Federal Aid and Private Loans

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The Difference Between Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans

Federal student loans are available through the US Department of Education, feature fixed interest rates and offer several repayment options. Private student loans are education loans offered by banks or other lenders, are credit-based and have fixed or variable interest rates.

Private student loans can complement federal student loans and other financial aid to help you pay for college.

*SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). 2007–08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) Student Financial Aid Estimates for 2007–08, Selected Findings.

Federal Loan Programs

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan provides up to $6,000 for 1st and 2nd year students and $7,000 for 3rd and 4th year students who do not qualify for all or part of the funds available under the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan Program. Funds from this loan program may be borrowed in addition to the funds available through the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan.You may defer payments on this loan until six months after you graduate, withdraw, or are dismissed from the school. You are responsible for the interest accruing on an unsubsidized loan.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

The Subsidized Stafford Loan is a need-based loan. The federal government subsidizes the interest while you are in school. If you are eligible, you can borrow up to your full need but not more than $3,500 for the first academic year, $4,500 for the second academic year, and $5,500 for the third and fourth academic years. Repayment is deferred until six months after graduation, withdrawal, or dismissal from school.

Federal Direct Plus Loan

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) provides loans up to the cost of attendance less other financial aid to qualifying parents of undergraduate students. Repayment typically starts sixty days after the loan is fully disbursed but can be deferred until six months after graduation, withdrawal, or dismissal from school. The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is an option for parents of students who may not qualify for other forms of aid, or to provide additional funding for those who need other assistance.

Private Loan Programs

Private loans are available through Sallie Mae. These are flexible loan programs, which can either supplement federal programs or be used as a sole means of financing college costs. Loan limits are greater than those available for the Federal Direct Loan Program. Private loan borrowers can defer repayment while in school at least half time. Normally, repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops to less than half time. Students are usually required to have a creditworthy co-applicant..

NOTE: You may apply online at salliemae.com, or you may apply by phone.

*Lender List Policy

Northwest College of Art & Design (NCAD) is not affiliated with any lenders. NCAD does not have preferential arrangements or consortium agreements with lenders.

Start-up Costs

Most Financial Aid is not received at the school until after school is in session. Students should allow for initial “start -up” costs and have their own funds to register and pay for books, supplies and relocation.