The Federal Direct Loan Program enables students who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents and enrolled at least half-time (two units) to borrow directly from the federal government rather than from a bank. Loans made through this program include the Direct Subsidized and the Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Eligibility for the Subsidized Loan is determined by the information provided on the FAFSA.
Direct Subsidized Loans: The student must demonstrate federal financial need. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues during certain periods. For current interest rates and origination fee information, click here.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Financial need is not a requirement. The student is responsible for paying the interest that accrues. For current interest rates and origination fee information, click here.
The Federal Direct Loans maximum for the academic year differs based on dependency status. Your dependency status and eligibility for the interest subsidy will be determined by the answers you provide on the FAFSA. No more than $5,500 may be subsidized. You must have remaining eligibility under the Federal Direct Loan aggregate limits.
Summer/Fall or Fall/Spring
$5,500 for dependent postbacc students
$12,500 for independent postbacc students
As a student enrolled at least half-time in preparatory courses, you are eligible for Federal Direct Loans for one consecutive 12-month period. If your enrollment spans more than one academic year or two terms within the consecutive 12-month period, you may borrow an additional loan. If you borrow for the summer/fall terms, you may borrow a second loan for the spring. A dependent student may borrow the full amount of $5,500 and an independent student may borrow the full amount of $12,500 in the spring.
Federal Direct Loan Aggregate Lifetime Limits
Dependent- $31,000 (No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.)
Independent - $57,500 (No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.)
All first-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at https://studentloans.gov by using the FSA ID. Students can monitor their federal grant and student loan usage through the Federal National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Federal grants and loans are scheduled for disbursement on the first day of classes for each term. Financial aid is credited to the student’s account in two equal disbursements (fall and spring).
Once a student graduates or drops enrollment below half-time they must complete exit counseling at https://studentloans.gov. Loan repayment begins 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. More information about different types of repayment plans and aggregate limits can be found here. Students can also identify who their loan servicer is by visiting NSLDS.
Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are applying for a PLUS Loan must complete a FAFSA. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a non-need based loan program designed to help parents provide funds for the parental contribution. A PLUS Loan applicant must pass a credit check. Interest is charged on PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of the first loan disbursement. There are no aggregate PLUS Loan limits. The annual amount is limited by cost of attendance. More information about the application process, current interest rates and origination fees, and repayment can be found here.
The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. It is a supplement to the “Post GI Bill Benefit in Pennsylvania” also known as Chapter #33 and expands veterans’ higher-education benefits. Students applying to Bryn Mawr may also be eligible for additional aid beyond the VA benefit.
Bryn Mawr College will need to verify your eligibility for the program before any funds can be awarded. Please contact the Office of the Registrar and be prepared to submit your Certificate of Eligibility. Once these documents have been received the Registrar will verify your eligibility and notify the Office of Financial Aid. For more information about yellow ribbon visit the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Private loans are non-federal education loans offered by a lender such as a bank or credit union. Students should consider applying for a private loan only after exhausting all other possible sources of funds. Private loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check, and may have less attractive repayment plans than federal loans. Many lenders require a creditworthy co-signer. In general, students may borrow up to the cost of education minus all other financial aid received. Students who choose to borrow a private loan must select a lender of their choice and complete the lender’s application process. Bryn Mawr encourages careful borrowing by maximizing federal funding, considering interest rates offered and limiting the amount borrowed.
In your research for private alternative loans, you can use ELMSelect to compare the different lenders based on their options, benefits, and services and then apply directly online. We have created an impartial list of private loan products that our students have used in the past. They are listed on the ELMSelect website in random order. Bryn Mawr College students are not required to use the lenders on these lists.
You will find information about lenders, including interest rates and terms on ELMSelect. Please note the order of lenders is randomized each time you access the site. You can sort by low APR, alphabetically, fixed interest rates, and variable interest rates. You can compare up to 4 lenders at a time.
Once you have selected a lender you would like to use, you can apply for a loan through ELMSelect. After the lender has processed your application, it will send your application to Bryn Mawr for certification to confirm you are a student at Bryn Mawr, the number of courses enrolled, costs, etc. Our office will complete the certification request and send it back to the lender. The lender will then release the funds to the school for deposit to your student account.