Student Loans

Types of Student Loans

The following types of student loans are available to matriculated students. Students must apply for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA in order to be awarded these loans. For more information on credit-based alternative and private parent loan programs, please visit the Alternative Loans page.

Federal Stafford Loans

The Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan:

  • Need-based, long-term federal loan, for which the Federal government will pay the interest while students are enrolled, as well as during deferment periods. Students must be enrolled at least half-time in order to qualify for this loan.
  • Repayment of both principle and interest begins six months after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment.
  • The interest rate is fixed at 3.76% for undergraduate students during the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • Current subsidized loan limits are: $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores, and $5,500 for juniors and seniors.
  • This must be repaid.
  • More information about Stafford loans can be found on www.studentloans.gov.

The Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan:

  • Federal loan available to students regardless of calculated need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time in order to qualify for this loan.
  • Interest begins to accrue immediately and accumulates during deferment periods. Paying toward interest while the student is enrolled is optional, but advised.
  • The interest rate is fixed at 3.76% for undergraduate students and 5.31% for graduate students during the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • Loan limits are combined with subsidized Stafford to allow for a total limit of $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores, $7,500 for juniors and seniors, and $20,500 for graduate students.
  • This must be repaid.
  • More information about Stafford loans can be found on www.studentloans.gov.

The Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL)

The Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL) program was created to provide eligible, financially needy Massachusetts residents attending post-secondary educational institutions in Massachusetts with a state-funded loan. The NIL program offers zero interest loans to assist students in meeting educational costs. Students have a period of ten (10) years to repay their NIL loans. Students must be full-time in order to qualify.

The Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is a low interest (5 percent) loan for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need who are also enrolled at least half-time (more than 6 credits).

 

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid and offers a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell Grants that are tracked through their entire cycle; from aid approval through closure.

Data is transmitted to NSLDS from schools, agencies that guaranty loans, the Stafford Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs.

Through NSLDS, you can view personalized information on your Federal student loans or Pell Grants. You can also view information on your loan servicer(s).

 

Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct - Student Loans

Purpose:

The following Code of Conduct is proposed to govern the education lending practices of Massachusetts public colleges in an effort to help ensure integrity in all aspects of the student educational loan program. This policy formalizes long-standing code of conducts practiced by public institutions of higher education in their efforts to provide affordable access to higher education.

Code of Conduct:

The primary goal of the institution and its financial aid staff is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. To this end, this document provides institutions, specifically financial aid professionals, with a set of principles that serves as a common foundation for an acceptable standard of conduct.

Institutions and their Financial Aid Professionals shall:

  1. Maintain the highest level of professionalism
  2. Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof
  3. Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances
  4. Provide information to families for lenders that have proven to provide the best combination of price, access to funds, and service to students and families
  5. Further, institutions shall ensure that all officers, trustees, directors, employees or agents, and financial aid professionals adhere to the following:
    • May not accept gifts, meals, travel, or any other non-trivial items from student loan providers in connection with the institution's loan business
    • May not accept, from a lending institution, money, equipment, or printing services or anything of value that may provide or suggest an advantage or grant a preferred status
    • If serving as a member of a lending institution's advisory board, may not accept anything of value in exchange for this service, such as "revenue sharing"