Loans

The Office of Financial Aid helps administer Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Alternative Student Loans for graduate students.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a loan available to graduate students who are enrolled in a degree seeking program and are at least halftime (six credits). Students are required to begin repayment of the loan after graduation (or when the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time). A six-month "grace period" is applied before repayment begins. Additional information on loan payments, as well as the current interest rate for this loan, can be found at www.studentaid.gov.

Graduate students may borrow up to the maximum annual amount of $20,500 with an Unsubsidized Loan.

Note: Associate and non-degree graduate students are not eligible for Federal Direct Loans (either Unsubsidized or PLUS), but may be eligible for private/alternative loans that are listed in this section.

Direct PLUS Loan

Graduate and professional degree students are eligible to borrow under the Direct PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other financial assistance received. This includes any other loans or financial assistance awarded by the department of study.

Students must have applied for their maximum annual loan eligibility under the Federal Direct Loan Program before applying for a Direct PLUS Loan.

Students are required to begin repayment of the PLUS Loan after graduation (or when the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time).  A six-month "grace period" is applied before repayment begins.  Additional information on loan repayment, as well as the current interest rate for this loan, can be found at www.studentaid.gov.

Private/Alternative Loans

A Private/Alternative Loan is a loan that a student can obtain to help finance the student’s cost of attendance. These loans are based on one’s credit history. (A student who has not established credit can apply with a co-borrower and can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any aid received). We strongly recommend that students carefully review all the terms of each individual loan, as they can vary greatly. Individual loan providers have their own application, timeline, and repayment terms. Once a loan is approved, the lender will notify our office so that we can certify eligibility for the requested amount. Plan to apply at least 30 days prior to the date the bill is due. To assist with this process, a list of private loans recently used by Lehigh students can be found on our ELMSelect site.

Glossary

Borrower

The person responsible for repaying a loan who has agreed to the terms and has signed a promissory note.

Capitalized Interest

When interest that accrues on a loan is not paid, it is capitalized or added to the principal balance, which increases the outstanding principal amount due on this loan.