Bank Street College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, through which borrowers obtain federal loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Loans are borrowed money and must be repaid by the student.
Students who file a FAFSA, are matriculating, and enroll at least half-time may qualify for a Direct Loan. Half-time enrollment is considered a minimum of 5 credits (or the equivalent) during the Fall or Spring semester or a minimum of 2 credit hours during the Summer 1 or Summer 2 term.
First-time borrowers must complete two requirements to accept federal Direct loans. Loan Entrance Counseling provides information on the rights and responsibilities of the student borrower. The master promissory note is the student’s legal promise to repay the loan money borrowed. Both items can be completed at the Student Loan website.
There are two types of loans offered in the program: the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Bank Street College also participates in a variety of alternative loan programs.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan is a low-interest-rate loan provided by the federal government. Graduate students may borrow an annual maximum of $20,500 in an Unsubsidized Direct Loan. ‘Unsubsidized’ means that the borrower must pay the accrued monthly interest on the loan or the interest will be capitalized (added to the principal).
As of July 1, 2020, Unsubsidized Direct loan has an interest rate fixed at 4.30 percent for the 2020-2021 academic year. Repayment of the principal of the loan begins six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Interest begins accruing upon disbursement, and the Borrower must pay the accrued monthly interest on the loan or the interest will be capitalized (added to the principal) when repayment begins.
Please note: Federal Direct loans have an origination fee that is deducted from the gross loan amount before any loan proceeds are sent to Bank Street College.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GRAD PLUS)
Graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time have the option of applying for a Graduate PLUS loan. The loan is credit-based. Effective July 1, 2020, Graduate PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.30 percent for the 2020-2021 academic year. Repayment begins 60 days after the second disbursement unless the borrower requests that repayment be deferred until after graduation. Students should first apply for Unsubsidized Direct loan before applying for the Graduate PLUS loan because the interest rate and fees are lower.
To apply for the Graduate PLUS loan students must complete the following:
- Federal loan entrance counseling (for first-time borrowers)
- Graduate PLUS loan request
- Graduate PLUS master promissory note
There is an origination fee for all Graduate PLUS loans.
Various alternative loans are available for students who need additional financial assistance. We strongly recommend that students utilize federal loans before considering alternative loan options. Alternative loans are commercial loans which usually require a credit check and/or a credit-worthy cosigner. The interest rates are fixed or variable.
Students who decide to apply for an alternative loan will do so directly on the lender’s website. The lender will notify us if the student has been approved. If a loan has been approved, a staff member in the Office of Financial Aid will certify the loan (as long as the student has enrolled for classes). Loan funds will disburse to the student’s account once payment from the bank has been received. The loan application and certification process takes approximately two to three weeks.