How do graduate loans differ from undergraduate loans? | 12.01.09

Posted in Graduate Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

Graduate Students

The financial aid process, for the most part, works the same for graduate students as it does for undergraduate students. Graduate students have the same loans at their disposal and apply for financial aid the same way as undergraduate students. However, there are a few differences in loans that are worth noting.

Stafford Loans

-For undergraduate students: There are two types of Stafford loans; subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need and unsubsidized are awarded to any eligible student.  The Stafford loan comes with a low fixed interest rate and annual loan limits.

-For graduate students: The Graduate Stafford loan is very similar to the undergraduate Stafford loan except for the fact that graduate students can borrow a lot more. They can borrow up to $20,500 a year with the Graduate Stafford loan.

Private Loans

-For undergraduate students: Undergraduate students are usually not approved for a private student loan without a cosigner however, they can use private loans to cover up to the entire cost of their education.

-For graduate students: Graduate students can usually apply for private loans with or without a cosigner.  A good credit score help students both get approved for a loan and obtain a good interest rate. These loans can help graduate students cover up to the entire cost of their attendance including books, housing and transportation. No FAFSA is required to apply.

PLUS Loans

-For undergraduate students: The Parent PLUS loan is available to parents of undergraduate students.  Parents can use this loan to supplement their children’s financial aid package. The Parent PLUS loan is a federal loan based on credit rather than on need. There is not option for an undergraduate student to take out a PLUS loan for himself or herself.

-For graduate students: The Graduate PLUS loan is available to graduate students. Much like the Parent PLUS loan, this is a federal loan that is based on credit rather than on need.  It also has a low fixed interest rate and payments can be deferred while in school. No cosigner is required for the Graduate PLUS loan.


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One Response to “How do graduate loans differ from undergraduate loans?”

  1. Pamela Berry says on December 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm:

    I just wanted to say that since all the changes it has made it virtually impossible to obtain a private loan for students with not so good credit even if our cosigner is good. For many of this especially me I can not get any scholarships due to my age and because I try to work. But I am unable to obtain help and I am a taking care of my entire family due to my husband be ing laid off. This may cause me to have to quit when I tried hard and have been accepted to a program that is very stringent in who they accept. I believe this is not fair for us who try to work or make a change for the better.

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