Loans

General Requirements

The Office of Student Financial Aid administers a number of loan programs for students whose needs cannot be fulfilled in any other manner. The university participates in several low-interest, long-term loans sponsored by the federal and state governments. Applicants for all loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the application process. Instructions for completing and submitting the FAFSA are included with the form. The loans are administered in adherence with accepted business practices in an effort to provide borrowers with an educational experience in personal finances as well as to ensure the continuance of existing loan funds through prompt repayment. Loan funds administered by the university vary somewhat in qualifications required, amounts that may be borrowed and terms of repayment. Specific details concerning each loan fund, including the rights and responsibilities of a borrower and the repayment schedule, may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

The personnel in the Office of Student Financial Aid are available as financial advisers to all students whether or not they are qualified to borrow from one of the university's student loan funds. Through interviews and realistic examination of expenses and income, students often discover that borrowing is only one of the possible solutions to financial problems.

General requirements stipulate that the student must be accepted for enrollment or, if a continuing student, must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress, must not be in default on any loan made from a student loan fund at any institution, must not owe a refund on any grant previously received and must attend a Loan Entrance Counseling session before receiving the first disbursement and must attend a Loan Exit Counseling session whenever the student’s enrollment status falls below half-time, the student withdraws or graduates from the university. Loan funds will not be disbursed until a student is registered for at least half-time status. Late registration will result in delayed financial aid disbursement.

Federal Direct Student Loan Program (Subsidized/Unsubsidized)

The Federal Direct Loan is designed to assist students who are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree. Federal Direct Loans are a major form of self-help aid.

There are two types of Student Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are when the government pays the interest during the time in which the student is attending school. Unsubsidized loans are when the student is responsible for paying the interest for the duration of his or her college career. The student also has the option to have the interest capitalized or added on to the total amount of the loan. The payments on the Federal Direct loans must be started six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. Currently, the interest rate is 4.45% on these loans. Listed below are the maximum annual loan limits by grade level. However, students may not qualify for the entire yearly loan amount.

Annual Borrowing Limits (Undergraduate Students)

Dependent Students Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
Freshmen $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomores $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Juniors and Seniors $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Maximum Aggregate Loan Limit $23,000 $8,000 $31,000

Annual Borrowing Limits (Undergraduate Students) 

Independent Students Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
Freshmen $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomores $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Juniors and Seniors $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Maximum Aggregate Loan Limit $23,000 $34,500 $57,500

Federal PLUS Program for Parent Borrowers

A Federal PLUS (Parent loan for undergraduate dependent students) is a low interest rate loan for parent borrowers to assist them in paying for a dependent student's education. The amount a parent may borrow will be determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid. The loan may not exceed the student’s cost of education minus other financial aid awarded. Presently, the interest rate is 7.00%

As with the Unsubsidized Stafford loan, there are no interest benefits paid by the federal government. The parent borrower must submit for a credit check as part of the application process. More information on PLUS and other federal loans is available at StudentLoans.gov.

Texas B-On-Time Loan Program

The Texas B-On-Time Loan Program was established by the 78th Texas Legislature. The purpose of this state-funded program is to provide non-need based, non-interest bearing loans to eligible Texas students to attend colleges/universities in Texas. At this time, the State has authorized Renewal Awards only. More information is available at: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Student Loan Program.