The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) administers several loan programs to help ensure that all eligible admitted students are able to cover the cost of tuition at SAIC. Eligibility for federal programs is based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. In addition, the Federal Direct PLUS and Private loan programs require that the borrower is creditworthy or has a creditworthy endorser (cosigner).

All loans steps should be complete by July 1 before each fall-spring academic year and by January 1 for spring only. You must re-apply for Federal Direct PLUS and private loans each year or term. Federal Direct Stafford and Perkins loans (with the exception of summer and winter eligibility) normally are required one-time while at SAIC. For further details on loan steps and deadlines visit the SAIC Loan Instructions web page.

Here are some of the student loan options available to you as an SAIC student.

Federal Perkins Loan

This program provides low-interest (5 percent) educational loans to students. Recipients must sign a Federal Perkins promissory note for the loan and complete a Federal Perkins loan online entrance counseling session by the third week of classes.

Funds are credited directly to the student's account. While students are in school on at least a half-time basis, the loan is interest free. Interest charges and repayment of the loan begin at the conclusion of a nine-month grace period. For more information visit the US Department of Education website.

Eligibility: 
To be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need on their FAFSA form. Priority is given to exceptional-need students.

Annual award amount: 
Variable, up to $8,000 per year based on available federal funding and institutional awarding policies. Repayment begins after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Student Loan

This program offers undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students low-interest, fixed rate loans.  For loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014 the interest rate is 3.86 percent. Funds are credited directly to the student's account. Interest begins accruing after the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates and repayment begins six months after that. For more information visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Eligibility: 
To be eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Student Loan, an undergraduate degree-seeking student must be enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA form.

Annual award amount: 
The award amount is the lesser of $5,500 or the determined amount of financial need. An origination fee of up to 1 percent of the loan amount may be deducted up front from the funds. Repayment begins after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

This program offers students a low-interest, fixed rate loans. For loans disbursed between July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014 the interest rate is 3.86 percent for undergraduate students and 5.41 percent for graduates students. Interest begins accruing upon disbursement and must be paid quarterly though it can be added to the principal of the loan. Repayment begins six months after the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates. For more information visit the US Department of Education website.

Eligibility: 
This program is available to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students. 

Annual award amount: 
The max award amount is up to $7,500 for dependent undergraduate students minus subsidized eligibility based on the student’s academic level and $12,500 for independent undergraduates or dependent student's whose parent has been denied a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan minus subsidized eligibility based on the student’s academic level. The award amount for graduate students is up to $20,500. Loans plus other aid cannot exceed the estimated cost of an education. 

Federal Direct PLUS Program

Federal Direct PLUS loan for graduate level students or parents of dependent students (including either biological parent or legal guardians). This loan must be reapplied for each year. The interest rate for the 2012–13 year is 7.9 percent.

For parent borrowers, repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. This means that repayment will begin while the student is still in school. However, under certain circumstances, parents can receive periods of deferment or forbearance that allow loan repayment to be postponed. These periods don't count toward the length of time to repay the loan. Graduate-level students may be granted an in-school deferment. For more information visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Eligibility:
Approval of this loan is credit-based. Post-baccalaureate students are not eligible for this loan.

Award amount:
Students or parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus available financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment, each year.

Private Loans

Private education loans are offered by private lenders and are available to students to assist with their educational and living expenses in addition to the Federal Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans. These loans should only be used as a final choice and are not recommended to students and families unless the Federal PLUS is not an option, especially in the case of graduate students. Additional Information that students and families may find helpful in understanding the private loan process may be found at www.finaid.org

Eligibility: 
Any student applying for a private educational loan must first complete a separate application and pass a credit approval with their chosen lender. Private educational loans will be included as a resource in your financial aid package.

Award amount: 
Students may borrow up to the estimated cost of their education minus other aid.