UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Types of Aid

Loans

Student loans have become an essential component in financing students' educational expenses. Loans, by definition and regulation, must be repaid and therefore should be used sparingly and wisely. If you accept a loan, you are responsible for repaying the loan plus interest. Remember that the more you borrow, the higher the monthly repayment will be, so only take as much loan money as you need. To calculate your monthly repayment, use the StudentAid.gov Loan Simulator.

Students must be admitted as degree seeking to receive federal and private loans. If you are a non-degree seeking student, you are not eligible to receive a loan through the Financial Aid office. All federal education loans require you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.

Each loan program has specific eligibility criteria, repayment, cancellation, and deferment conditions. Click on the tabs below for more details and visit out StudentAid.gov or the UWRF Financial Aid Video Library for more information.

Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

  • Borrower: Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need (must be enrolled at least half-time, six credits).
  • Lender: Federal government.
  • Loan Amount: Per academic year, up to $3500 for freshman grade level, $4500 for sophomore grade level, and $5500 for junior and senior grade levels.
  • Application process: Complete the FAFSA annually. Accept the Federal Direct Loan offer in your eSIS. Complete online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note through studentaid.gov. Please see Loan Processing for instructions.
  • Interestt Rates and Loan Origination Fees: For current rates and fees, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Repayment: Repayment begins six months after graduation or after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time, which is 6 credits. Each year while you are in repayment, you are required to pay at least $600 or the unpaid balance (whichever is less). Standard repayment is over a 10-year period; however, several repayment options are available that may extend the length of repayment. There is no penalty for early payment. In order to assist you with your planning, the U.S. Department of Education provides budget and repayment calculators.

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

  • Borrower: Undergraduate and Graduate students regardless of financial need (must be enrolled at least half-time, which is 6 credits for undergraduates and 4 credits for graduates).
  • Lender: Federal government.
  • Loan Amount: Per academic year, undergraduates can receive up to $5500 for freshman grade level, $6500 for sophomore grade level, and $7500 for junior and senior grade levels. Amounts are higher for independent students.
  • Application process: Complete the FAFSA annually. Accept the Federal Direct Loan offer in your eSIS. Complete online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note through studentaid.gov. Please see Loan Processing for instructions.
  • Interest Rates and Loan Origination Fees: For current rates and fees, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Repayment: Repayment begins six months after graduation or after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time, which is 6 credits for undergraduates and 4 credits for graduates. Each year while you are in repayment, you are required to pay at least $600 or the unpaid balance (whichever is less). Standard repayment is over a 10-year period; however, several repayment options are available that may extend the length of repayment. There is no penalty for early payment. In order to assist you with your planning, the U.S. Department of Education provides budget and repayment calculators.

Federal Parent PLUS Loan

  • Borrower: Parents of dependent undergraduate students.
  • Lender: Federal government.
  • Loan Amount: Up to the cost of attendance, minus any other aid the student has received. Note that an origination fee will be deducted from each loan disbursement.
  • Application process: The student must have a FAFSA on file with UW-River Falls. The parent borrower must have an FSA ID from the U.S. Department of Education (the same FSA ID used to electronically sign the FAFSA). A stepparent may apply for a PLUS loan if the stepparent's information is included with the FAFSA. To apply, complete the the Parent PLUS Application form and sign the Master Promissory Note; instructions can be found on the Parent PLUS Loan Processing page.
  • Interest Rates and Loan Origination Fees: For current rates and fees, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Repayment: Repayment of interest and principal begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Standard repayment is over a 10-year period; however several repayment options are available that may extend the length of repayment. The parent may choose to postpone repayment until six months after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, but interest will continue to accrue while repayment is postponed.

Federal Stafford Loans allow for cancellation of all or part of the loan in return for certain types of teaching or public service. Please visit Student Aid on the Web for detailed information.


Federal Direct Loan Limits (Annual)

  Dependent Independent

Freshman

0-29 credits

$5,500 (with a max of $3,500 subsidized)

$9,500 (with a max of $3,500 subsidized)

Sophomore

30-59 credits

$6,500 (with a max of $4,500 subsidized)

$10,500 (with a max of $4,500 subsidized)

Junior

60-89 credits

$7,500 (with a max of $5,500 subsidized)

$12,500 (with a max of $5,500 subsidized)

Senior

90+ credits

$7,500 (with a max of $5,500 subsidized)

$12,500 (with a max of $5,500 subsidized)

Graduate

$20,500

Federal Direct Loan Limits (Lifetime)

  Dependent Independent

Undergraduate

$31,000 (with a max of $23,000 Subsidized)

$57,500 (with a max of $23,000 Subsidized)

Graduate

$138,500

 

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

  • Borrower: Students; regardless of financial need (must be enrolled at least half-time, which is 4 credits).
  • Lender: Federal government.
  • Loan Amount: Up to $20,500 per academic year.
  • Application Process: Complete the FAFSA annually. Accept the unsubsidized loan offer in your eSIS. Complete online Entrance Counseling and/or sign MPN on the Stafford Loan Processing page.
  • Interest Rate and Loan Origination Fees:  For current rates and fees please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Repayment: Repayment begins six months after graduation or after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time, which is 4 credits. Each year while you are in repayment, you are required to pay at least $600 or the unpaid balance (which ever is less). You have up to 10 years to repay the loan. There is no penalty for early repayment. In order to assist you with your planning, the U.S. Department of Education provides very helpful budget and repayment calculators.

 

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

  • Borrower: Students; regardless of financial need (must be enrolled at least half-time, which is 4 credits).
  • Lender: Federal government.
  • Loan Amount: Up to the cost of attendance, minus any other aid the student has received. Note that an origination fee will be deducted from each loan disbursement.
  • Application Process: You must have a FSA ID from the U.S. Department of Education (the same FSA ID used to electronically sign the FAFSA) and a FAFSA on file with UW-River Falls. To apply for a Grad PLUS Loan, contact the UW-River Falls Financial Aid Office at finaid@uwrf.edu or 715-425-3141. You will need to complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Graduate/Professional Students at www.studentaid.gov once your Graduate PLUS loan is approved.
  • Interest Rate and Loan Origination Fees:  For current rates and fees please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Repayment: Repayment of interest and principal begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed, and the repayment term is up to 10 years. You may choose to postpone repayment until six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time, but interest will continue to accrue while repayment is postponed.

Federal Stafford Loans allow for cancellations of all or part of the loan in return for certain types of teaching or public service. Please visit Student Aid on the Web for detailed information.

Private Loans

  • Borrower: Students regardless of financial need. Meant to provide additional funds after you have applied for federal financial aid. Private loans often have higher interest rates and loan fees. For those reasons we highly recommend all students and families apply for federal financial aid through the FAFSA before applying for a private loan.
  • Lender: You choose between a variety of private banks and lenders on the online application.
  • Loan Amount: Up to your cost of attendance, minus any other aid you have received.
  • Application Process: Apply online using either FASTChoice or Credible. (Note: UW River Falls receives no compensation or consideration from these providers of private education loan comparison services. You are not limited to using the lenders listed on either FASTChoice or Credible for private education loans).
  • Interest Rate and Repayment: Unlike federal loans, the terms of private loans are set by the individual lenders. The interest rate and fees are determined by your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio and that of your co-signer. The interest rates for alternative loans are variable and are most often based on a range using the Prime or LIBOR as a base and add an additional percentage based on the borrower's credit. The current Prime and LIBOR rates are available at the Federal Reserve Statistical Release.