Loans & Financing
There are a variety of loan programs available to students and families to help fund education costs at Susquehanna.
The Federal Direct Loan Program allows eligible students to borrow up to $27,000 during their undergraduate education. Annual subsidized loan amounts may not exceed the following:
First year: $3,500
For first-time borrowers, the Direct Loan Program requires that a form be completed in addition to the general application forms required when applying for financial aid.
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is available through Susquehanna. The completed Direct Loan MPN is returned directly to Susquehanna's Office of Financial Aid, where an applicant’s ability to borrow is certified. This process takes up to four weeks.
There are two types of Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need. Interest is not charged while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time or otherwise qualifies for a deferment. The federal government "subsidizes" (or pays) the interest during these times. Repayment begins six months after a borrower graduates, withdraws, or is no longer enrolled at least half-time.
Unsubsidized loans are not awarded based on financial need. Any eligible student can take out Unsubsidized Direct Loans. The borrower will be charged 3.86 percent interest from the time the loan is disbursed to the time the loan is repaid in full. There is no payment due on the principal until six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time. However, borrowers are obligated to make quarterly interest payments (or to have them added to the principal) throughout the in-school period.
Students are eligible to borrow unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans annually on the schedule noted above.
In addition to the base Federal Direct Loan for each student’s academic level, students may also borrow a supplemental unsubsidized Direct Loan of up to $2,000 annually. If a student takes advantage of the full Direct Loan amount available in each academic year, cumulative borrowing could be as much as $27,000, itemized as follows:
First year: $3,500 + $2,000 = $5,500
Sophomore: $4,500 + $2,000 = $6,500
Junior: $5,500 + $2,000 = $7,500
Senior: $5,500 + $2,000 = $7,500
The federal Perkins Loan provides loans up to $5,500 per year. Repayment of the loan at 5 percent interest begins nine months after the borrower leaves Susquehanna. Repayment can be deferred for students who attend graduate school, enter military service, or enroll in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.
At Susquehanna, this program is used to supplement the Direct Loan for some students but is usually limited to the first and second years of study.
Through this program, parents may borrow an annual amount up to the cost of attendance less financial aid. Repayment begins within 60 days of the loan's disbursement. The fixed interest rate is set at 6.41 percent. Interest may be tax deductible. There is no income requirement, but the parent borrower may not have an "adverse credit history."
There are a variety of private loans for education that are available to Susquehanna students. Students and their families are always best-advised to pursue federal education loans first, since they carry lower, and often tax-deductible, interest.
However, for families who wish to handle additional borrowing through one of these programs, our staff is available to sort through the options and evaluate which loan may make sense for a particular situation.
Since these loans are non-federal, there is no cap on their interest rates, which currently range from 2.50 percent upward and are subject to change as frequently as monthly.
This outline is provided to guide you through the process of securing a private/alternative education loan.
Be sure that you have already secured the maximum amount possible from the Federal Direct Loans. If you still need additional funding:
- Apply online for the loan you have chosen.
- Complete the self-certification form and submit it to your lender. (Most lenders will provide the form within the loan application.)
- Susquehanna University will be notified by the lender of the decision to approve or disapprove your loan. (Approvals are credit-based.)
- If approved by the lender Susquehanna University will certify the loan amount for which you qualify. The lender will send you an approval disclosure, which you must respond to before the loan can be released to your student account.
- A final (third) disclosure will be sent to you and you will have three business days to rescind (cancel) the loan
Please note that this process can take up to five weeks to complete.
Apply early in order to receive your loan funds at the start of the semester.
For information and/or application materials, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.