Loans are awarded after they have been packaged for Federal Work-Study and, if applicable, any departmental funds. Graduate students are only eligible for non-need-based federal loans.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loans are offered to any student who has completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student will qualify for a direct unsubsidized loan regardless of their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Interest on a direct unsubsidized loan accumulates while a student is enrolled in graduate courses. Interest that is not paid while the borrower is enrolled will be capitalized and added to the principal at the time of repayment. Direct unsubsidized loans need to be repaid after a student has graduated or drops below half-time enrollment (4.5 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters and 3 credit hours during the summer).
Annual and aggregate loan limits apply. For information on annual/aggregate Stafford Loan limits, please visit the United States Department of Education’s page on direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
In order for federal loans to disburse to a student's account, the student must accept their loan(s) on the Award offer tab of their Financial Aid Dashboard accessed through the myIIT portal.
Students will also need to complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the Department of Education through studentaid.gov if it hasn't been done so in a prior year as a graduate student. After Entrance Counseling and the MPN are completed, the Department of Education will send the Office of Financial Aid a report indicating the completed requirements for the Stafford Loan. This information will reflect as “Satisfied” on the myIIT portal.* When these steps are finalized, the accepted loans will memo or disburse to the student's account.
*The disbursement process can take up to one week to be finalized.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are available to graduate students enrolled in at least 4.5 credit hours (i.e. “half-time”). The student is responsible for the interest that accrues immediately upon the PLUS Loan disbursement. Interest may be paid quarterly while the student is enrolled at least half-time, or the student may elect to defer all interest payments until the completion of their degree program. If this option is chosen, interest will be capitalized and added to the principal at the time of repayment. For more information, students should contact their loan servicer.
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen who is not in default on a student loan. Applicants are subject to a credit check. Denied applicants may seek an endorser. Students should note that their award package will not automatically include the Direct PLUS Loan.
In order for the Graduate PLUS Loan to disburse to a student's account, the student must accept the award on the myIIT portal. Additionally, the student will need to complete the following steps in order for the loan to memo or disburse to their student account.
- Complete the PLUS Loan Application**
- Complete Entrance Counseling
- Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
- Submit a PLUS Loan Request Form to the Office of Financial Aid
The Department of Education will send the Office of Financial Aid a report indicating the completed requirements for the Graduate PLUS Loan. This information will reflect as “Satisfied” on the myIIT portal.* When these steps are finalized, the accepted loans will memo or disburse to the student's account.
*Not all students are approved for a Graduate PLUS Loan. The PLUS Loan is a credit-based award.
**The disbursement process noted above takes up to one week for our office to process.
When selecting a private loan, consider using FASTChoice, a compilation of lenders who are selected by our staff because of their friendly lending practices. Once a student selects a lender, the student will need to apply for the loan itself. If the student is approved for a loan, the lender will contact Illinois Tech requesting that we certify the loan. Upon certification of the loan, the student will receive an email within 24 hours. The loan will disburse to your account within three weeks of certification—presuming courses are in session—assuming no additional information is required by the lender or the Office of Financial Aid.