Federal Loan Programs

William D. Ford Direct Loans:

To be eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be enrolled at least half-time.
You must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every year that you are enrolled in school. Most students who apply will qualify for a subsidized or unsubsidized loan.

How to apply:
The loan application is a three-step process. If you do not complete all three steps, your loan will not be processed.

The Direct Loan interest rate varies annually with a maximum rate of 8.25% for undergraduates and 9.5% for graduate students. The interest rate for undergraduate Subsidized or Unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 is 4.99%. The interest rate for graduate Unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 is 6.54%. Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 require a 1.057% origination fee, which is paid at the time of disbursement (prior to crediting to a student’s account). 

Parent Direct PLUS Loans:

A parent (biological, adoptive or a stepparent) of a student at Aquinas can complete the Parent PLUS Loan application process as outlined below.  Your loan will not be processed until both steps are completed.  Please Note: The 4.228% origination fee is deducted up front from the amount you borrow.

Complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application

The Parent PLUS Loan Application is available on the Federal Student Aid website. The parent must sign in with their FSA ID. Once signed in, click Apply for a PLUS loan.

Determine the amount you need to borrow:  List the actual amount you wish to apply to receive on your Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application and please select the loan period you want. If you are unsure about how much to borrow, please contact the Financial Aid Office before completing the Parent PLUS Loan Application.

Once you complete the application, you will receive immediate notification of your approval/denial.  Aquinas Financial Aid Office will also receive notification and proceed with processing your request.

2.  Complete the Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Complete the online Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Parent PLUS Loans at the Federal Student Aid website. When you complete this step, you will receive notice that your MPN was submitted successfully.

Alternative Loans:

Private educational loans are available from a number of lenders for students whose cost of attendance has not been met with other financial aid. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is normally not required to apply for a private loan.

Private loan programs differ from federal loan programs in several ways:

  • Annual and total loan limits are higher than federal student loans.
  • Interest rates and fees vary by lender.
  • Rates are normally variable and change on a quarterly basis.
  • Loan approval and the rate of interest are based on credit approval and approval is not guaranteed.
  • Most students will be required to secure a co-signer.
  • Loans are not federally guaranteed; therefore, they do not have the same deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits.
  • The terms and conditions for private loans vary greatly. Aquinas encourages students to do their own research to find a lender that best suits their needs. 
  • Aquinas College does not have a preferred lender agreement with any lender and will work with all student requests.
  • A comprehensive list of lenders used by AQ students over the past five years is available via ELMSelect.