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Student loans must be repaid. The University of Minnesota will offer student loans as part of your financial aid award after reviewing your eligibility for grants, scholarships, and work-study.

Federal student loan programs offer favorable terms reserved for students. Interest rates on federal student loans are typically lower than for other types of private loans, and repayment often does not begin until you are done with school or drop below half-time enrollment. Additionally, there may be an interest-free grace period before repayment begins. Some federal loans offer forgiveness options if you work in a particular program or position after graduation.

You must have a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the University to be eligible for federal loans.

The total amount of financial aid awarded to a student, including all scholarships and grants, cannot exceed the cost of attendance at the University of Minnesota for that aid year. Financial aid awards (e.g., loans, work study, scholarships, or grants) may be reduced for students whose total aid exceeds the cost of attendance. Additional information is available

Compare loans using the Undergraduate Loan Comparison Chart.

You may be offered several types of federal student loans after you complete your FAFSA. Be sure to consider interest rates, repayment plans, and loan fees before deciding on a type of federal student loan. Some common federal loan types include Direct Subsidized loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS loans. Additional information on federal student loans is available on the Federal Student Aid website. 

SELF loans are non-need-based loans funded by the state of Minnesota. They offer the option of fixed or variable interest rates. There is a maximum borrowing requirement of $20,000 per grade level. SELF loans require a credit-worthy cosigner and quarterly interest-only payments while in school and during grace period. 

The lender will automatically notify the University if an application is fully approved and request school certification electronically. Loan funds are electronically sent to the University and applied to your bill.

See the state website on SELF loans for more information.

Federal Parent PLUS loans are non need-based loans funded by the Department of Education. 

To receive a Federal Parent PLUS loan, your parent(s) must:

  • Have a FAFSA on file for you
  • Be your parent (biological, adoptive, stepparent) and you must be enrolled at least half-time
  • Not have an adverse credit history

Approved loan funds are automatically sent to the Univeristy to be applied to the student bill.

If denied a Federal Parent PLUS loan, parents can:

  • Choose the option to seek a credit-worthy endorser and continue applying for the Parent PLUS Loan. (Parent must also complete the Parent PLUS Credit Counseling)
  • Choose the option to not seek a credit-worthy endorser (gives the student an additional Federal Unsubsidized Student Loan) 

See the Federal Student Aid website on PLUS loans for more information.

It is in your best interest to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for any federal student loans for which you are eligible prior to borrowing private loans.

Private bank loans are non-need-based loans funded by a private bank lender. Banks require a credit worthy-applicant—if you have adverse or no credit, the bank will require a credit-worthy cosigner. 

The lender will automatically notify the University if an application is fully approved and request school certification electronically. Loan funds are electronically sent to the University and applied to your bill, though some lenders will send you a paper check that will require your endorsement. 

Be sure to discuss any unique personal situations with your private lender before completing a loan application. Some private lenders will not lend to non-degree students, students that are not enrolled at least half-time, students that are paying a previous term balance or students that are awarded at or above the cost of attendance. 

The University of Minnesota does not promote nor endorse lenders. You may borrow from any lender you choose.

FASTChoice is a tool that University of Minnesota students may use to find information on private loans that are available to them.

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