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Types of Aid - Loans

A loan is borrowed money that must be repaid. There are different types of federal loans, as well as private loans.

A loan is borrowed money that must be repaid. Low-interest, long-term loans are awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need or the cost of attendance. There are different types of Federal Direct Loans.

When you complete the FAFSA, you are applying for all of the aid programs. You do not complete a separate application for the Federal Direct Loan. There are two types of Direct Loans:

  • Subsidized - awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged interest as long as you maintain half-time (6 hours) enrollment status. Subsidized loans are available to undergraduate students only.
  • Unsubsidized - not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized. The interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. This will increase the amount of money to be repaid. You will repay less if the interest is paid as it accumulates.

Learn more about federal student loans. Students must also complete entrance counseling and sign the master promissory note by going to

The Grad PLUS loan allows a graduate student to borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. The interest rate is currently fixed at 6.31%, and repayment is generally deferred while in school.

In order to qualify for the Grad PLUS, the student must meet basic eligibility requirements:

  • Complete the FAFSA. While it is not required, it is our recommendation that you borrow your maximum unsubsidized loan limits before applying for a Grad PLUS loan. 
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of 3 graduate level credit hours.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.
  • Pass a credit check.
  • Graduate students may apply for the Grad PLUS loan at

Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans

The Parent PLUS loan allows a parent to borrow on behalf of their dependent, undergraduate children who are enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). A PLUS loan may not exceed the cost of attendance minus other aid awarded.  Parents of dependent undergraduate students may apply for the Parent PLUS loan at

  • Please note: You are required to complete the FAFSA prior to obtaining a PLUS loan. Repayment begins within 60 days of the loan being disbursed unless deferred repayment is requested by the parent.

Alternative/Private Loans

Although it is not required, you are encouraged to exhaust all federal loan eligibility prior to applying for a private/alternative loan. Also be aware that there is a waiting period from the time that the loan is certified by the UWF Financial Aid Office and when the funds can be released to your account. It is advisable to apply for private loans before the start of the semester if you plan to use the funds to pay for fees due on the fee payment deadline. The terms of a federal loan are generally more favorable than a private loan. In the event you do not qualify for financial aid, have reached the aggregate loan limit, or need aid in excess of what you have been awarded, you may apply for a private loan, often referred to as an alternative loan. With this type of loan, you are applying through a private lender, and the Financial Aid Office only certifies your enrollment and cost of education. A credit check is done by the lender to determine approval. The lender determines interest rate, processing fees, and repayment.

You have the right to select any lender of your choice. Once your application has been completed and processed, it will be sent to us electronically within 24 to 48 hours so we can begin the certification process. We do not recommend specific lenders and have elected not to publish specific information on individual loans/lenders due to the fact that borrower benefits are subject to change without notice. Interest rates and loan terms vary greatly among lenders; you should look at all options in selecting a private loan. The best way to locate a lender is to do an internet search for "private student loans". Detailed information regarding a specific loan can be found on the lender website or by contacting them directly. There are also comparison tools that can be found online which allow you to see multiple options for multiple lenders in the same way people do research for a mortgage lender. Due to legislative and economic changes in the student loan industry, we recommend that you contact a lender prior to submitting a loan application to determine if they are accepting applications from UWF students. There are certain lenders who have chosen to accept applications only for students attending specific institutions.

We are required by federal regulation to provide the disclosures in the Truth in Lending Act. Private loan borrowers are required to complete an Applicant Self-Certification Form when requesting a private loan. The form is provided by your lender.

Private loans are refunded using the same method as other types of financial aid: UWF delivers your refund with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution powered by BMTX, Inc. 

All lenders will conduct a credit check. Keep in mind that multiple credit inquiries do reduce a borrower's credit score.

Default Rate Notice

UWF's cohort default rate (CDR) for federal student loans is 1.8%, below the national average of 2.3% (as of Sept. 14, 2022).