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). Details on federal loans including interest rates and loan processing fees are available on the Department of Education's Student Aid Loan website.

Loan Application Deadlines and General Details—All loans steps should be completed by July 1 before each fall-spring (traditional academic year) and by January 1 for spring only (one semester only). Borrowers must re-apply for Federal Direct PLUS and private loans each year or term that the loan is desired. Per federal law, all federal loans must be certified by the last day of the semester that the student is enrolled, so borrowers are asked to complete all federal loans steps at least five business days before the last day of the student's enrolled term for processing purposes. Federal Direct Stafford and Perkins loans (with the exception of summer and winter Federal Perkins eligibility) normally are required one-time while at SAIC. For further details on loan steps and deadlines visit the SAIC Loan Instructions.

2014-15 Interest Rates
Direct Loans Disbursed July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015
Loan TypeBorrower TypeFixed Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate Students 4.66%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate Students 4.66%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate/Professional Students 6.21%
Direct PLUS Loans Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students 7.21%

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.

 

MAXIMUM FEDERAL DIRECT STAFFORD LOAN AMOUNTS (PER YEAR)
 

CREDITS EARNED

SUBSIDIZED DEPENDENT/INDEPENDENT

UNSUBSIDIZED DEPENDENT**

UNSUBSIDIZED INDEPENDENT

FRESHMAN (0-29) $3,500 $2,000 $6,000
SOPHOMORE (30-59) $4,500 $2,000 $6,000
JUNIOR & SENIOR (60+) $5,500 $2,000 $7,000
POST-BACCALAUREATE   $5,500 NA $7,000
GRADUATE   NA NA $20,500

Please note: All students have a total or aggregate limit for borrowing Federal Direct Stafford Loans over the course of their entire education.

**If a parent is denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, SAIC can award an additional unsubsidized loan. For freshman and sophomore students, this eligibility is $4,000 and for junior and senior students it is $5,000. See the Federal Direct PLUS Program section below for more information on Federal Direct PLUS Loans.

FEDERAL DIRECT STAFFORD AGGREGATE LOAN LIMITS
Dependent Undergraduate Student $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate Student or Dependent Student Whose Parent is Ineligible for PLUS $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
Graduate/Professional Student $138,500 (no more than $65,000 of which can be subsidized)

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, 2014–June 30, 2015 the interest rate is 4.66 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 or post-baccalaureate degree-seeking student must be enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate financial need on the federal FAFSA form.

Annual award amount:
The award amount is the lesser of $5,500 or the determined amount of financial need based on the student’s academic level. An origination fee of up to 1.073 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 Student Loan

This program offers students a low-interest, fixed rate loans. For loans disbursed between July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015 the interest rate is 4.66 percent for undergraduate students and 6.21 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. An origination fee of up to 1.073 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. Loans plus other aid cannot exceed the estimated cost of an education.

Federal Direct PLUS Program

This program offers additional federal loan funds for graduate students or parents of dependent, undergraduate students (including biological or adoptive parents and legal guardians). The interest rate for the 2014–15 award year is 7.21 percent fixed.

For graduate borrowers, loans disbursed are placed in deferment and repayment does not begin until six months after the student is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

Parent borrowers may choose to begin repayment 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed to their student’s account or request a deferment while the student is enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

Eligibility
A request for a Direct PLUS Loan must be completed at StudentLoans.gov for each award year the loans is desired and for each individual loan within an award year. Approval is based on credit. The student for whom the loan is borrowed must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis for the period which the loan is borrowed. Post-baccalaureate students are not eligible for this loan.

Award Amount 
Graduate students or parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus available financial aid, including scholarships, grants, other loans, and student employment for which the student is eligible for each award year. An origination fee of up to 4.292 percent of the loan amount may be deducted up front from the funds. Repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan unless the borrower obtains a forbearance or deferment.

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.