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Federal Graduate/ Professional School Loans

Learn about federal loans for graduate and professional school students.

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Please note:

Learn more about these federal graduate and professional school loans:

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Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Annual maximum amounts for independent
graduate/ professional school students:

Unsubsidized loan
$20,500

Need-based/ subsidized? No.

Funded by: The U.S. Department of Education (with funds from the U.S. Treasury)

Disbursed by: The U.S. Department of Education disburses funds directly to UCSD.

Interest rate: 6.21% fixed for loans first disbursed July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

Loan fees: Effective for loans first disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014 the loan origination fee will be 1.072%.

Repayment of principal and interest begins 6 months after your full-time or half-time enrollment ends.

Interest begins to accrue after the loan is disbursed.

To borrow the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan:

  1. UCSD notifies you of a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
  2. Accept the award online using the Financial Aid tool.
  3. Sign the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). This document confirms your agreement to repay the loan.
  4. Complete online entrance loan counseling (first-time UCSD borrowers only).

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Amount: The annual maximum equals the cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance, including other non-need-based loans.

Need-based/ subsidized? No.

Funded by: The U.S. Department of Education (with funds from the U.S. Treasury)

To be eligible for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must:

  • Use the funds for educational expenses
  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident
  • Not be in default or owe a repayment on any Title IV loan or grant

Comparing the Graduate PLUS and private loans: 

The Graduate PLUS Loan may be a better financing option over private loans.

  • The Graduate PLUS Loan offers competitive fixed rates for the life of the loan. Your income and credit score will affect your eligibility, and you must pass a credit check.
  • Private loans have variable interest rates, without a rate cap and with adjustments during the year.
  • Carefully compare the two programs to choose the one that is best for your circumstances.
  • Make sure you request the maximum Unsubsidized loan amount for which you're eligible, before borrowing a Graduate PLUS Loan!

Disbursed by: The U.S. Department of Education disburses funds directly to UCSD.

Interest rate: 7.21% fixed for loans first disbursed July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. 

Loan fees: Effective for loans first disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014 the loan origination fee will be 4.288%.

Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

To borrow the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan:

  1. UCSD notifies you of a Graduate PLUS Loan.
  2. Accept the award online using the Financial Aid tool.
  3. Sign the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). This document confirms your agreement to repay the loan.
  4. Complete online entrance loan counseling (first-time UCSD borrowers only).

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