total amount of your loan, the disbursement amounts and the estimated disbursement dates.
Lender-sponsored Private Loans
Students who have not applied for financial aid should contact a counselor in the financial aid office prior to applying for a private loan.
Quick Facts on Private Loans:
- Students do not need to complete a FAFSA to borrow a private loan.
- Private loans typically have higher interest rates than Stafford or PLUS loans
- A co-signer may be required.
- Interest rates are based on credit and are variable.
- Repayment terms will vary by lender.