Student loans allow you to spread the cost of education over time. Loans can serve an important role in your plan to pay for college.
Loans are available from the state and federal as well as private lenders.
When you take out a student loan, you must pay it back—even if you don’t complete your education.
If you do need student loans, that’s ok too. Student loans don’t have to be an overwhelming burden if you borrow only what you need and follow a plan to pay them back.
Your financial aid award letter will list the federal loans that you’re eligible for. You may also see an “optional loan program limit” on your award letter.
If you need additional loan funds beyond your federal amounts, you may apply for an optional loan up to this stated limit.
You can accept any or all the federal loans you’re offered. You can also choose whether to take out the full loan amount or just part of the money you could borrow.
Types of Student Loans
Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduate students and 3 credits for graduate students) to receive federal loans. These are the most common loans WSU students receive.
Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students who have financial need. You don’t need to make payments while you’re in school or during the 6-month grace period after you graduate. Interest will not accrue during this time either.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. You don’t need to make payments while you’re in school or during the 6-month grace period after you graduate. But interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount of your loan.
To apply for a federal direct student loan, you first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then you’ll be offered a loan amount in your official award letter in Student eServices.
Make sure that you accept your loans before the semester begins, so your money is disbursed to pay your tuition bill in time.
Direct loan funds can only be held for 3 days, so let the Financial Aid Office know if you’ll be late registering for classes. This will make sure your loan funds aren’t returned and your loan isn’t cancelled.
PLUS Parent Loans are federal loans that parents take out to help pay for the education of their dependent undergraduate students.
Graduate students can borrow using Direct PLUS Loans.
You or your student will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for these loans. You’ll also sign a Master Promissory Note and complete a new PLUS Loan application every time you want to borrow.
PLUS Loans require a credit check and credit approval. If you’re denied the PLUS Parent Loan, please contact the Financial Aid Office, as there may be other ways to help you.
If you have exhausted free money (grants and scholarships), and state and federal financial aid (work study and loans), it may be time to consider a private educational loan.
Private educational loans are student loans offered through private lenders, usually a bank or credit union. Private loans require a credit check and credit approval.
Students typically need a credit-worthy co-signer. As with any type of private loan, the co-signer will take on the debt if the student doesn’t make payments.
Private student loans aren’t eligible for any federal loan repayment options. The private lender sets the terms and schedule for repayment.
WSU doesn’t endorse specific lenders or loan products. Please contact the lender directly for the terms and conditions of the loans.
Learn more about applying for a private educational loan and compare loan options at FastChoice.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan Program ended Sept. 30, 2017. If you already have a Federal Perkins Loan, contact WSU Financial Aid if you have any questions.
Once you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, you have 9 months before you must begin making loan payments. Educational Computer Systems Incorporated (ECSI) is the loan servicer for Federal Perkins Loans for WSU students.
Perkins Loan borrowers will receive an email from ECSI with instructions on how to complete exit counseling online.