Loans to Students and Parents

Loans to students and parents are a form of self-help with low interest rates and extended repayment periods. Loans made directly to students are usually payable after leaving the university.

  • Federal Perkins Loans: In cooperation with the federal government, Susquehanna has established a Perkins Loan fund. Borrowers are required to repay the loan, plus 5 percent per annum simple interest on the unpaid balance, over a period beginning nine months after the date on which the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. No interest accrues until repayment begins. Based on need.
  • The Federal Subsidized Direct Loan Program enables students to borrow directly from the federal government. First-year students may borrow a maximum of $3,500 annually. Sophomores may borrow up to $4,500. Juniors and seniors may be eligible to borrow as much as $5,500 per year. The federal government pays the interest on any subsidized loan while the student is enrolled. The student begins to repay the loan plus interest six months after leaving school; however, as of July 1, 2012, interest will accrue on these loans upon graduation. Based on need.
  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans: Students who are not eligible for the federally subsidized, need-based loan may be eligible to borrow up to the Direct Loan annual maximums from this program. The interest rate on this loan is fixed at 4.66 percent as of July 1, 2014, and will be reset annually by July 1. There is no payment due on the principal amount until six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time. However, borrowers are obligated to make quarterly interest payments throughout the in-school period or add accumulated interest to the principal balance at the time repayment begins.
  • Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): Parents and stepparents may apply directly to the federal government to borrow an amount up to the annual cost of attendance less financial aid. The interest rate is fixed at 7.21 percent and the loan has a 4.288 percent origination fee as of July 1, 2013, and will reset annually based on the 10-year T-bill. Not need based. Interest may be tax deductible, based on income level.
  • Private Education Loans: There are a variety of private loans for education that are available to Susquehanna students. Students and their families are best advised to pursue federal education loans first, since they usually carry lower and often tax-deductible interest. However, for families who wish to handle additional borrowing through a private program, university staff is available to help sort through the options and evaluate which loan may make sense for a particular situation. Because these loans are nonfederal, in most cases there is no cap on interest rates, and they are subject to quarterly interest adjustments. Information and application materials are available by contacting the Financial Aid Office or visiting It is strongly recommended that students and their families refrain from responding to solicitations without conferring with the university’s financial aid staff.