The majority of our master’s students use federal financial aid in the form of student loans and work-study funds to bridge the gap between their SSA scholarship and the cost of attendance. SSA students work closely with the University’s Graduate Financial Aid to facilitate the awarding of federal aid, including Stafford Loan, GradPLUS Loans and work-study.
Federal Student Aid Application Procedures
To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a University of Chicago Application for Loans and Federal Assistance. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed as soon as possible after October 1. Applicants whose financial needs analysis is received by the School after June 1 may be at a disadvantage in competing for scholarship.
Applicants meeting the early admission deadline (December 1) and who have filled out the FAFSA form, will receive a preliminary letter of federal financial aid eligibility (federal student loans and work-study) within a couple of weeks of their admission decision so that they can make an informed financial decision.
Applicants using regular admission deadlines (January 15 or April 1) who have filled out the FAFSA will receive the standard letters of federal funding eligibility.
Federal Stafford Loan
The subsidy on the Stafford Loan has been eliminated for graduate and professional students, effective with enrollment periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012. For students whose enrollment at the University began after Summer quarter 2012, you may apply for up to $20,500 in Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
The unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan is not based on financial need. The borrower is responsible for the interest that accrues on the loan, even while enrolled in school. As of July 2, 2012, graduate and professional degree students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year in unsubsidized loans. For interest rate and fee information, visit the Graduate Financial Aid website.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (GradPLUS) Loan
Approval for a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan is contingent upon your credit rating. If you have an adverse credit rating, your loan request may be denied. We recommend that you first apply for the Federal Direct Stafford Loans, and if needed, apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS loan to supplement the difference between your cost of attendance and other assistance. For interest rate and fee information, visit the Graduate Financial Aid website.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
Named University and SSA Loan Funds
The University has a number of endowed loan funds from which emergency, short-term or longer-term loans may be granted to full-time students. Some loans require a co-signer. These loans have interest rates ranging from 3 to 7 percent.
Note: Regulations governing student loan programs have varied significantly in recent years. Current information regarding terms, repayment, and eligibility may be obtained from: Graduate Financial Aid, 1115 East 58th Street, Walker 309, Chicago, IL 60637 773.702.6061.