Financial Aid: Student Loans
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) administers many loan programs to help ensure that all admitted students are able to cover the cost of tuition at SAIC. In most cases, eligibility for federal programs is based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application.
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.
Funds are credited directly to the student's account. While students are in school on at least a half-time basis, and during a predetermined grace period, the loan is interest free. Interest charges and repayment of the loan begin at the conclusion of a nine-month grace period.
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 students a low-interest loan (variable rate for new borrowers, not to exceed 8.25 percent). For the 2012–13 year term, the interest rate is 3.4 percent. Repayment begins six months after the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates.
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 loan (variable rate for new borrowers, not to exceed 8.25 percent). For the 2012–13 year , the interest rate is 6.8 percent. Repayment begins six months after the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates.
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.
This program is available to all undergraduate and graduate students.
Annual award amount:
The award amount is up to $7,500 for undergraduate students 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 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.
Approval of this loan is credit-based. Post-baccalaureate students are not eligible for this loan.
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 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.
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.
Students may borrow up to the cost of their education minus other aid.