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Office of Student Financial Aid > Student Loans > Federal Direct Stafford & PLUS Loans
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Federal Direct Stafford Loan Basics
Subsidized? Students can be offered subsidized and unsubsidized versions of these loans in a given academic year, up to an annual and aggregate maximum.
  • Undergrads: Yes.
  • Grad/Professional: No
Interest Rate
  • Undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized loans first disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 = 3.86% fixed
  • Grad/Professional unsubsidized loans first disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 = 5.41% fixed
Loan Fees 1.051% for loans that disburse prior to December 1, 2013
1.072% for loans that disburse after December 1, 2013
Grace Period 6-months
Cancellation? Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
 
 
To be offered a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, students must:

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is the basic component of financial aid packages, and it can either be a need-based subsidized or non-need-based unsubsidized loan. All interest accrued on subsidized Stafford loans is paid by the government as long as the student remains enrolled at least half-time at Rush and during authorized periods of deferment.  Some subsidized Stafford loans also have an interest subsidy during the six-month grace period following graduation/dropping below half-time enrollment:

  • Interest on subsidized Stafford loans is waived during the grace period for loans made prior to July 1, 2012.
  • Interest on subsidized Stafford loans accrues during the grace period for loans made between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.
Please note: The federal government phased out subsidized Stafford loan eligibility for graduate/professional students.  For loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate/professional students will no longer qualify for subsidized Stafford loans.  Amounts that may previously have been offered as a subsidized Stafford loan may now be offered as an unsubsidized Stafford loan, so there is not an overall reduction in the amount of loan assistance available.
 
Interest on unsubsidized Stafford loans accrues from the moment of disbursement and throughout the entire life of the loan.

Loans issued will be at the following interest rates:

  • Undergraduate students with subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans first disbursed between July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 = fixed 3.86% interest rate;
  • Grad/Professional students with unsubsidized Stafford loans first disbursed between July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 = fixed 5.41% interest rate
  • The loan origination fee will be deducted from your disbursements by the government before the funds are issued.

Amounts listed are the maximums for the 2013-14 academic year.


Program

Annual
Subsidized Limit

Cumulative Subsidized Limit

Annual Additional
Unsubsidized Limit

Total Combined Subsidized & Unsubsidized Limit

Undergraduate        

Dependent

$5,500

$23,000

$2,000

$31,000

Independent

$5,500

$23,000

$7,000

$57,500

Graduate

$8,500 or $0*

$65,500

$12,000 or $20,500*

$138,500

Professional (Medical Students)

$0

$65,500

$38,278 - $42,722 
(depending on year in school)
 

$224,000

* For loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate/professional students are no longer eligible for subsidized Stafford loans.  Unsubsidized Stafford loan eligibility has been increased to account for this change.
 

  • Repayment begins after a 6-month grace period following graduation/dropping below half-time enrollment. During the grace period, no payments are due.
  • After the grace period expires, borrowers have a 10-year standard repayment term, with the option of extension in the cases of financial hardship or large loan balance.
  • These loans also allow for specific deferments, or time periods when the lender will temporarily suspend all collection activity on the loan.
  • If a borrower requires a temporary postponement or partial reduction in monthly payment and is not eligible for a deferment, they may request a forbearance.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan Basics
Subsidized? No.
Interest Rate 6.41% fixed
Loan Fees
4.204% for loans that disburse prior to December 1, 2013
4.288% for loans that disburse after December 1, 2013
Grace Period No.  See deferment discussion below.
Cancellation? Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

PLUS loans are available to graduate and professional students and to parents of dependent undergraduate students.  No matter who is the borrower, the terms of the loan are the same. 

  • Graduate and professional students must:
  • Parents of dependent undergraduate students must: 
    • Complete the Parent PLUS Certification form for the appropriate academic year (available on the appropriate forms page of this site).
    • Each new borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note.

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan that requires a credit check.  The annual loan limit is the student's cost of attendance minus any other aid they are receiving.  There is no aggregate cap on this loan program. 

Interest on these loans accrues from the moment of disbursement and throughout the entire life of the loan at a fixed rate of 6.41%.  The loan origination fee will be deducted from your disbursements by the government before the funds are issued.

Students or parents who are unable to pass the credit criteria on their own will be presented with the option to appeal the decision, or can add an endorser (cosigner) to their application.

  • Repayment begins as soon as the loan is fully disbursed, though students/parents have the option of deferring repayment while the student is enrolled as at least a half-time student and for 6-months following graduation/dropping below half-time enrollment. 
  • During the deferment period, no payments are due.
  • After the deferment period expires, borrowers have a ten-year standard repayment term, with the option of extension in the cases of financial hardship or large loan balance.
  • These loans also allow for specific deferments, or time periods when the lender will temporarily suspend all collection activity on the loan.
  • If a borrower requires a temporary postponement or partial reduction in monthly payment and is not eligible for a deferment, they may request a forbearance.


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