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BU Online Distance Education programs

Financial Aid
Sargent Center Graduate Students

Direct Stafford Loan Fact Sheet for Graduate Students

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a low-interest laon available to students for post secondary educational expenses.

Students must demonstrate financial need to qualify for subsidized loans. Financial need is determined by a federally legislated analysis of family financial information provided on a 2005/2006 Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who do not qualify for the maximum Subsidized Direct Loan may be approved for the difference in an Unsubsidized Direct Loan. The combination of the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans may not exceed the annual and aggregate limits for loans under the Direct Loan Program. Provisions of the subsidized and unsubsidized are the same with the exception of those noted below.

Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

You will not be charged interest until you begin repayment. Repayment begins sex months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours)

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

The government will not pay interest while you are in school as it does for the Subsidized Direct Loan. Interest accrues and must be paid by the borrower or capitalized during periods of in-school enrollemtn and/or deferment.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students are eligible to participate in the Direct Loan Program if they:

  1. are U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  2. are enrolled in a degree program
  3. are registered for a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester which are accepted towards the degree program
  4. demonstrate need as determined by federal regulations
  5. do not have an outstanding balance from a prior period of enrollment at Boston University
  6. are making satifactory academic progress

How much may I borrow?

The maximum loan amount for graduate and professional students is $18,500, of which no more than $8,500 may be in subsidized loans. The maximum cumulative Federal Direct Stafford Loan amount is $138,500, including any amount borrowed for undergraduate study.

Submit your application early

Loan eligibility cannot be determined until you are registered for the Fall 2006 or Spring 2006. It is important that your request be submitted as soon as possible after registering for your Fall or Spring classes. Your application will take approximately seven to ten business days to review.

How do I apply?

You will need to submit a 2005/2006 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be completed on-line here. The Boston University code is 002130.

First time borrowers will need to complete a Direct Loan Promissory Note. You can complete the promissory note online here. You will need your federal Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you do not have a PIN or cannot recall it, you can request a duplicate PIN here. Boston University will be notified within 3-5 business days that you have completed your promissory note on-line.

  1. If you fail to complete your promissory note on-line, you will be mailed a paper promissory note to your home address. Complete all required items and sign the promissory note. Return the promissory note according to the instructions.
  2. Failure to complete the promissory note requirement before the end of the loan period will result in cancellation of the loan. Please make sure that you have provided the Office of Registrar with your home address so that you will get your promissory note.
  3. If you are a first time borrower at BU, you must fulfull an Entrance Counseling session, which is required by the federal government prior to the crediting of your loan funds. You may complete this requirement on-line here.

When will loans be available?

  1. Once your loan has been approved by the Direct Loan Center, funds will be credited to your account electronically within 3-5 business days. A 3% loan fee will be deducted from the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan prior to disbursement. In addition, borrowers will be given an up-front rebate that is approximately equal to 1.5% of the loan amount approved. The borrower retains the rebate by making the first 12 monthly payments on time. Overall, the amount available will be 1.5% less than the loan amount approved.
  2. Your loan will be disbursed in 2 installments. The first installment will occur no earlier than 10 before the start of your loan period (August/September). The second installment will occur midway through the loan period (December) for Spring semester.
  3. For first time borrowers, funds cannot be disbursed intil the Entrance Counseling requirement has been fulfilled. You must alse be registered for the appropriate number of credits for disbursement to take place.