Financial Aid

Federal Direct Loans

Both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans (FDLs) are available to qualifying full-time or part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are matriculated (i.e., who have applied to and been accepted by the college and are enrolled in a degree-granting program). (FDLs replace the Federal Stafford loans, which were also known as Guaranteed Student Loans (GSLs).)

Learn more about the loan process and receive sample repayment schedules by contacting the Student Financial Aid Services.

Your Responsibilities as a Borrower

Because Direct Loans are offered through the federal government, there are responsibilities that go along with them. Also, you must have a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to perform certain requirements, such as completion of online counseling sessions. (If you do not have a PIN, apply for one now.)

As a Federal Direct Loan borrower, you will be required to complete loan Entrance Counseling before your loan will disburse. The Entrance Counseling will discuss topics such as eligibility requirements, allowable loan amounts, repayment options, and more.

As a Federal Direct Loan borrower, before you graduate, or if you drop below less than half-time enrollment, you will be asked to complete a loan Exit Counseling session. The Exit Counseling will discuss topics such as repayment options, grace periods, deferment, and more.

You can perform both the Entrance and the Exit sessions online or by completing the paper checklist in the Entrance or Exit Counseling guide, available by request at the Student Financial Aid Services (SFAS) office. To complete the Entrance Counseling go to Studentloans.gov  . For more information about the process click the following link Entrance Counseling (PDF).  To complete the Exit Counseling go to Studentloans.gov  .  For more information about the process click the following link Exit Counseling (PDF).

Subsidized FDLs

These are need-based low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education, administered by NJIT. Because they are need based, the government pays the interest on them. (See the "Interest" paragraph for specifics.)

Who can borrow: Matriculated graduate and undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents enrolled at least half-time and who demonstrate financial need after all other awards (grants and scholarships, and federal work-study) are considered.

No matter what your dependency status (Dependent or Independent), the maximum subsidized loan amounts per academic year (for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2009) are as follows:

   Freshman = $3,500;
   Sophomore = $4,500;
   Junior = $5,500;
   Senior = $5,500;

Repayment: Payment is deferred while you are enrolled at least half time (6 credits); after deferment, there is a six-month grace period before you must begin repayment of the loan.

Interest: The interest rate is capped at 8.25% and adjusted each year on July 1. Interest is paid by the government while you're enrolled at least half-time, in your grace period, or in a period of deferment.

How to apply: Complete the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA.

Other requirements: First-time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and participate in loan entrance counseling (a USDE requirement).

Other notes: Upon receipt, you can accept or reject these loans in whole or in part, just as with any other financial assistance. Always accept subsidized loans first. The federal government withholds a 1.051% of the loan principal as an origination fee to defray the costs of administering the loan programs.

Unsubsidized FDLs

These are non-need-based, low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education, administered by NJIT. You are responsible for the interest on these loans from the time you receive the loan.

Who can borrow: Matriculated graduate and undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents and who are enrolled at least half time.

Maximum amount (for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2009): Amounts vary depending on your dependency status and, if your dependency status is "independent," your grade level is taken into consideration as well.

If you are a Dependent student, the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts (for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2009) per academic year are as follows:

   Freshman = $2,000;
   Sophomore = $2,000;
   Junior = $2,000;
   Senior = $2,000.

If you are an Independent student, the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts (for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2009) per academic year are as follows:

   Freshman = $6,000;
   Sophomore = $6,000;
   Junior = $7,000;
   Senior = $7,000;

   Graduate (full or part time) = $20,500.

Combined Sub and Unsub Loans

As a recipient of an subsidized loan, if you also qualify for an unsubsidized loans, you can combine subsidized amounts with unsubsidized amounts for the following combined loan maximums (per academic year), not to exceed your Cost of Attendance (COA):

   Dependent freshman = $5,500 ($3,500 max. for subsidized);
   Dependent sophomore = $6,500 ($4,500 max. for subsidized);
   Dependent junior or senior = $7,500 ($5,500 max. for subsidized);

   Independent freshman = $9,500 ($3,500 max. for subsidized);
   Independent sophomore = $10,500 ($4,500 max. for subsidized);
   Independent junior or senior  = $12,500 ($5,500 max. for subsidized);

   Graduate (full or part time) = $20,500

So, for example, if you are a Dependent Freshman with no financial need, you could borrow $5,500 in an unsubsidized loan (not to exceed your Cost of Attendance). If you are a Dependent Freshman with financial need, you could borrow the same amount, but $3,500 would be in subsidized form (with $2,000 in an unsubsidized funds).

Repayment: Payment is deferred as long as you're enrolled at least half-time; after deferment, there is a six-month grace period.

Interest: The rate is capped at 8.25 percent, and adjusted each year on July 1. It accrues while you are in school, but it can be capitalized to postpone payment. Alternatively, you can choose to pay the interest while you are in school to reduce the amount you owe upon graduating.

How to apply: Complete the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA.

Other requirements: First-time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note and participate in entrance counseling (a U.S.D.E. requirement).

Other notes: Upon receipt, you can accept or reject these loans in whole or in part, just as you can with any other financial assistance. Always accept subsidized loans first. The federal government withholds a 1.051% of the loan principal as an origination fee to defray the costs of administering the loan programs.

Graduate PLUS Loans

A relatively new Federal Direct Loan is now available to matriculated full- or part-time graduate students--the Grad PLUS loan. The loan has the same interest rate as the federal PLUS loan, which is for parents of undergraduate students. With a Grad PLUS loan, you can borrow up to the full cost of your education minus other financial aid that you receive, including Federal Direct (Stafford) loans.

To apply for a Grad PLUS loan, you must complete both a FAFSA and the Graduate PLUS Loan Application. As with any education loan, you must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for funds to disburse.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

A new program established by the College Cost Reduction & Access Act offering loan forgiveness after 10-years of public service employment.

To qualify for loan forgiveness, a borrower must make qualifying monthly loan payments (120 payments) while working full-time in qualifying public service employment. For further information, view the Public Service Loan Forgiveness document.