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Student Loans

Federal Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (DL)

UAlbany participates in the Federal Direct Loan (DL) Program where students and parents obtain educational loans Federal Directly from the United States Department of Education.


Federal Direct Subsidized and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Must have valid current year FAFSA on file.
  • For all undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time, or six-credits, in a degree seeking program.
  • Students must demonstrate financial need.
  • Interest rate is currently fixed at 4.53% for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2019 and prior to July 1, 2020.
  • All Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are subject to a 1.059% loan fee.
  • Student is not charged interest on the loan while in school.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is the lender; payment is owed to ED.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Must have valid current year FAFSA on file.
  • For all undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program.
  • Students are not required to demonstrate financial need.
  • For undergraduate students, interest rate is fixed at 4.53% for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2019 and prior to July 1, 2020.
  • For graduate students, interest rate is fixed at 6.08% for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2019 and prior to July 1, 2020.
  • All Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are subject to a 1.059% loan fee.
  • Student is responsible for interest during all periods.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is the lender; payment is owed to ED.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. The MPN gives detailed descriptions on the terms and conditions of your loan(s). It includes information on how interest is calculated as well as deferment and repayments options available to you.

Generally the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized MPN is valid for a period of 10 years. This means you should only need to complete the MPN once while attending UAlbany. Please be aware, you must have a valid MPN on file with the U.S. Department of Education prior to receiving any federal loan disbursement. Monitor the "to-do" items listed on My UAlbany to determine if the MPN is needed.

To complete the MPN electronically, please visit StudentLoans.gov. Note, you need your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to sign the MPN.

The process takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and consists of the following four steps:
    1. Enter your personal information and school information.
    2. Enter information about two references who you have known for at least three years.
    3. Read all terms and conditions.
    4. Review, electronically sign (using FSA ID), and submit the MPN.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Entrance Counseling

All UAlbany students borrowing Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan(s) for the first time must complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling prior to disbursement of funds. To complete the Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling, please visit: StudentLoans.gov.

The Department of Education will notify UAlbany within 2-3 days after the entrance counseling is completed online.

Direct Loan Interest Rates and Origination Fees

The 2020-2021 Direct Loan Interest Rates and Origination Fees chart provides:
  • Interest rates For Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020 and through
    June 30, 2021.
  • Origination Fees for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or after October 1, 2019.
2020-2021 Direct Loan Interest Rates and Origination Fees
Loan Type Fixed Interest Rates as of 7/01/19 Fixed Interest Rates as of 7/01/20 Origination Fee for loans disbursed after 10/01/19:
Subsidized UG 4.53% 2.75% 1.059%
Unsubsidized UG 4.53% 2.75% 1.059%
Unsubsidized Graduate 6.08% 4.30% 1.059%
Parent Plus 7.08% 5.30%% 4.236%
Graduate Plus 7.08% 5.30% 4.236%

Please note, these fixed interest rates apply to the period of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Fixed interest rates on subsequent loans for 2021 - 2022 and thereafter are subject to change.

Annual Borrowing Limits

Dependent Students
(Excluding Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow Parent PLUS)

Class Standing Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Total
Freshman
less than 24 credits
$3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore
24-55 credits
$4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior
56-87 credits
$5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Senior
88 or more credits
$5,500 $2,000 $7,500


Independent Undergraduate Students
(Including Dependent Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow a Parent PLUS Loan)
Class Standing Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Total
Freshman
less than 24 credits
$3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore
24-55 credits
$4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior
56-87 credits
$5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Senior
88 or more credits
$5,500 $7,000 $12,500


Graduate Students
Total Unsubsidized Loan
$20,500




Lifetime Borrowing Limits

Beginning 2008-2009
Student Level & Dependency Status Maximum
Federal Direct Loan
Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Maximum
Federal Direct Loan
Subsidized
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 $23,000
Independent Undergraduate $57,500 $23,000
Graduate/Professional $138,500 $65,500


Program Benefits

  • The DL program offers many repayment options, including the Income Based Repayment Plan, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and Loan Consolidation. For additional information on forgiveness and cancellation, please visit Federal Student Aid's website on Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge.
  • All Federal Direct Loan Programs have a fixed interest for the life of the loan. Please see the "Interest Rates" section of this page for current rates.
  • If the borrower meets certain criteria, the DL program has a repayment incentive program whereby the interest rate charged on a borrower's loan(s) may be reduced.

Additional Direct Loan Eligibility for Change in Grade Level

Based on changes in the number of credit hours a student completes over the course of a semester a student's grade level may increase which would increase their loan eligibility for the academic year. For example, if a sophomore completes enough credits in the fall semester making them a junior in the spring semester of the same academic year they may be eligible for a loan increase if they have not already received aid up to the cost of attendance.

Please refer to the annual borrowing limits to see if you have progressed to the next grade level.

If you have determined that you are eligible for additional loans based on a grade level increase please complete the Federal Direct Loan Adjustment Request Form selecting "Grade Level Change" for the adjustment reason.

Managing Federal Direct Loan Repayment

Information on Direct Loan management and repayment can be found by visiting the Federal Student Aid, United States Department of Education website.

Federal Direct Loan Program Information

More information about the Federal Direct Loan program can be found by visiting the Federal Student Aid, United States Department of Education website.

My Federal Direct Loan Information

Borrowers can review their personal Federal Direct Loan information by visiting StudentLoans.gov.

Alternative Loan

Alternative Loans are private education credit based loans that are offered by several financial lending institutions. Not everyone will credit qualify for these loans. Alternative loans are designed to finance your remaining cost of attendance after all other sources of federal aid are exhausted.

The University at Albany strongly encourages you to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to receive the Federal Direct Loans. Qualified Federal Direct borrowers can receive Federal Direct loans regardless of need.

Shortly after receipt of your FAFSA form, you will receive an award letter itemizing your financial aid eligibility. If you still feel that it is necessary to borrow an alternative loan once your financial aid package is awarded to you, research any financial lending institution of your choice to cover your remaining educational expenses.

Also, when deciding upon how much to borrow, practice smart borrowing techniques and only borrow those funds that you need. A refund from your alternative loan may be nice up front, but could be very costly down the road!

Lastly, if possible, have a cosigner (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.) apply for the loan with you. Often lenders require the use of cosigners, and it can be very cost effective for the primary borrower to use a cosigner as interest rates will most likely be drastically reduced.

For a detailed comparison of alternative loans and federal student loans, please visit the "Differences Between Federal and Private Loans" section of the Federal Student Aid website.

Alternative Loan Disclosures

In accordance with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), financial lending institutions are required to provide students with three loan disclosures. Each disclosure informs the borrower of specific information regarding the loan.

  1. Application Disclosure: the Application Disclosure is generally presented to the borrower along with the loan application. If the disclosure is not provided with the initial loan application, the lender will be required to mail an Application Disclosure to the borrower within three days after an application is received.

    The Application Disclosure contains pertinent information about:
    • the range of rates
    • fees
    • other terms that apply
    • total cost of the loan
    • federal student loan options
    Please be aware the Application Disclosure must be accepted and signed by the borrower and cosigner in order to proceed through the application process.

  2. Approval Disclosure: the Approval Disclosure is provided to the borrower electronically or by mail when the lender has conditionally approved or approved the borrower for a loan.

    The borrower and cosigner will receive the Approval Disclosure as part of the application process before the promissory note is signed. The Approval Disclosure must be accepted by both the borrower and cosigner within 30 calendar days of the credit offer. The Approval Disclosure must state the acceptance date deadline and the manner in which the lender requires the borrower to accept the terms of the loan. If any permissible changes (i.e. changes made to accommodate a borrower request) are made to the loan, a new disclosure and 30 day acceptance period is required to accept new terms.

    Remember that the Approval Disclosure must be accepted and signed by the borrower and cosigner (if applicable) prior to continuation of the application process.

  3. Final Disclosure: the Final Disclosure is presented to the borrower after the loan terms have been accepted. A three day recession period occurs after the Final Disclosure is presented to the borrower.

    The Final Disclosure will note the borrowers' right to cancel the loan, state the deadline for cancellation, and the methods in which a lender accepts a cancellation request.

    Lastly, the Final Disclosure provides the borrower with the final information on the cost of their loan.

Self-Certification Form

The Self-Certification Form must be completed by the borrower and returned to the lender during the application process. The self-certification form is available once the Approval Disclosure has been accepted and the promissory note has been signed.

The self-certification form is intended to promote intelligent borrowing by educating borrowers about federal financial aid availability and encouraging them to seek other forms of financial aid before borrowing an alternative loan. The borrower is required to provide his/her cost of attendance and financial aid award information on this form.

Once the self-certification form is completed, the borrower is required to sign and return the form to the lender.

Student Loan Practices Code of Conduct

The State University of New York at Albany works diligently to ensure that its officers, employees and agents avoid conflicts of interest in connection with their responsibilities relating to providing and administering student loans for our students. In accordance with state and federal law, you should be aware that the following activities are prohibited. Some of these prohibitions involve technical definitions which can be found by referring to the applicable state and federal law.

  1. The University at Albany does not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.
  2. No officer, employee or agent of the University at Albany who is employed in the financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, will solicit or accept any gift or other thing of value from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. You should be aware that certain items provided or contributed by lenders are not considered gifts, such as training materials, philanthropic contributions unrelated to education loans, and entrance and exit counseling services.
  3. No officer, employee or agent of the University at Albany who is employed in the financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, will accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  4. The University at Albany will not, for any first-time borrower, assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrowers loan to a particular lender or refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrowers selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency. The University at Albany will not request or accept from any lender, any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for the campus providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with a specified number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
  5. The University at Albany does not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
  6. No employee of the University at Albany who is employed in the financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, will receive anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors for such service.