Loans for Graduate Students

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Graduate students typically study on a part-time basis, which at NDNU is defined as less than 9 credit hours of enrollment per semester. The important thing to remember is that you must be enrolled in at least half-time status to qualify for Direct Loans. A semester enrollment of at least three credit hours is considered at least half-time enrollment status in a graduate program at NDNU.

Direct Loans originate through the federal government as administrated by the Department of Education. These loans are not credit based and are available to all qualifying students. Direct loan interest rates, effective July 1, 2017 are 6.00% and there is an origination fee of 1.066% – 1.069%.

Direct Loan Limit Chart for Graduate Students

Year All Graduate Students
Master’s and Doctorate Students $20,500 (unsubsidized only)
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

The federal government requires that you complete both entrance counseling, which teaches you about the Direct Loan process and a master promissory note, which is your promise to repay the loan(s).

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

PLUS are based on your credit history, carry a fixed rate interest of 7.00%, and require an origination fee of 4.264% – 4.276%. The amount of PLUS loan that you can borrow is determined by the cost of attendance minus other forms of financial aid offered.

Private loans

A private student loan is a financing option that can replace or supplement federal student loans. Interest rates are set by the private financial institution that underwrites the loan and these rates can vary based on a borrower’s credit history.

To view a list of private loans that have been selected by Notre Dame de Namur University students, go to The loan programs displayed on this website are for informational purposes only. Borrowers are free to choose any participating lender.