Graduate Student Financial Aid


Unsubsidized Loan

The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is a federal student loan for which eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education.  The borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan. Repayment for this loans begins after graduation or when the student drops below part-time. 

Requirements for unsubsidized graduate assistance:

  • Student must fill out FAFSA form at FAFSA.ed.gov.
  • Student must be enrolled at least half time. (6 credit hours for graduate students)
  • Annual limit is $20,500 for unsubsidized. 
  • Current fixed interest rate for unsubsidized loan is 6.6% as of 7/1/18.
  • Current origination fee is 1.062% as of 10/1/18. (This fee is deducted up front and thus lowers the actual net amount of each disbursement that appears on your tuition bill.)

Additional Information

  • Rates may change depending on legislation so please visit the Federal Student Aid Interest website for the most current information.
  • Lifetime limit is $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.
  • Loans are disbursed at the start of each academic term.
  • If the interest is capitalized (allowed to accumulate) it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and will increase the amount the borrower will have to repay.

If the choice is made to pay the interest as it accumulates, the total interest charges paid during repayment will be considerably less. Payments would be made directly to your federal loan servicer.


Why Guilford?


Meet some of the graduates of the Master's in Criminal Justice program to find out why they chose Guilford — and what they're doing now.

Graduate Plus Loan 

  • Lower interest rate than most private educational loans
  • Fixed Interest rate: 7.595% for 2018-19
  • Possible program incentives to lower the rate
  • Eligibility is based on review of “adverse credit” rather than “credit scoring.”
  • Lack of credit history or insufficient credit history is not considered.
  • Amount of eligibility is determined using the same formula as private loans.
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) – All Other Aid = PLUS Loan Eligibility
  • Can be consolidated with other federal loans upon graduation.

Applying for the Loan

Students may be eligible for the Graduate PLUS loan; however it is not offered automatically. Students must speak with their financial aid counselor if interested.  

What is Adverse Credit?

Unlike private alternative loans, Graduate PLUS Loans are not based on your credit score. This difference should make the loan more easily obtainable for those with little or no credit history.

Adverse credit is defined to mean that as of the date of the credit report, the applicant:

  • Is 90 or more days delinquent on any debt with an outstanding balance of $2,085 or more (including unpaid collection accounts and charge-offs); or
  • Has been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.

Click here for more information on adverse credit and Direct PLUS loans.