Loans

A student’s financial aid award will likely include one or more student loans. Both the Direct Stafford and Perkins Loan programs are federal loan programs. These loans are taken in the student’s name. Included below are details concerning the various loan programs, along with applicable interest rates for the academic year.

Federal student loans 

Perkins Loan | Interest does not accrue while student is enrolled at least half-time. Fixed interest rate of 5% for the life of the loan. Repayment begins 9 months after student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time. This program has very limited funding. 

 Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan | Interest does not accrue while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Repayment begins 6 months after student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time. Graduate students are not eligible for this loan. For additional information, including rates, please go to this page on the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site. 

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan | Interest does accrue while student is enrolled in school. Repayment begins 6 months after student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time. For additional information, including rates, please go to this page on the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site. 

To apply for Federal Stafford Loans please follow the instructions below:

  1. ALL borrowers need to complete a Master Promissory Note with the Direct Loan Program.
  2. First-time borrowers at RISD will need to complete a loan entrance counseling session, even those who have borrowed at a previous institution.

    Borrowers should go to www.studentloans.gov to complete both steps.

Graduate student loans 

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loans | GradPLUS loans are intended for graduate students in need of additional resources in order to finance their education. Approval of GradPLUS loans is based in part on the determination that the applicant does not have any adverse credit. For additional information, including rates, please go to this page on the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site.

Parent Loans 

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans - A creditworthy parent of a dependent undergraduate can apply for a Federal PLUS loan. Federal PLUS loans are not based on demonstrated need and may be used to replace all or part of the calculated family contribution for students who have completed a FAFSA. RISD will not certify a PLUS loan until a student has been accepted and paid a commitment deposit to attend RISD. For additional information, including rates, please go to this page on the the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site.

Private Loans 

Private Student Loans - Private student loans are consumer loans that should only be considered after first exhausting your federal loan eligibility. Typically, federal loans provide students with more beneficial terms and conditions. Some of these federal loan benefits may include a lower annual percentage rate, fewer and lower fees, and more favorable repayment options. A number of private educational loans are available to students who need extra funding to assist in managing the expected family contribution. You must apply for private educational loans directly with the lender/agency. Borrowers must be creditworthy to participate in these programs. Students who are not creditworthy by program guidelines may still be eligible to participate IF they can find a creditworthy person to co-sign their loan application. Families are free to choose any lender which best serves their needs. You should visit each potential lender's website to fully evaluate the benefits that they offer before making a final choice of a lender for your loans.  For more information on private education loans please go to www.elmselect.com  

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