The University of Washington participates in the major federal student loan programs to give our students the full range of options available for paying for college. We know that students would prefer to receive grants and scholarships, but reality is that many of our students must rely on loans as well to help pay for their education. The federal loan programs below offer a secure, government-regulated, reasonably affordable way to invest in yourself and your goal of a higher education.
Student Loans are financial obligations that must be repaid. Pay careful attention to the terms and conditions of any loan you accept to help pay for school. Do not borrow more than you need or can repay comfortably after leaving school. A comparison of various loans may be found on the Student Loan Program Chart.
Most student loans have the following characteristics:
Federal Perkins Student Loan, Nursing Student Loan and Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford/Ford Loans are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Interest is deferred while the student is enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis and during the grace period.
Students who do not qualify for need-based assistance may qualify for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans. Unlike the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford/Ford Loan, interest accrues on this loan during the time of enrollment, during the grace period and during periods of repayment or deferment. The borrower can make interest payments while in school or can request that the servicer add the interest to the principal of the loan (this is called "capitalization"). If the borrower does not make an interest payment as scheduled, the interest is automatically capitalized.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) enables parents to borrow for their dependent undergraduate children. These loans are based on credit, not on need. However the maximum amount borrowed may not exceed the difference between the school's determination of the cost of attendance and assistance received, including scholarships and other benefits. Students must first apply for a Federal Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan before they can be considered for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Repayment on the Parent Loan begins 60 days after the full amount borrowed for the school year has been disbursed. Loans borrowed through the Federal Direct Loan Programs are borrowed directly from the federal government. The university will coordinate all paperwork for you (see Completing Paperwork for Loans). Repayment arrangements are handled by the Direct Loan Servicer (a servicer contracted by the federal government).
Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans are also available for students with need. If the subsidized loan programs are not enough to meet your need, then we may also offer you these loan programs.