Student loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. Loans are legal obligations, so before you take out a student loan, think about the amount you’ll have to repay over the years and borrow wisely.

Federal student loans require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Direct loans are for undergraduate and graduate students. You must be enrolled as at least a half-time student to be eligible for them. There are two types of loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate students are eligible for Unsubsidized Direct Loans only.

You must complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling prior to receiving your first loan at Centenary.

Subsidized Loans

  • You must have financial need to receive a subsidized loan.
  • The U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest on subsidized loans while you are enrolled at least as a half-time student and during certain other periods such as in school status, grace periods, and deferments.
  • You must be an undergraduate student to receive this loan.

Unsubsidized Loans

  • Financial need is not a requirement to obtain a unsubsidized loan.
  • You will be required to pay interest on these loans from the time of disbursement.

The maximum Federal Direct Loan amounts available vary according to academic level and dependency status. Please see the tables below for more information.

Dependent Students

Academic Level​​​​

Maximum Federal Maximum Direct Loan Amount

Additional Unsubsidized Amount

Annual maximum amounts a dependent undergraduate may borrow in combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan 

Freshman

​$3,500

​$2,000

​$5,500

Sophomore

​$4,500

​$2,000

​$6,500

Junior/Senior

​$5,500

​$2,000

​$7,500

Independent Students

Academic Level​​

Maximum Federal Direct Subsidized Amount

Unsubsidized Amount

Annual maximum amounts an independent undergraduate may borrow in combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan

Freshman

​$3,500

​$6,000

​$9,500

Sophomore

​$4,500

​$6,000

​$10,500

Junior/Senior

​$5,500

​$7,000

​$12,500

Graduate

Not Eligible

$20,500

$20,500

There is a maximum lifetime limit that a student can borrow in Federal Direct student loans. This is called the Aggregate Loan Limit.

Once a student reaches these loan limits, he/she cannot borrow Federal Direct student loans. See chart below for the undergraduate lifetime limits.

Academic Level

Dependent Undergraduate Students (except students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS)

Independent Undergraduate Students and Dependent Students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS

Graduate Students

Aggregate
Amount

$31,000 Subsidized & Unsubsidized (maximum of $23,000 Subsidized)

$57, 500 Subsidized & Unsubsidized (maximum of $23,000 Subsidized)

$138,500 Subsidized and Unsubsidized (maximum of $65,500 Subsidized)

 

Parent and Additional Student Loan Options

Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of undergraduate dependent students may borrow loan funds based on credit approval to help cover the cost of attending.

  • This loan is under the parent's name. The parent borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • It is payable over 10 years and carries a fixed interest rate of 7.08%. Payments begin 60 days after the second disbursement, typically April if student entered in September in the standard repayment option.
  • Students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funding up to $4,000-$5,000 annually.

How to Apply:
Your parent can apply for a Parent PLUS loan and complete the PLUS MPN online at www.studentloans.gov.

  • Parents should log on to www.studentloans.gov with their FSA ID.
  • Click on Apply for a PLUS Loan – be sure to select the Parent PLUS Loan option. Parents will be notified immediately if the loan is approved.
  • Once approved, parents should complete the Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Alternative Parent and Student Loan Options

  • Alternative loans usually require a credit-worthy co-signer.
  • Interest rates are variable and generally the interest begins to accrue from the date of the disbursement.
  • Repayment begins after the student graduates or ceases to enroll - however, you may be expected to make interest only payments while in school. They are not guaranteed by the federal government and should only be considered after all resources available from the federal, state and institutional grant and loan programs have been exhausted.
  • The terms and conditions of these loans will vary and students have the right to select the alternative loan of their choice.
Potential Questions to Ask Your Lender
  • Who do I contact when I have a question or a problem about my loan?
  • What are the current interest rates and how often do these rates fluctuate? Is there an interest rate cap?
  • Are there any fee reductions, interest reductions, or other incentives offered during the life of the loan? Examples include reductions by setting up automatic payments or being a member of the bank.
  • Can by co-signer be released from this loan after a certain period of time?
  • When do I start to repay my loan and how long do I have to pay it off? When are late charges assessed and how much are these charges?
  • How is the interest on my loan capitalized – quarterly, annually, or only at repayment?
  • What are the repayment terms?
  • Are there any penalties for pre-payments, late payments or any other reason?
How to Apply:
To assist students and parents in this decision, Centenary University provide the following list of lenders that other Centenary University students have used in the past few years. This list, which is intended only as a guide, is provided to help students and parents choose a reputable lender with a reliable educational loan product. Please note you are not required to use one of these lenders and may apply for a private education loan with any lender that you choose.

For more information about alternative loans – check out our Alternative Loans page.

Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students may borrow loan funds based on credit approval to help cover the cost of attending.

  • This loan is under the student's name. The student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • It is payable over 10 years and carries a fixed interest rate of 7.08%. Payments begin 60 days after the second disbursement, typically April if student entered in September in the standard repayment option.

How to Apply:
You can apply for a Graduate PLUS loan and complete the Graduate PLUS MPN online at www.studentloans.gov.

  • Graduate students should log on to www.studentloans.gov with their FSA ID.
  • Click on Graduate/Professional Students and then click on Apply for a PLUS Loan. You will be notified immediately if the loan is approved.
  • Once approved, you should complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).