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Scholarships & Financial Aid

The most common type of loans are Federal Direct Stafford loans.  To be eligible for federal loans, the student must submit a FAFSA.  TASFA students are not eligible for federal loans.  Stafford loans are generally offered to students based on federal limits and regulations.  The student must be enrolled at least half time (6 hours for undergrad, 4 hours for graduate) in order to be eligible for Stafford loans.  The student is not required to make payments on Stafford loans until the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.  Repayment begins six months after the student falls below half time enrollment.

For detailed information about Stafford loans, visit:  https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans

FATV video series: Loan Programs

Subsidized Stafford Loan

The subsidized loan is only available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need as calculated from the FAFSA. This loan has an interest subsidy in which the government pays for the interest accrual while the student is enrolled at least half time. Interest begins accruing as soon as the student falls below half time enrollment.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The unsubsidized Stafford loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students, and there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. The student is responsible for the interest that begins accruing as soon as the loan is disbursed.

Parent Plus Loan

Parent Plus loans are loans borrowed by parents to help pay for dependent student’s​ undergraduate costs. These loans are credit based and there is a separate application available at www.studentloans.gov. There is a credit check and the parent must apply online. There is a form called the Parent Borrower Authorization Form available in the Forms section that must be turned in after a parent is approved online for the parent plus loan.

Graduate/Professional Plus Loan

Graduate/Professional Plus loans are loans borrowed by graduate or professional students to help pay for graduate school costs. These loans are credit based and there is a separate application available at www.studentloans.gov. There is a credit check and the student must apply online. 

Interest Rates and Charges

LOAN
BORROWER
INTEREST RATE
Direct Subsidized Loan
Undergraduate
3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Undergraduate
3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Graduate or Professional
5.31%
Parent Plus Loan
Dependent Undergraduate
6.31%
Graduate Plus Loan
Graduate or Professional
6.31%


All direct Stafford loans with an initial disbursement after October 1, 2016 are subject to an origination fee of 1.068%. Loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2016 ​will have different interest rates.​

All Direct Plus loans with an initial disbursement after July 1, 2016 are subject to an origination fee of 4.272%. Loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2016 and after June 30, 2017 will have different interest rates.

Yearly and Aggregate Limits for Stafford Loans

The maximum amounts available to borrow each academic year are set by the U.S. Department of Education. ​The amount offered for the academic year includes the fall, spring, and summer semesters.* The University of Houston Downtown will determine how much of each type of loan the student is eligible for based on factors such as financial need, other financial aid awards, enrollment, and estimated cost of attendance. The maximum awards are shown below.

Dependent (Undergraduate) Student Limits:

CLASSIFICATION
ANNUAL
SUBSIDIZED MAX
ANNUAL
UNSUBSIDIZED MAX
ANNUAL
COMBINED MAX
Freshman (<30 hours)
$3,500
$2,000
$5,500
Sophomore (30-59 hours)
$4,500
$2,000
$6,500
Junior/Senior (60+ hours)
$5,500
$2,000
$7,500
Post-Bac
$5,500
$2,000
$7,500
Aggregate total allowed
$31,000 ($23,000 may be subsidized)

 

Independent (Undergraduate) Student Limits:

CLASSIFICATION
ANNUAL
SUBSIDIZED MAX
ANNUAL
UNSUBSIDIZED MAX
ANNUAL
COMBINED MAX
Freshman (<30 hours)
$3,500
$6,000
$9,500
Sophomore (30-59 hours)
$4,500
$6,000
$10,500
Junior/Senior (60+ hours)
$5,500
$7,000
$12,500
2nd Bachelor’s or
Teaching Certificate
$5,500
$7,000
$12,500
Aggregate total allowed
$57,500 ($23,000 may be subsidized)

Graduate Student Limits:

UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN
$20,500 PER YEAR
Aggregate total allowed
(including undergraduate loans)
$138,500 ($65,500 may be subsidized)**

 

* Financial aid awards are generally offered for the fall and spring semesters only, so if a student plans to attend summer school, he or she should plan to save some of the annual amount for summer expenses. For more information see summer financial aid section.

**Effective July 1, 2012, graduate students are no longer eligible to receive Direct Subsidized loans.  The aggregate limit for subsidized loans for graduate students includes amounts that were received as an undergraduate or prior to July 1, 2012 only.

Subsidized Loan Limits based on Program Type

Past borrowers who paid off their loan debt on or before July 1, 2013 or first time borrowers after July 1, 2013 are subject to a limit on the maximum period of time they may receive subsidized loan.  The limit is measured in academic years and is 150% of the published length of your program.  For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program at UHD, the maximum period of time that you can receive subsidized loans is six years (4 years x 150% = 6 years).

Steps to receive Stafford Loans

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  For more information, see How to Apply.
  2. Submit any required documentation to UHD for processing and awarding of your financial aid.  For more information, see Processing your Aid.
  3. Accept the award online through your e-Services account.  For more information, see Accepting Awards.
  4. For first time borrowers, complete Stafford loan Entrance Counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note online through www.studentloans.gov
    • Entrance Counseling is an online module that explains the loan process and your obligations as a student borrower.
    • The Master Promissory Note is valid for ten years, and must be completed prior to disbursement.  The MPN includes the terms and conditions of your student loan and is considered your promise to repay the loan.  The MPN requires students to list two references who do not share the same last name, address, or phone number as the borrower.
  5. The student must be enrolled at least half time (6 hours for undergrad, 4 hours for graduate) in order to be eligible for Stafford loans. 

Exit Counseling and Repayment

Students who are graduating will be required to complete Stafford Loan Exit Counseling.  Exit counseling is available to complete online through www.studentloans.gov or in person at our Exit Counseling sessions.  Graduating students will receive notification of the Exit Counseling requirement and times and dates of in person sessions by email.

 

Office of Student Affairs
Last updated 3/7/2017 2:38 AM