Loans Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers are designed to assist you with educational borrowing.
How do I apply as a student for a Federal Direct Loan?
If you wish to borrow a Federal Direct Loan (FDL), you must do the following:
Each year you borrow, be sure to complete
- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year in which you wish to borrow -- FAFSA results must be sent to Davidson College (federal FAFSA code: 002918) and will be used, along with other financial data, to determine your FDL eligibility; and
- the Federal Direct Loan Application for Student Borrowers, found on our Financial Aid Forms web page -- you will be asked to indicate the amount of FDL you wish to borrow, and what loan period this amount will cover.
The first year you borrow at Davidson, please also complete:
- a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and
- the Student Loan Entrance Counseling requirement.
The online MPN and entrance counseling need to be completed only once during your Davidson career and must be submitted electronically through the Federal Student Aid website before your loan funds can be released to your tuition account.
How much of my loan amount will be subsidized or unsubsidized?
We will use your FAFSA results, your cost of attendance, and any aid you are receiving (such as grants, work, outside scholarships, etc.) to determine what portion of your FDL qualifies to be subsidized (interest paid by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half time) or will be unsubsidized (the borrower is responsible for the loan's interest while enrolled). For some borrowers, a loan may be partially subsidized and partially unsubsidized; other borrowers will be eligible for unsubsidized borrowing only. We will always provide as much subsidized loan as possible, based on the financial information submitted. Indeed, before processing unsubsidized funds, we are required by federal law to process any subsidized eligibility a student may have, if greater than $200.
How much FDL can I borrow in an academic year?
As a student, you may borrow up to the following academic year maximums (set by the federal government):
- First-year students $5,500
- Sophomores $6,500
- Juniors $7,500
- Seniors $7,500
If borrowing the full amount indicated, in each case at least $2,000 of the amount will be unsubsidized.
In those instances where parent borrowers are unable to secure a Federal PLUS Loan, you can apply for up to an additional $4,000 (first-year and sophomores) or $5,000 (juniors and seniors) unsubsidized FDL.
How do I apply as a parent for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
If you wish to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan (PLUS), you must do the following:
Each year a parent borrows, the following should be completed:
- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year in which you wish to borrow -- FAFSA results must be sent to Davidson College (federal FAFSA code: 002918) and will be used, along with other financial data, to determine your PLUS eligibility; and
- a PLUS application (which includes a required credit check), found within the StudentAid.gov website.
The first year a parent borrows at Davidson, the parent must also complete the PLUS MPN. The online MPN needs to be completed only once during a student's
Davidson career and must be submitted electronically through the Federal Student Aid website before loan funds can be released to a student's tuition account.
How much PLUS can I borrow in an academic year?
Parents can borrow up to the entire cost of attendance for an academic year, minus any financial aid the student is scheduled to receive.
What are the fees and interest rates on both student FDL and PLUS?
Fees and interest rates are set annually by the federal government, and specific fee and interest rate information is provided on the Federal Student Aid website.
Are there non-federal loan options available?
Private educational loans are available to student borrowers either if federal loan options are not available or if families feel they need additional or alternative financing. These loans typically require you, as a student borrower, to secure a creditworthy co-signer. You and your parents should explore federal and alternative loan options before finalizing your borrowing plans.
How do I find private, alternative education lenders?
There are numerous lenders of these types of loans. We will certify any private, alternative loan application presented to us. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 restricts institutions of higher education from recommending specific lenders of this type of loan. To find a private, alternative education lender, search online for "private student loan" or "private educational loan."
Are there other funding options?
Yes, there are other possible funding sources your family might want to consider. Learn more about other funding sources.