Unlike grants or work-study, a loan is money that must be repaid – you are legally obligated to repay your loans (even if you do not complete your program), so we encourage you to fully read and understand the terms and conditions of each loan type before accepting a loan.

The minimum requirements for consideration of any federal loan is a complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), admission into a degree-seeking program, at least half-time enrollment and cannot be in default on a Federal educational loan or owe a repayment of Federal Title IV aid. Click on a loan type below for expanded information on each loan type.

At Colorado State University, we encourage you to make informed decisions when taking out a student loan and only borrow the amount of funds needed to successfully complete your education.

Federal Loans to Students

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (Stafford Loans)

Colorado State University participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan program (Direct Loans). Direct Loans are funded by the Department of Education to you, the student.

What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

  • Subsidized loans are need based and available to undergraduate students. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you are in school at least half-time.
  • Unsubsidized loans are not need based and are available to undergraduates and graduate student. Interest is accruing while you are in school.

What do I need to know about loans?

  • Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, drop below half time, or withdraw.
  • Direct Student Loans will be prorated for any undergraduate student who enrolls in only one semester and will graduate in the same academic year.
    • The prorated loan amount is determined by dividing the number of credits a student is enrolled in by 24, multiplied by the annual loan limit
  • First-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 have a maximum period of time they can receive Subsidized Loans.

Origination Fees

Date of First Disbursement Origination Fee % for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
on or after 10/1/16 and before 10/1/17 1.069%
on or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18 1.066%

Undergraduate Interest Rates

Date of First Disbursement Subsidized/Unsubsidized
7/1/16-6/30/17 3.76%
7/1/17-6/30/18 4.45%

Graduate Unsubsidized Loan Interest Rates

Date of First Disbursement Unsubsidized
7/1/16 - 6/30/17 5.31%
7/1/17 - 6/30/18 6.00%

Loan Limits

Year Dependent Students Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS Loan)
Freshmen $5,500 – No more than $3,500 may be in subsidized loans $9,500 – No more than $3,500 may be in subsidized loans
Sophomore $6,500 – No more than $4,500 may be in subsidized loans $10,500 – No more than $4,500 may be in subsidized loans
Junior, Senior, and Second Bachelors $7,500 – No more than $5,500 may be in subsidized loans $12,500 – No more than $5,500 may be in subsidized loans
Graduate Student Not Applicable $20,500 (unsubsidized only)
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate (lifetime) Loan Limits $31,000 – No more than $23,000 may be in subsidized loans $57,500 for undergraduates – No more than $23,000 of this may be in subsidized loans

$138,500 for graduate or professional students – No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study

How do I apply?

Federal Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) is an undergraduate need-based loan. Funds are provided from the Federal Government and from payments collected from students repaying their Perkins loans.

What do I need to know about a Perkins Loan:

  • It does not accrue interest while you are enrolled.
  • There are no loan origination fees.
  • Repayment begins 9 months after you graduate, drop below half-time, or withdraw.
  • The interest rate is a fixed 5.0%.
  • Colorado State University is your lender for this loan; once your loan enters repayment, you will make payments back to CSU
  • Funding is limited so the actual awarded amount may be less than the federal maximum and may also vary from year to year

Health Professions Student Loan

The Health Professions Loan (HPL) is a subsidized, low-interest loan available to students enrolled in the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine program with financial need. Funds are provided from the Department of Health and Human Services and from payments collected from prior students repaying their HPL.

  • To qualify, you must provide parental information on your FAFSA.
    • Parental information is used only to determine if you qualify for a Health Professions Loan, not in calculating your eligibility for other financial aid.
  • There are no loan origination fees.
  • The loan does not accrue interest while enrolled.
  • Repayment begins 12 months after you graduate, drop below full-time, or withdraw.
  • While the loan is in repayment the interest rate is a fixed 5.0 percent.
  • Colorado State University is your lender for this loan, once your loan enters repayment, you will make payments back to CSU.
  • Funding is limited; the amounts may vary from year to year.
  • If awarded a HPL and would like to accept it in a nonelectronic form, please contact The Office of Financial Aid.

Graduate PLUS Loans

What do I need to know about Graduate PLUS?

  • You must be a graduate or professional student.
  • Requires a credit check; you cannot have adverse credit history.
  • Interest accrues while you are in school or in deferment.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, drop below half time, or withdraw.
  • Annual Limit:
    • Cost of attendance minus all other aid

Graduate PLUS Loan Origination Fee

Date of First Disbursement Origination Fee % for Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
on or after 10/1/16 and before 10/1/17 4.276%
on or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18 4.264%

Graduate PLUS Loan Interest Rates

Date of First Disbursement Interest Rate
7/1/16 - 6/30/17 6.31%
7/1/17 - 6/30/18 7.00%

Federal Loans to Parents

Colorado State University participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans).  PLUS Loans are funded by the Department of Education to the parent, on behalf of the student.  A PLUS Loan is automatically offered as part of the aid package after submitting a FAFSA application.

Additional Information

What do I need to know about Parent PLUS loans?

  • You must be the natural/adoptive parent or be a stepparent whose income information was included on the FAFSA to be an eligible borrower.
  • Requires a credit check; you cannot have adverse credit history.
    • If you have adverse credit history you can obtain an endorser or appeal the denied credit decision.
  • If you unable to borrow a PLUS due adverse credit history, your student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans.  Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
  • Annual Limit: Cost of attendance minus all other aid
  • Interest accrues while your student is in school
  • Repayment begins once your loan is fully disbursed
    • You may request a deferment while your child is enrolled at least half-time.
  • Interest Rate:
Date of First Disbursement PLUS
7/1/16 - 6/30/17 6.31%
7/1/17 - 6/30/18 7.00%

Date of First Disbursement Origination Fee % for Direct PLUS Loans
on or after 10/1/16 and before 10/1/17 4.276%
on or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18 4.264%

Applying and Next Steps

Short Term Loans

A short term is available to students who have no balance owed to CSU and are in good academic standing. These loans are designed to meet the current term needs of a student.

  • Short term loans are available each semester that a student is enrolled, beginning the third week of the semester through the week prior to final exams.
  • This loan is interest free, however you must repay the full amount borrowed by first payment due date of the next semester to avoid late fees.
    • For example, if you borrow during the Fall semester, your loan will be due in January.

If you fail to pay or default on your short term loan:

  • Late fees will be charged to your student account in accordance with Student Accounts policy.
  • Late payment may make you ineligible for a short term loan in the following semester.
  • If the balance is not paid in full by the end of the add/drop enrollment period of the following semester (Census Date):
    • You become ineligible for a future short term loan.
    • Your loan could be assigned to a collection agency.
  • If you are having trouble making your payment, contact Business and Financial Services.

To apply contact the Office on Financial Aid.

Private / Alternative Educational Loans

Private loans should only be considered after applying for federal aid and reviewing your aid package. These loans typically have higher interest rates and fewer repayment plans than federal loans.

What to Consider Before Borrowing

Federal Student Loans Private Student Loans
Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time. Private student loans could require payments while you are still in school.
Interest rates are fixed and could be lower than private loans and credit cards. Private loans can have fixed or variable interest rates, some above 18%.
Undergraduate students with financial need will likely qualify for a subsidized loan where the government pays the interest while you are enrolled half-time. Interest is accruing while you are in school.
With the exception on PLUS loans, federal loans don't require a credit check. Requires a credit check. The interest rate will depend on year credit score and other factors.
You don't need a cosigner on federal loans is most cases. You may need a cosigner.
Interest may be tax deductible. Interest may be tax deductible.
You can consolidate all of your federal loans You cannot consolidate private loans with your federal loans.
If you are having trouble repaying your loan, you may be able to temporarily postpone or lower your payments. Private student loans may not offer forbearance or deferment options.
Multiple repayment options. Check with your lender to see what repayment options are available.
There is no prepayment penalty fee. Prepayment penalty fees may exists.
You may be eligible to have some portion of your loans forgiven if you work in public service. It is unlikely that your lender will offer a loan forgiveness program.

The Application Process

  • Colorado State University does not endorse or recommend one lender over another and cannot provide a list of lenders because of the wide range terms offered by individual financial institutions.  We encourage you to check if your personal bank offers an alternative loan and to also use mainstream internet resources to search for and review lenders. We will certify a loan through any lender, if you meet that lender’s eligibility criteria.
  • Some lenders offer loans for parents or other creditworthy individuals to borrow on behalf of the student.
  • FinAid is a non-profit website devoted to financial aid information.  They have a large list of private student loan providers with information about comparing private loans. Finaid.org is not affiliated with Colorado State University and you are not required to use a lender from their website
  • During the application process, your lender will require that you submit a Self-Certification form.  This form will ask for information about your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance to help determine the amount of your loan.
  • Borrowers are protected by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).

Timeframes for Processing

If you decide you want to apply for an alternative loan, your lender will send a certification request to our office and we will review your eligibility based on your lenders requirements. Certifications are generally reviewed within 1 week from the day we receive it from your lender.  Watch your RAMweb account to respond to questions, you will have a requirement posted to your RAMweb regarding your loan certification once we have received this request from your bank.

Provided you are eligible for the loan, funds are disbursed from your lender to your student account.  The timing of disbursement will vary from lender to lender.  At minimum, your loan will disburse no sooner than 10 days prior to the first day of classes or at least three business days from the time your lender sends you the Final Disclosure notice, whichever is later.