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Educational Loans

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Berry College participates in several loan programs for you and your family to consider as you make the decision to invest in your future. If you have filed a valid FAFSA, your financial aid offer for the academic year will include Federal Direct Loans. After Federal student loans are accepted, the Office of Financial Aid recommends that eligible Georgia students consider borrowing via GAfutures. Federal loans are available for parents who wish to assist their students with educational costs via the Parent PLUS loan. Berry College also administers Private Loans for families who may not be interested in Federal borrowing, ineligible for State loans, or for families interested in using a combination of Federal, State, and Private Loan resources.

Federal Loans

Federal loans are available to you and your parents and may assist paying for college when you file the FAFSA each academic year of at least half-time enrollment. Federal student loans have a low, fixed interest rate and require the completion of loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note, or MPN. Federal Parent loans (Parent PLUS) and Federal Graduate PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students and to graduate students, respectively.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with demonstrated need as per federal regulations. This loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half-time as the interest is federally subsidized.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to graduate and undergraduate students who file a valid FAFSA each academic year. The loan accrues interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time.

Repayment of both Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans must begin six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time.

If you are a dependent student based on the FAFSA, your combined subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan annual eligibility is as follows:

  Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Maximum Subsidized $3,500 $4,500 $5,500 $5,500
Unsubsidized $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000
Total aid: $5,500 $6,500 $7,500 $7,500

If you are an independent student based on the FAFSA, your subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan annual eligibility is as follows:

  Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Graduate
Maximum Subsidized $3,500 $4,500 $5,500 $5,500 $0
Unsubsidized $6,000 $6,000 $7,000 $7,000 $20,500
Total aid: $9,500 $10,500 $12,500 $12,500 $20,500

The cumulative maximum amount that may be borrowed as a dependent undergraduate student is $31,000 ($23,000 maximum subsidized) and for an independent student is $57,500 ($23,000 maximum subsidized).

Want more information about federal student loans? Check out this quick reference guide!

Federal Direct PLUS Loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students (Parent PLUS) and graduate students (Graduate PLUS) enrolled at least half time. Financial need is not a requirement. Borrowers can request a loan for up to the full cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. This loan enters repayment 60 days after full disbursement. Some PLUS loans qualify for deferment of payments while the student is enrolled at least half time.

Students whose parents apply and are denied for a Parent PLUS loan may be eligible for up to an additional $4,000 to $5,000 in a Federal unsubsidized loan per academic year.

For more information regarding Federal Loans please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s site.

Georgia Student Access Loan (SAL)

The Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) offers the Student Access Loan Program (SAL) for eligible students. The SAL is a need-based loan in that it is available for selected students who, having exhausted all aid, including Federal Direct Student Loans, and subtracted their EFC, still have a gap to meet their annual educational cost (cost of attendance). The SAL is a 1 percent fixed rate loan and is available for as much as $8,000 per academic year based on available funds. The SAL selection is on a first come, first served basis and the application typically opens at 
GAfutures.org mid-June.

Private or Alternative Loans

Students and their parents may choose to borrow private educational loans. The Office of Financial Aid recommends that students exhaust their federal and state borrowing options first, as these options may feature more favorable conditions than those of private loans.

To help you as you consider all of your private loan options, the Office of Financial Aid has compiled a list of private lenders. The listed lenders provide excellent customer service and financing options that include a wide range of borrower benefits to Berry College students. These lenders have not paid the college or a third party in order to be part of this list. Please know that you are not required to use any of these lenders and that the Office of Financial Aid will process a loan with any lender you choose outside of this list. The lenders are not listed in any order of preference and are displayed randomly.

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