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Federal Graduate / Professional School Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Annual maximum amounts for independent graduate/ professional school students:

$20,500

Need-based/subsidized?:

No.

Awarded and disbursed by:

The U.S. Department of Education (with funds from the U.S. Treasury)

Interest rates effective:

2018: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
2019: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Interest rate:

2018: 6.60% fixed for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
2019: 6.08% fixed for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020

Loan fees:

For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and by September 30, 2019 the loan origination fee is 1.062%.

Repayment of principal and interest begins

6 months after your full-time or half-time enrollment ends.

Interest begins to accrue after the loan is disbursed.

To borrow the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan:

  1. UC San Diego notifies you of a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

  2. Accept the award online using the Financial Aid tool.

  3. Sign the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). This document confirms your agreement to repay the loan.

  4. Complete online entrance loan counseling (first-time UC San Diego borrowers only).

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Award amount and term:

The annual maximum equals the cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance, including other non-need-based loans.

Need-based/subsidized?:

No.

Awarded and disbursed by:

The U.S. Department of Education (with funds from the U.S. Treasury)

Aggregate Award Amounts for Graduates and Professional

  • $138,500 for graduate or professional students - No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.
  • Effective for periods of enrollment beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The $65,500 subsidized aggregate loan limit for graduate or professional students includes subsidized loans that a graduate or professional student may have received for periods of enrollment that began before July 1, 2012, or for prior undergraduate study.
  • If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.

To be eligible for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must

  • Use the funds for educational expenses
  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident
  • Not be in default or owe a repayment on any Title IV loan or grant

Comparing the Graduate PLUS and private loans

The Graduate PLUS Loan may be a better financing option over private loans.

  • The Graduate PLUS Loan offers competitive fixed rates for the life of the loan. Your income and credit score will affect your eligibility, and you must pass a credit check.

  • Private loans have variable interest rates, without a rate cap and with adjustments during the year.

  • Carefully compare the two programs to choose the one that is best for your circumstances.

  • Make sure you request the maximum Unsubsidized loan amount for which you're eligible, before borrowing a Graduate PLUS Loan!

Funded and Disbursed by:

The U.S. Department of Education disburses funds directly to UC San Diego

Interest rates effective:

2018: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
2019: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Interest rate:

2018: 7.60% fixed for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
2019: 7.08% fixed for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020

Loan fees:

For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and by September 30, 2019 the loan origination fee is 4.248%.

Repayment of principal and interest begins

6 months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time

To borrow the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

  1. UC San Diego notifies you of a Graduate PLUS Loan.
  2. Accept the award online using the Financial Aid tool.
  3. Sign the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). This document confirms your agreement to repay the loan.
  4. Complete online entrance loan counseling (first-time UC San Diego borrowers only).