Loans are financial assistance that must be repaid through the federal government and private lenders. Each loan program has specific eligibility criteria, repayment plans, cancellation, and deferment conditions. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed to be considered for all federal education loans.

Types of Loans Available

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan

Available to undergraduate students. To be eligible, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and show financial need. The loan is interest free at a fixed interest rate as long as the student is enrolled at least half time.  Interest rates and origination fees are updated annually. The current rates may be found at StudentAid.gov.

The repayment period begins 6 months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.  Depending on when the loan was disbursed, interest may accrue during those 6 months of grace period, and will be payable by the borrower rather than subsidized by the federal government.

The maximum amount that can be borrowed per year:

  • Freshman (0-29 credits) - $3,500
  • Sophomore (30-59 credits) - $4,500
  • Junior/Senior (60+ credits) - $5,500

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. This loan is not based on need. However, the student must complete the FAFSA. Interest accrual begins once the loan disburses to the student account and continues at a fixed rate for the life of the loan. Interest rates and origination fees are updated annually. The current rates may be found at StudentAid.gov.

Academic Year Borrowing Limits

Dependent Students
Time Frame Subsidized Amount Limit Additional Unsubsidized Total Annual Maximum
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Aggregate Borrowing Limit     $31,000 (no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Independent Students
Time Frame Subsidized Amount Limit Additional Unsubsidized Total Annual Maximum
Freshman $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior/Senior $5,500 $6,000 $12,500
Aggregate Borrowing Limit     $57,500 (no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Graduate Students
Time Frame Total Annual Maximum (subsidized and unsubsidized)
Every Year $20,500
Aggregate Borrowing Limit $138,500 (no more than $65,000 can be subsidized)

Federal Parent Plus Direct Loan

Parent Plus loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of a dependent student. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest accrual begins once the loan disburses to the student account and continues at a fixed rate for the life of the loan. Interest rates and origination fees are updated annually. The current rates may be found at StudentAid.gov.

Requirements to receive a Parent PLUS Loan:

  • You must be the student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application.
  • Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program.
  • Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).
  • Parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens,
  • Must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an over-payment on a federal education grant.

Steps to Apply for a Federal PLUS Direct Loan:

  1. A current FAFSA must be on file for the student.
  2. The parent must go to https://studentloans.gov, log in with their FSA ID and Password, and choose ‘Apply for a Direct Plus Loan.’ Then choose ‘Direct Plus Application for Parents.”
    • Your credit will be approved or denied instantly. The results of the Plus Loan request will be transmitted to UW-Platteville from the processing center within 48 hours.
  3. Once you have your credit decision, complete the Parent Plus Loan Request Form. The form must be initiated by the student and then the parent will be sent an email to complete his/her portion of the form. Once UW-Platteville received the completed form it will be processed within3-5 business days. The loan will not be processed without having a completed and signed form.
  4. If the Plus loan is approved, the parent who requested the loan will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) under parent borrowers at https://studentloans.gov (this is listed as Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN). If the MPN is not completed by the parent the loan will not disburse.

Note:  Confirm your federal student loans have been accepted or declined through your PASS account prior to applying for a Federal Direct Plus Loan.

Note: The Plus Loan Request Form is by aid year, therefore the link will need to updated on a yearly basis.

Please read PLUS Loan Q&A to answer more questions concerning a PLUS Loan. 

Calculate the Amount of the PLUS Loan

During the application process at https://studentloans.gov, a parent will be prompted for an application amount. They may enter an exact amount or, they may choose to indicate ‘maximum amount’ on the application and the Financial Aid Office will process the maximum amount that the student is eligible for based upon the student’s cost of attendance.

The maximum amount a parent may borrow is the cost of attendance minus the student’s financial aid and other resources such as scholarships. Cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room, board, transportation, and personal expenses. The cost of attendance is used for financial aid purposes and it does not reflect the amount the student will be billed. The student will be billed per the most recent tuition and fees. You may calculate how much you can borrow through the PLUS Loan using the formula below.

Cost of attendance* - Financial Aid* - other funds received (scholarships) = maximum you could borrow in PLUS

* Cost of attendance and Financial Aid may both be found on the student’s annual financial aid offer and in PASS.

Alternative Loan Program

Alternative loans are private loans through lending institutions and are not part of the federal student loan programs. Alternative loans are more expensive than the federal student loans and should only be used as a last option after all other options have been exhausted. We recommend students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for federal and state aid before you turn to a private loan. If you decide you need an alternative loan, choose a loan that best meets your needs and borrow only what you need. Remember you will be required to pay the loan back.

You may use FASTChoice to help you chose a lender. FASTChoice is a neutral, comprehensive list of private education lenders that have made loans to students at UW-Platteville within the past 3-5 years. The list contains for each lender: Loan product summary including interest rates, grace periods, and borrower benefits; Loan term examples, which includes an example of the total cost of the loan, an explanation of annual percentage rate calculations and the minimum monthly payment. UW-Platteville highly recommends that you research each lender before you apply.

UW-Platteville does not recommend or endorse any lender. You are free to use any alternative loan lender of your choosing.

Questions regarding alternative loans are best answered in person. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 608.342.1836 or email finaid@uwplatt.edu to schedule an appointment.

For a physical mailing address:

Financial Aid Office
204 Brigham Hall
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818


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