Borrower-Based Loans (BB) are awarded to eligible students who start the academic year in the Summer. Two terms represent an annual loan period, therefore, a BB loan includes the Summer and Fall terms as one loan period, with the Spring term starting a new loan period. Loans borrowed in the Spring BB loan period are included in the following Summer term when loan eligibility is being determined.

Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are applying for a loan must complete a FAFSA. The Federal Direct PLUS is a non-need- based, low-interest federally subsidized loan program designed to help parents provide funds for the parental contribution.  Bryn Mawr College administers the PLUS application process and the funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Education.  A Parent PLUS loan applicant must pass a credit check and should not have an adverse credit history.

To apply, go to: http://www.direct.ed.gov/parent.html

Interest Rate: Due to the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, interest rates on new Federal Direct PLUS Loans are established by the Department of Education each spring. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. For new loans made on or after July 1, 2014 and before July 1, 2015 the interest rates are:

 * Federal Direct PLUS loans (Parents) 7.21%

On July 1, borrowers  may view interest rates each upcoming academic year at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates​.

Interest is charged on PLUS Loan during all periods, beginning on the date of the first loan disbursement. A PLUS borrower may pay the interest as it accrues during a deferment, or allow it to accrue and be capitalized at the end of the deferment period.

Other Fees: A loan origination fee of 4.288% will be deducted from the gross amount on all Federal Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed December 1, 2013, through  September 30, 2014. For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2014, the loan fee may be different depending upon the across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as “sequester” put into place by the Budget  Control Act of 2011. The Department of Education will notify borrowers of fee changes and will provide additional information.

Borrowing Limits: The yearly amount is limited to the difference between the student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the dependent student receives, including   Loan assistance. There are no aggregate PLUS loan limits.

Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note: The PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a multi-year promissory note which a parent needs to sign only once, at the time he/she first borrows for that dependent. Parents may complete an electronic MPN (eMPN) at www.studentloans.gov.

Disbursement: When the parent borrows for the academic year, loan proceeds are disbursed in two equal installments, one per semester. If the parent borrows for only one semester, the loan funds are credited in a single installment during the term for which the loan was borrowed. Parents should take into consideration that a loan origination fee of 2% will be deducted from the loan disbursement each semester. This means that the net amount of PLUS loan funds credited to the student’s account will differ from the gross amount borrowed.

Repayment: Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement. Parent PLUS loan borrowers whose funds were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 have the option of delaying their repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or six months after the dependent student is not enrolled at least half-time. During this time, interest may be paid by the parent or capitalized.

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. Fewer than 2% of Bryn Mawr degree seeking undergraduates borrowed a private loan during the 2015-16 school year. 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 credit- worthy co-signer. In general, students may borrow up to the cost of education minus all other financial aid receive. Students who choose to borrow a private loan must select a lender of their choice and complete the lender’s application process. A list of private lenders used by Bryn Mawr students over the past three years is posted below:

Here are some questions you should consider before applying for an alternative loan.

  • Have you maximized your Federal Student Loans? Alternative loans may carry higher and more malleable (variable) interest rates than federal loans. Some interest rates can change as frequently as once a month on alternative loans, whereas a federal loan has a fixed interest rate.

  • Dependent Students: Have your parents considered taking out a Federal PLUS Loan? A PLUS loan, has a fixed interest rate and payment can be deferred Were your parents denied a PLUS loan? If your parents apply for a PLUS loanand are denied, you may be eligible for an increased amount of Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. See Loan Limits and Terms.

  • Have you sought any scholarships that might offset your educational costs? Scholarships represent grant money – money that you do not have to pay back to an institution. Applying for scholarships as you enter the college search process is a good way of taking care of excess expenses, such as tuition that remains to be paid after Federal Loans and Grants along with institutional aid have been maxed out.

  • Please consider the option of allowing the College to receive your loan funds via Electronic Transfer of Funds (EFT), as it will ease disbursement, and allow you to access your funds quickly.

If you choose to borrow an alternative loan to pay for college, then make sure you are well prepared. Below are a few questions to consider when choosing an alternative lender:

  • What is the interest rate? Keep in mind that this can change.

  • Is a co-signer/co-borrower required? Even if one is not, having someone such as a parent co-sign/co-borrow your loan with you can lower interest rates and application fees.

  • Are there application fees?

    If you have decided on taking out an alternative loan and have prepared questions, the next step is to choose a lender. Below you will find a list of lenders used by Bryn Mawr students over the past three years:

The Career and Professional Development Office receives and maintains  part- time and temporary job postings from the local and Philadelphia communities. Child care, yard work, office work, sales, catering, computer user services, house and/or pet sitting, copy editing, research, and tutoring are examples of jobs posted on a regular basis. Interested students should visit the Career and Professional Development website: https://www.brynmawr.edu/lilac/career-planning