Financial Aid Services understands that college costs can be daunting, but that shouldn’t stop you from continuing your education. Below are several loan options available to eligible students.
Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though the student’s loan servicer can be a private business.
What Types of Direct Loans Are Available?
Undergraduate students are eligible to receive Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loans. Below are some highlights:
- Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based. Interest does not accrue as long as half-time enrollment (6 credits) is maintained.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not need-based. Interest does accrue during the duration of your college career.
You may be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan if you are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree-seeking program and satisfy the following:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Meet Federal Student Aid eligibility requirements
- Complete your Entrance Counseling (first-time borrowers only) and Master Promissory Note (MPN) (first-time borrowers or students with an expired MPN)
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
How Can Direct Loans Help Me?
With Direct Loans, you can:
- Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools
- Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your servicer’s website
- Choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change
How Much Can I Borrow?
Loan limits can also be prorated if you are completing your program in less than an academic year. In these cases, your eligibility is determined by dividing your credit-hour enrollment by the number of credit-hours in an academic year (24), and then multiplied by your annual aggregate limit.
What Are the Interest Rates?
Each year, the U.S. Congress establishes the interest rates for Direct Loans. These rates are in effect for Direct Loans disbursed during their respective award year. For the current Direct Loan interest rates, click here.
Are there fees?
There is an origination fee deducted from every federal loan processed. For more information on fee percentages and its application, click here.
How Do I Apply for a Direct Loan?
Eligible undergraduate students will receive an award notice from the college listing eligibility for loans. Loan eligibility is calculated based on a student’s maximum borrowing limits, divided equally between the fall and spring terms. Students will need to accept, decline, or adjust their loan offer by accessing CUNYfirst.
How Do I Adjust My Direct Loan?
To make adjustments to your Federal Direct Loan amounts, periods, or to reinstate your cancelled/declined loan, you must complete the Direct Loan Change form.
Direct loans are disbursed to the college in two payments. Your loan disbursement is first applied to any outstanding balance within the award year. Refunds are direct deposited (if the student is enrolled) or mailed to the address noted on CUNYfirst within 10 business (not calendar) days of the loan disbursement date. Authorized federal loans disburse weekly after the earliest disbursement date for each term.
To view the initial disbursement dates of your federal loan:
- Login to CUNYfirst
- Navigate to Student Center
- Select View Financial Aid
- Select the Aid Year you wish to view for Baruch College
- Under Terms
- Select ‘View Scheduled Disbursement Dates’ for a list of your awards for that term and the first disbursement dates.
Loan Adjustment Deadlines
Deadlines to request or adjust a federal loan are 3 weeks before the end of the respective term. We will communicate these dates in advance to eligible students using your Baruch email account.
Unaccepted loans are periodically cancelled based on less-than-half-time enrollment, unresponsiveness, cost of attendance changes, and other applicable reasons. Students should always read their Baruch e-mail account as we send communications before federal loans are cancelled.
Parent PLUS Loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay educational expenses.
In addition to the Parent PLUS eligibility criteria found here, the student must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits).
How Do I Apply?
Eligible parents must submit a Parent PLUS Loan application and sign a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). If a parent is found to have an adverse credit history, an endorser is also required to continue the application process.
What Happens After I Apply?
After the student’s Parent PLUS Loan application is approved by the Department of Education, Financial Aid Services will post the award to the student’s CUNYfirst account. Note that depending on volume, it may take 45 business (not calendar) days for the Parent PLUS Loan to post.
Disbursements are applied to the student’s outstanding balance first, and any remaining credit is issued to the parent’s address by paper check. We are unable to directly deposit Parent PLUS Loan refunds.
To increase or decrease a Parent PLUS loan, you must resubmit an application here. Select “Change” as the reason for submitting your PLUS application followed by the previous Loan Reference Number you wish to modify.
To cancel your Parent PLUS loan, please submit a Direct Loan Change form. Your Baruch username and password will be required to login.
What Happens If I Can’t Find an Endorser?
If a parent is denied a Parent PLUS Loan due to adverse credit history and is unable to find a viable endorser, the undergraduate student may be eligible for an increase of their Unsubsidized Direct Loan to help pay for their education.
Private or alternative educational loans are loans issued by a bank or finance company to help students pay for their educational expenses. Students should always determine their eligibility for federal and state student aid before pursuing a private loan. Interest rates, costs, and terms will vary by lender.
CUNY does not retain a preferred alternative/private lender list. We encourage students to conduct research independently. Eligibility for alternative/private loans depends on the student’s and/or the student’s cosigner credit score and other financial obligations.