Loans

Educational loans are low interest loans that must be repaid. Loans are available through the federal government (the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program) in which eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Educational loans are also available from state and private lenders and are known as alternative loans. We encourage you compare the available loan options before choosing a lender and borrow only what you need. Your student loan payments should be only a small percentage of your salary after you graduate. 

Direct Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federal student loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to help eligible students cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. (You might see Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans referred to as Stafford Loans or Direct Stafford Loans, but these are not the official loan names.)

Direct Loan Eligibility

To receive a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, you must:

  • File a FAFSA Annually: You must have a valid FAFSA on file with Baylor University to determine general eligibility.
    • Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen
    • Have a valid Social Security number
      (with exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
    • Show that you are qualified to obtain a college education by:
      • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent - OR -
      • Complete a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law
        (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law)
  • Sign the certification statement on the FAFSA form stating that you are not in default, owe money for a federal grant, and will use federal student aid for educational purposes only.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) 
  • Be offered any eligible Title IV PELL Grant

Additional eligibility requirements may apply to certain situations including non-U.S. citizens, students with criminal convictions, students with intellectual disabilities, or ability-to-benefit eligible students.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need (as determined by the FAFSA) to help cover the costs of higher education. This loan is authorized by Title IV, Part D of the HEA and is one component of the Direct Loan Program. The Department of Education subsidizes the interest for this loan while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment period. Baylor will review the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine the maximum amount you can borrow. See annual and aggregate loan limits below.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are awarded to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on financial need.  This loan is authorized by Title IV, Part D of the HEA and is one component of the Direct Loan Program. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loan Program provides loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attending schools that participate in the Direct Loan Program. The borrower is responsible for the interest that accrues during any period.

If you are a dependent student whose parents are not eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, you may be able to receive additional Unsubsidized funding.  Please see “Next Steps for Denied Parent PLUS Borrowers” below.

Direct Loan Borrowing Amounts, Annual, and Aggregate Loan Limits

There are limits to the amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits).

The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit. These amounts vary depending on:

  • Your grade level year of education.
  • FAFSA Determined Information
    • Your student status – dependent or independent.
    • Your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) to determine your level of need for Subsidized Loans
    • Your Cost of Attendance, Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA), and remaining student budget.
  • Annual loan limits assume that your program of study is at least a full academic year.
  • Annual limits associated with Direct Loans are based on the SAY or BBAY defined academic year the student is in.  Learn more about SAY/BBAY and loan periods under “Alternative Loans” and “Loan Periods” below. 
  • If a student intends to attend for an entire academic year, they will be offered eligible loans with substantially equal disbursements for each term. 
  • If an undergraduate student is scheduled to graduate in December and will not attend for an entire aid year, their Direct Loans will be subject to proration.

With careful planning allowing you to graduate on time or early, you will not reach the aggregate limit. Click here and here to view sample loan disclosure statements. You will receive a statement specific to your loan before your loan is disbursed.

  • Remember, only borrow what you need.  You can borrow less than you are offered each year.
  • If you advance a grade level by the end of spring (freshman to sophomore, sophomore to junior), you may be eligible to borrow an additional $1,000 for the summer.
  • Be aware of aggregate limits when you borrow the max amount for four years.  You will be limited in the amount you can borrow for the fifth year of study.
Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits
Undergraduate Students
  Dependent Students
(except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
Independent Students
(and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500
No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$9,500
No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $6,500
No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$10,500
No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third Year and Beyond Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit

$7,500
No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$12,500
No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Aggregate Limit
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000
No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$57,500
No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Graduate Students
Graduate or Professional Student $20,500
(unsubsidized only)
$138,500
MPH PROGRAM ONLY $33,000
(unsubsidized only)
$224,000

 

  • The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.
  • The aggregate loan limits include any Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans you may have previously received under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of legislation that took effect July 1, 2010, no further loans are being made under the FFEL Program.
  • Effective for periods of enrollment beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The $65,500 subsidized aggregate loan limit for graduate or professional students includes subsidized loans that a graduate or professional student may have received for periods of enrollment that began before July 1, 2012, or for prior undergraduate study.
  • If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.
Direct Loan Fees and Interest Rates

Origination Fees

The total origination fee for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans is 1.057% of the amount borrowed for loans disbursed after October 1, 2020. The origination fee is subject to change annually at the end of September. Origination fees for the next academic year are released in June.

Interest Rates

New rates will be established each June for the upcoming year. The interest rate for a loan will apply for the life of the loan (fixed-rate). As a result, it is likely you will have a set of fixed-rate loans, each with a different interest rate. See studentaid.gov for new rate information annually. 

Undergraduate Borrowers
Disbursed after July 1, 2022

Graduate or Professional Borrowers
Disbursed after July 1, 2022

4.99%

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

6.54%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Additional Interest Rate Support

Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

You may receive more than one loan under an MPN over a period of up to 10 years to pay for your educational costs, as long as the school is authorized to use the MPN in this way and chooses to do so.

You must sign a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note. This will be the only promissory note you will have to sign as long as you continue to attend Baylor as an undergraduate student. You will need to complete a new MPN as a graduate student. Your FSA ID is required to eSign at studentaid.gov/mpn

Right to Decline Direct Loans
  • You have the right to decline any financial aid that you are offered.
  • Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time.
  • After your loan money is disbursed, you may return all or a portion of your loan proceeds that credited to your account, to your lender within 90 days of the notice that we send you. 
  • If you want to cancel or return loan proceeds, please submit a Contact Us form.
  • You have a number of rights and responsibilities pertaining to borrowing student loans. Click here for a list of important rights and responsibilities of which you should be aware.
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

Entrance counseling ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. You will learn what a loan is, how interest works, your options for repayment, and how to avoid delinquency and default.

Complete Direct Loan entrance counseling after accepting a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan offer. Go to studentaid.gov/entrance-counseling and sign in with your FSA ID to complete entrance counseling.  Entrance Counseling will only need to be completed once, for first time borrowers of a loan type, before loan disbursement can take place.

Direct Loan Disbursement and Reporting
  • Loan Disbursement
    • Once all requirements are met, accepted Title IV loans will schedule to disburse, no earlier than ten days before the first day of class.
    • In most cases, we will apply the loan money to your student account to pay tuition, fees, and any other authorized charges. 
    • If there is money left over, we will initiate a refund of the surplus.
  • Reporting
    • Title IV loan information will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions, for students, or parents of students, who enter into an agreement regarding Title IV loans [HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B] – Access Title IV loan information here:  https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_SA/.
  • After your loan is disbursed, you will be contacted by your loan servicer.
Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Exit counseling is required each time you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. If you drop below half-time hours, withdraw, graduate, or stop attending, you are required to complete exit counseling by logging in with your FSA ID at studentaid.gov/exit-counseling. This applies for borrowers under the Federal Perkins Loan Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program, and under the Federal Stafford Loan Program. The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure you understand your student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment.

If a student meets the criteria above, exit counseling is required each time there is more than a 30 day break in at least half-time enrollment, EXCEPT during non-compulsory terms.

Direct Loan Repayment

Understanding the details of repayment on your federal student loan is extremely important. Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan programs generally observe the following provisions:

  • A 6-month grace period is provided before payments are due.
  • Interest accrues during your grace period (excluding Direct Subsidized Loans).
  • Your loan servicer will provide you with a loan repayment schedule.
  • There are multiple repayment options available to choose from.
  • Your billing statement will explain how much to pay and when.
  • You are required to repay all loans that you have borrowed. Under special circumstances, there are student loan forgiveness options.

Repayment Support Information

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are made to parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, the stepparents) of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. (Undergraduate Students and Independent Students are Ineligible and cannot apply).  Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are made to eligible graduate or professional students.  The US Department of Education is the lender of the Direct PLUS program.

Direct PLUS Loan Amount Available to Borrow

The limit on Direct PLUS Loan borrowing is the student's cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid received, per approved application.   

Direct PLUS Loan Fees and Interest Rates

Origination Fees

The total origination fee for loans under the Direct PLUS program is 4.228% of the amount borrowed for loans disbursed after October 1, 2020. The origination fee is subject to change annually at the end of September. Origination fees for the next academic year are released in June.

Interest Rates

New rates will be established each June for the upcoming year. The interest rate for a loan is applied to the life of the loan (fixed-rate). As a result, it is likely you will have a set of fixed-rate loans, each with a different interest rate. See studentaid.gov for new rate information annually. 

Loans under the Direct PLUS Program
Disbursed on or after July 1, 2022

7.54%

Additional Interest Rate Support

Direct PLUS Loan Eligibility
  • Eligibility is not based on financial need.
  • A credit check is required.  Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. 
  • Borrowers may typically borrow up to the Cost of Attendance, minus any Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA), as needed.  Be sure to only accept the amount you need to cover your education.
  • File a FAFSA Annually: You must have a valid FAFSA on file with Baylor University to determine general eligibility.
    • Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen
      The student and parent applicant/ borrower must be eligible citizens or eligible non-citizens.
    • Have a valid Social Security number
      (with exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
    • Show that you are qualified to obtain a college education by:
      • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent - OR -
      • Complete a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law
        (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law)
  • Sign the certification statement on the FAFSA form stating that you are not in default, owe money for a federal grant, meet other general eligibility requirements for federal student aid, and will use federal student aid for educational purposes only.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Be offered any eligible Title IV PELL Grant.

Additional eligibility requirements may apply to certain situations including non-U.S. citizens, students with criminal convictions, students with intellectual disabilities, or ability-to-benefit eligible students.

Adverse Credit History

To qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check is conducted on all Direct PLUS Loan applicants. Your credit history is considered adverse if your credit report shows that you are experiencing any of the following credit conditions:

  • Accounts with a total outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that have been placed in collection or charged off during the two years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Default determination during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Bankruptcy discharge during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Repossession during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Foreclosure during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Charge-off/write-off of a federal student aid debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Wage garnishment during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.
  • Tax lien during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.

PLUS Loans and Adverse Credit History Options

A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a parent PLUS loan through one of these two options:

  1. The borrower may obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS loan if you do not repay it.
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history by applying for an appeal

With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for parent PLUS loan borrowers and a new Master Promissory Note with every endorsed or appealed application that is approved.

A third option is available to denied Parent PLUS applicants ONLY: Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds are made available to students whose parents are unable to receive a Parent PLUS Loan. To automatically receive consideration for these additional funds, the parent applicant must select that they will “not to pursue a PLUS application” as the Credit Action Choice in their denied Parent PLUS application. Leaving the Credit Action Choice as "Undecided" on a denied Parent PLUS Loan application will NOT result in Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds being automatically offered.  See “Next Steps for Denied Parent PLUS Applicants” below.

Right to Decline a PLUS Loan

  • You have the right to decline any financial aid that you are offered.
  • Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time.
  • After your loan money is disbursed, you may return all or a portion of your loan proceeds that credited to your account, to your lender within 90 days of the notice that we send you. 
  • If you want to cancel or return loan proceeds, please submit a Contact Us form.
  • You have a number of rights and responsibilities pertaining to borrowing student loans. Click here for a list of important rights and responsibilities of which you should be aware.
  • You will receive a Loan Disclosure Statement (plain language version) specific to your loan before your loan is disbursed.
Direct Parent PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible parents through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

Parent PLUS Loan Applicant/Borrower Additional Requirements
  • Be the dependent student's biological or adoptive parent.  The student's stepparent is eligible, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application.
  • Assets of the parent the student lives with must be reported on the FAFSA. However, this may not be the same parent who applies for the PLUS loan.
Parent PLUS Application Process
  • First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Baylor School Code 003545
  • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) and financial assistance listed in your award notification to determine if a PLUS loan is the best fit for you.
  • Timing of Application
    • The credit check for a PLUS loan is valid for 180 days and it is important to submit your application no earlier than 180 days before the upcoming first day of class.
    • The studentaid.gov website will accept applications for an upcoming academic year beginning April 15, but Baylor University may not process the application until mid-June.  Monitor your account in BearWeb for processing.
  • Submit a Parent PLUS Application at studentaid.gov/plus-app/parent/landing
    • Select a Loan Period
      • Fall/Spring Loan - August to May
      • Fall Only Loan- August to December
      • Spring - January to May
      • Summer - May to August
        • We encourage you to select a loan period for the entire academic year (if you are attending the entire year), rather than a semester at a time to avoid submitting an application (and possibly a credit check) multiple times. 
        • Loans requested for the entire academic year will be split into two substantially equal disbursements. 
          Adjustments can be made upon request by submitting a Contact Us form.
        • Annual limits associated with Direct Loans are based on the SAY or BBAY defined academic year the student is in.  Learn more about SAY/BBAY and loan periods under “Alternative Loans” and “Loan Periods” below. 
        • Summer is a trailer term for students in a SAY.  New loan applications must be submitted for this term.  Adjustments can be made upon request by submitting a Contact Us form.  Increase requests beyond what you were approved for in your application must be made at studentaid.gov. 
    • Specify a Loan Amount
      • We encourage you to review your expenses carefully and only apply for the amount you truly need to support your educational success.
      • Utilize our PLUS Loan Calculator tool to understand PLUS Loans fees and determine the amount you would like to request borrow.
        • “Maximum Amount” – we will process an approved loan to the max amount available (Cost of Attendance minus All other Financial Aid received.)
        • Or Define a specified amount.
    • Specify how you would like to receive the funds:
      • In most cases, we will apply the loan money to your students account to pay tuition, fees, and any other authorized charges.  
      • If there is money left over, you can elect to have the money paid to:
        • The Parent Borrower OR
        • Refunded to your Student
    • Approval Process
      • The Department of Education will send a confirmation of approval or denial to you and our office (if you select Baylor to receive the information – our school code is 003545).
      • If denied, the parent borrower will be presented with options covered in “PLUS Loans and Adverse Credit History” above.
Next Steps for Approved Parent PLUS Loans
  • Parent PLUS borrowers must complete a master promissory note (MPN) at studentaid.gov/mpn/parentplus/landing. The MPN contains important terms and conditions of Parent PLUS Loans, as well as borrower rights and responsibilities.
    • The parent borrower completes the MPN
    • The MPN is good for ten years.
      If a MPN does not connect to a loan that disburses, it will be closed to any new loans after one year.
    • If a loan has an approved appeal or endorser, the MPN is good for this loan only. If a new loan is approved later, a new MPN must be completed.
    • If you are taking out Parent PLUS loans for more than one child, you will need to sign separate MPNs for loans you receive for each child.
  • If your loan application has been approved following an appeal or endorser approval, the parent borrower must complete Credit Counseling for Parent PLUS borrowers.
  • Processing
    • We begin processing new loan applications mid-June for the upcoming aid year.
    • We process new loan applications or updates to applications through the academic year Monday-Friday.
    • It can take 5 to 10 business days (or longer during peak periods) to process an approved application.
    • Monitor your email for updates from Baylor and the Department of Education.
    • Monitor BearWeb for information regarding processing of applications.
  • Loan Disbursement
    • Once all requirements are met, accepted Title IV loans will schedule to disburse, no earlier than ten days before the first day of class.
    • In most cases, we will apply the loan money to your student account to pay tuition, fees, and any other authorized charges. 
    • If there is money left over, refunds will be made to either the parent borrower or student, depending on how it was elected during the application process.
  • Reporting
    • Title IV loan information will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions, for students, or parents of students, who enter into an agreement regarding Title IV loans [HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B] – Access Title IV loan information here:  https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_SA/.
Next Steps for Denied Parent PLUS Borrowers

In the denied Parent PLUS Application, select one of the following Credit Action Choices:

  • “I want to obtain an endorser”
    • The borrower may obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS loan if you do not repay it.
    • Request your that your endorser submits an endorser addendum, for further credit review and application consideration.
  • “I want to provide documentation of extenuating circumstances.”
    • Submit documentation to the U.S. Department of Education stating that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history by applying for an appeal
  • “I do not want to pursue a Direct PLUS Loan at this time.”
    • This ends the Direct Parent PLUS Loan application process at this time.
    • When this is selected, students WILL automatically be considered for Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding.*  This process can take 5 to 10 business days after Baylor receives confirmation of the denial and credit action choice.
  • “Undecided”
    • This choice keeps the denied application open for endorsement or appeal for the academic year, or until the credit expires, whichever comes first.
    • Leaving the credit action choice as “undecided” will NOT result in automatic review of Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding.

*The maximum amount for an Additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan will vary based on your classification and your financial aid package. Generally, freshman and sophomore students will qualify for an additional $4,000. Junior and senior students will typically qualify for an additional $5,000. If your parent later qualifies for a PLUS loan, any undisbursed monies remaining for the Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan will be canceled and the PLUS loan will be applied. Like other subsidized and unsubsidized loans, the Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a loan in the student’s name and does not require a cosigner.  

Direct Parent PLUS Repayment

Understanding the details of repayment on your federal student loan is extremely important.  The Direct Parent PLUS loan program generally:

Repayment Support Information

PLUS Loan Calculator

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Federal student loans have loan origination fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

Graduate PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct Graduate PLUS Loans to eligible graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. Be sure to read the general Direct PLUS Program information (interest, loan fees, eligibility, right to cancel, and more above.

Grad PLUS Application Process
  • First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) and financial assistance listed in your award notification to determine if a PLUS loan is the best fit for you.
  • Timing of Application
    • The credit check for a PLUS loan is valid for 180 days and it is important to submit your application no earlier than 180 days before the upcoming first day of class.
    • The studentaid.gov website will accept applications for an upcoming academic year beginning April 15, but Baylor University may not process the application until mid-June.  Monitor your account in BearWeb for processing.
  • Submit a PLUS Application at studentaid.gov/plus-app/grad/landing
    • Select a Loan Period
      • Semester Graduate Students
        • Fall/Spring - August to May
        • Fall - August to December
        • Spring - January to May
        • Summer - May to August
      • Law Students
        • Fall/Winter/Spring - August to April
        • Fall - August to November
        • Winter - November to January
        • Spring - February to April
        • Summer - May to August
      • We encourage you to select a loan period for the entire academic year (if you are attending the entire year), rather than a term at a time to avoid submitting an application (and possibly a credit check) multiple times. 
      • Loans requested for the entire academic year will be split into substantially equal disbursements among terms/periods.
        Adjustments can be made upon request by submitting a Contact Us form.
      • Annual limits associated with Direct Loans are based on the SAY or BBAY defined academic year the student is in.  Learn more about SAY/BBAY and loan periods under “Alternative Loans” and “Loan Periods” below. 
      • Loans requested for the entire academic year (SAY or BBAY) will be split into substantially equal disbursements among terms/periods.  Adjustments to loans can be made upon request by submitting a Contact Us form.  Increase requests beyond what you were approved for in your application must be made at studentaid.gov. 
      • Summer is a trailer term for students in a SAY.  New loan applications must be submitted for this term. 
    • Specify a Loan Amount
      • We encourage you to review your expenses carefully and only apply for the amount you truly need to support your educational success.
      • Utilize our PLUS Loan Calculator tool to understand PLUS Loans fees and determine the amount you would like to request borrow.
        • “Maximum Amount” – we will process an approved loan to the max amount available (Cost of Attendance minus All other Financial Aid received.)
        • Or Define a specified amount.
    • Approval Process
      • The Department of Education will send a confirmation of approval or denial to you and our office (if you select Baylor to receive the information – our school code is 003545).
      • If denied, you will be presented with options covered in “PLUS Loans and Adverse Credit History” above.
Grad PLUS Amount Available to Borrow

The limit on a Grad PLUS Loan is the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.

Grad PLUS Next Steps for Approved Loans
  • Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete a master promissory note (MPN) at studentaid.gov/mpn/grad/landing.  The MPN contains important terms and conditions of Graduate PLUS Loans, as well as borrower rights and responsibilities.
    • The student borrower completes the MPN
    • The MPN is good for ten years.
      If a MPN does not connect to a loan that disburses, it will be closed to any new loans after one year.
  • If a loan has an approved appeal or endorser, the MPN is good for this loan only.  If a new loan is approved later, a new MPN must be completed.
  • First time Direct Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling.
  • If your loan application has been approved following an appeal or endorser approval, the student borrower must complete Credit Counseling for PLUS borrowers.
  • Processing
    • We begin processing new loan applications mid-June for the upcoming aid year.
    • We process new loan applications or updates to applications through the academic year Monday-Friday.
    • It can take 5 to 10 business days (or longer during peak periods) to process an approved application.
    • Monitor your email for updates from Baylor and the Department of Education.
    • Monitor BearWeb for information regarding processing of applications.
  • Loan Disbursement
    • Once all requirements are met, accepted Title IV loans will schedule to disburse, no earlier than ten days before the first day of class.
    • In most cases, we will apply the loan money to your student account to pay tuition, fees, and any other authorized charges. 
    • If there is money left over, refunds will be made.
  • Reporting
    • Title IV loan information will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions, for students, or parents of students, who enter into an agreement regarding Title IV loans [HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B] – Access Title IV loan information here:  https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_SA/.
  • After your loan is disbursed, you will be contacted by your loan servicer.  You will receive a Loan Disclosure Statement (plain language version) specific to your loan before your loan is disbursed.
Next Steps for Denied Grad PLUS Borrowers

In the denied Graduate PLUS Application, select one of the following Credit Action Choices:

  • “I want to obtain an endorser”
    • The borrower may obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS loan if you do not repay it.
    • Request your that your endorser submits an endorser addendum, for further credit review and application consideration.
  • “I want to provide documentation of extenuating circumstances.”
    • Submit documentation to the U.S. Department of Education stating that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history by applying for an appeal
  • “I do not want to pursue a Direct PLUS Loan at this time.”
    • This ends the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan application process at this time.
  • “Undecided”
    • This choice keeps the denied application open for endorsement or appeal for the academic year, or until the credit expires, whichever comes first.
Grad PLUS Exit Counseling

Exit counseling is required each time you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. If you drop below half-time hours, withdraw, graduate, or stop attending, you are required to complete exit counseling by logging in with your FSA ID at studentaid.gov/exit-counseling.  The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure you understand your student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment.

If a student meets the criteria above, exit counseling is required each time there is more than a 30 day break in at least half-time enrollment, EXCEPT during non-compulsory terms.

Grad PLUS Repayment

Understanding the details of repayment on your federal student loan is extremely important.  The Direct Graduate PLUS loan program generally:

  • Does not have a grace period.
  • You are not required to start making payments until 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.  Interest will accrue during this time.
  • Your loan servicer will provide you with a loan repayment schedule.
  • There are repayment options available.
  • Generally, you will have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan you select.
  • Your billing statement will explain how much to pay and when.
  • You are required to repay all loans that you have borrowed.  Under special circumstances, there are student loan forgiveness options.

Repayment Support Information

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans should be considered once you have explored the options available through the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and/or PLUS loan programs. Some families turn to alternative loans when the federal loans don't provide funding or when they need more flexible repayment options. (For example, a parent might be willing to co-sign a note for the student but may want the student to bear primary responsibility for repaying the loan.)   

Alternative loans will NOT be added to the student's package if verification has not been completed, unless the student acknowledges that they understand that adding alternative loans in advance may impact their need-based aid.  
 
Applying for, certifying, and processing private alternative loans takes time.  Please allow 4-6 weeks for this entire process. 

Remember, you may qualify for loans or other assistance under the Title IV, HEA programs.  Terms and conditions of Title IV, HEA program loans may be more favorable.  Learn more about federal versus private loan borrowing here:

Federal versus Private Loans 

Advantages of a Co-signer

Eligibility for alternative loans often depends on the student's credit score; therefore, a co-signer is most often required. Even if a co-signer is not required, the student can usually receive a more favorable rate with a co-signer. Alternative loans generally cost more than the education loans offered by the federal government but are less expensive than credit card debt. 

Fixed versus Variable

Some lenders offer a fixed rate product, while others offer a variable rate product. Some lenders offer both types. A fixed interest rate will not fluctuate over time. A variable interest rate moves (up or down) based on changes of an underlying index. Some variable rate loans have an interest cap which cannot be exceeded. 

Determining How Much to Borrow

Use your award letter, your BearWeb account, or contact One Stop Student Services to determine your maximum alternative loan eligibility. You should only request loan funds to cover your specific educational needs rather than the maximum allowed for the enrollment period. We recommend you borrow for the full academic year, not one semester at a time. Interest does not begin accruing on each portion of the loan until that portion is disbursed. Calculate how much you need to borrow for the semester and double that amount to cover both the fall and spring semesters. If you need help preparing a personalized budget, you may make an individual appointment by emailing Financial_Foundations@baylor.edu.

When submitting a loan application with a lender, please be sure to enter your desired loan amount. 

Loan Periods

Please use the following dates as a guide to help select the loan period you will request on a loan application with a lender. 

It is important that the start and end dates indicated on your loan application match the start and end dates of the term or terms you are needing the loan to cover. 

At Baylor University, there are two measurement categories for an academic year: a traditional academic or scheduled academic year (SAY) or Borrower-Based Academic Year (BBAY).  

Traditional Academic Year (SAY) 

  • Begins in fall and ends in the spring, with summer as a non-compulsory trailer term.  
  • All summer aid is packaged separately.  Summer aid is not packaged until a student enrolls in the summer term.  Summer loans must be applied for separately.  
  • There are undergraduate and graduate programs that operate under a SAY. 

Borrower-Based Academic Year (BBAY) 

  • Can be trimester, quarters, and contain modules. 
  • Can begin at different times during the year, depending on the program, and when the student begins attending. 
  • Currently, online graduate and the ABSN programs operate under a BBAY. 

Please keep in mind that the loan periods listed here are based on traditional semester or law student programs. Online programs in trimester, quarter, or borrower based academic years may have differently defined periods of enrollment that may create a different loan period.  

General Loan Periods

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students
    • Fall/Spring - August to May
    • Fall - August to December
    • Spring - January to May
    • Summer - May to August
  • Law Students
    • Fall/Winter/Spring - August to April
    • Fall - August to November
    • Winter - November to January
    • Spring - February to April
    • Summer - May to August 

2021-2022 Academic Year

  • Undergraduates and Graduate Students
    • Fall/Spring 08/21 - 05/22
    • Fall 08/21 - 12/21
    • Spring 01/22 - 05/22
    • Summer 05/22 - 08/22
      Submit Loan Applications for the 2021-2022 Aid Year
  • Law Students
    • Fall/Winter/Spring 08/21 - 04/22
    • Fall 08/21 - 11/21
    • Winter 11/21 - 01/22
    • Spring 02/22 - 04/22
    • Summer 05/22 - 08/22
      Submit Loan Applications for the 2021-2022 Aid Year

2022-2023 Academic Year

  • Undergraduates and Graduate Students
    • Fall/Spring 08/22 - 05/23
    • Fall 08/22 - 12/22
    • Spring 01/23- 05/23
    • Summer 05/23 - 08/23
      Submit Loan Applications for the 2022-2023 Aid Year
  • Law Students
    • Fall/Winter/Spring 08/22 - 04/23
    • Fall 08/22 - 11/22
    • Winter 11/22 - 01/23
    • Spring 02/23 - 04/23
    • Summer 05/23 - 08/23
      Submit Loan Applications for the 2022-2023 Aid Year
Choosing a Lender

Some important factors for you to consider in choosing a lender include cost (interest rates and potential origination fees), flexibility (re-payment options), and customer service. Common customer service considerations include the availability of a fixed rate loan product, account information online, deferment options, and co-signer release options. 

Preferred Lender List

Baylor utilizes ELMSelect, a neutral lender and product comparison tool, to present the lenders on our preferred lender list to you. Access our lender list by visiting: 

IMPORTANT:  You are NOT restricted to the lenders presented on our preferred lender list. You should not be directed to any specific lender by the University; you may choose any lender and follow their application process. 

We provide this list as a resource for you to research and make the best selection for your educational funding needs. This list is not exhaustive and other options are available. You do not need to borrow from a lender on this list. 

Preferred Lender Arrangements

Placement on the lender list is the result of our annual evaluation of the lender's borrower benefits offered, timely processing, flexibility, historical certification levels at Baylor University, and customer service to you and our staff. To ensure lenders on this list are selected based on the best interests of the borrowers we specifically review: 
  • Payment of origination or other fees on behalf of the borrower.
  • Highly competitive interest rates, or other terms, conditions, and/or provisions. 
  • High quality loan servicing. 
  • Additional benefits beyond typical standard terms, conditions, and/or provisions in loan borrowing. 
  • See more details here.

We exercise a duty of care and loyalty to our students when compiling the preferred lender list without prejudice and for the sole benefit of students and families at Baylor University.  We will not deny, impede the borrower’s choice of lender, or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification for those who choose a lender that is not included on the preferred lender list. Vendors on our preferred list were last reviewed April 1, 2022.

When viewing Lenders on ELMSelect, PLEASE BE SURE TO: 

  • Click on the VIEW button to see more information about the lender and loan options. 
  • View the DETAILS to see the Lender & Servicer information to understand any vendor affiliation to other lenders on the list and loan program specific disclosures

Private Education Loan Self-Certification

Instructions: Obtain the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form from your lender or print it and complete Sections 2, 3 and 4. Return the completed form to your lender; do not submit it to the Financial Aid Office.

Other Loans

In addition to the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program and private lender alternative education loans, a few other loan programs are available. Please keep in mind that funding allocations are often limited. 

Nursing Loan

The Nursing Loan is a federal loan program for students pursuing a degree in nursing. Consideration is based on completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and admission to the Nursing School. It is a low-interest loan for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. 

Loans of up to $8,237 are made with government funds through Baylor's financial aid office, and Baylor acts as the lender. The interest rate is 5 percent. You are not responsible for paying the interest on the loan during in-school, grace, and deferment periods. The aggregate limit is $17,000. Students must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing (ABSN), or Graduate Nursing programs.  

Students must also be enrolled at least half-time, demonstrate financial need, and be a citizen or national of the United States of America. Loan offers are extended to qualified students as funding is available. Any loan offer will be visible and communicated through BearWeb.  
 

 

College Access Loan (for Texas residents only)

The College Access Loan (CAL) program provides an alternative type of educational loan to Texas students that attend colleges and universities in Texas. Baylor receives an allocation of funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board each year.  

You are not required to demonstrate financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive this loan.  The loan may be used to cover all, or part, of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  However, to determine the amount of CAL you can receive, you must deduct the maximum Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan eligibility (even if you do not wish to pursue a Direct Loan) from your Cost of Attendance (COA) at Baylor. Requested loan amounts will NOT be reduced until loan disclosures are complete. For more information and to apply, click here.  

Baylor Institutional Loan

This student loan program is made possible to undergraduate students by funding through Baylor University.  Very limited funding is available. This is a loan of last resort and is not appropriate for most students. Approval is determined by the Student Financial Aid Office and all decisions are final. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at Baylor University for the loan to remain in a deferment status. If the borrower transfers or begins another program of study at any other institution, no deferment is available. There are no loan cancellation benefits. The maximum repayment period is seven years. 

Other Loan Sources

Occasionally private foundations and organizations make loans to students who live in a specific geographic location or who meet other unique criteria. Your high school counselor is a good resource for information regarding these types of loans. 

 

Terms & Conditions

  • Title IV Loan recipients must have submitted a valid FAFSA and meet all minimum eligibility requirements for recipients of Federal aid programs.
  • Loan amounts vary based on the student's level, dependency status, and classification. 
  • Interest rates change annually. See studentaid.gov for new rate information for federal loans.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for all state and federal programs can be found at baylor.edu/sfs/SAP.  
  • Most loans are available up to Cost of Attendance (COA), less all other aid.  
  • Title IV loan information will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions, for students, or parents of students, who enter into an agreement regarding Title IV loans [HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B] – Access Title IV loan information here:  https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/.
  • Entrance Counseling helps you understand loan terms and conditions. 
  • Exit counseling helps you understand responsibilities when you drop below less than half-time hours, stop attending, or graduate.
  • It is important to understand the terms and conditions of your loan and retain copies of all loan documents.  When you sign your promissory note (MPN), you are agreeing to pay the loan according to the terms of the note, even if you do not complete your educational program.
  • Once all requirements are met, accepted Title IV loans will schedule to disburse, no earlier than ten days before the first day of class.
  • Terms and conditions of Title IV, HEA program loans may be more favorable than provisions of private education loans.
Code of Conduct for Education Loans 

To comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), Baylor has adopted the federally mandated Code of Conduct for Education Loans to address specific legislative concerns relating to educational loan programs. 

Loan Disclosures & Self-Certification for Private Education Loans

Private Education Loan Disclosure Forms & Samples 

Please understand that creditors that extend private education loans will provide disclosures at the point of application and loan approval and confirmation. Loan disclosures will contain important information from Section 128(e) of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1638(e)) about loan terms, features, and must disclose information about federal student loan programs that may offer less costly alternatives. Each vendor provides loan disclosures specific to their loan program. You may access disclosure information for loan programs included on our preferred vendor list at ELM SELECT, click on the VIEW button to see more information, and click on the DETAILS tab to see the lender and servicer information to understand lender affiliations and disclosure information.

LOAN DISCLOSURE SAMPLES:

SELF-CERTIFICATION:

Borrowers will need to complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form for each private loan application.  Borrowers will need to know the Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance for the period of enrollment covered by the loan. 

  • Download the form:  Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification
  • Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance
    • Log-in to BearWeb
    • Go to Financial Aid
    • Go to Award Offer
    • Use the information in “Cost of Attendance” for Section 2, Item A Cost of Attendance on the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form.  (If you are seeking a loan for your entire aid year, use the total dollar amount.  If you are seeking a loan for a semester, add together the information by term.)
    • Add together the following for Section 2, Item B Estimated Financial Assistance on the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form:
      • Grants and Scholarships
      • Work
      • Loans
      • Additional Payment Options
      • (If you are seeking a loan for your entire aid year, use the total dollar amount.  If you are seeking a loan for a semester, add together the information by term.)
HEOA Disclosure Requirements Relating to Education Loans 
  • (L-1) State Grant Assistance 

  • What does the Department of Education share about Loan Borrowing and Responsibilities?
    (L-2) Student Loan Information Published by Dept of Education + US Department of Education

  • How much federal student aid have I received in loans and grants?
    (L-3) National Student Loan Data System 
    Title IV loan information will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions, for students, or parents of students, who enter into an agreement regarding Title IV loans [HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B]

  • How do I learn about the Terms & Conditions of federal loans?
    (L-4) Entrance Counseling for Student Borrowers 
    Prior to the first disbursement, each school must provide to a first-time borrower of a Federal Direct Loan (other than consolidated or Parent PLUS loans) comprehensive information on the terms and conditions of the loan and of the borrower’s responsibilities.

  • What happens when I drop to less than half time hours, stop attending, or graduate?
    (L-5) Exit Counseling for Student Borrowers 
    A school must ensure that exit counseling is conducted with each Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan borrower and graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrower shortly before the student borrower ceases at least half-time study at the school.  You have responsibilities as a borrower when this happens.  Learn more by completing exit counseling.

  • What information helps me understand more about Private Education Loans that are not part of Federal Title IV, HEA Loans?
    (L-6) Private Education Loan Disclosures (Including Self-Certification Form) 
    When considering a Private Education Loan, we cannot stress enough the importance of understanding the terms, conditions, and borrower responsibilities.  Please review the Alternative Loan information that we provide above.

  • What is Baylor’s commitment to service when it comes to educational loans?
    (L-7) Code of Conduct for Education Loans 
    We care and are committed to supporting Baylor students and families by providing the best service, that prohibits conflicts of interest.  Our OneStop Student Services and Student Financial Aid Counseling Teams are available for support.  

  • Where can I start learning more about Private Education Loan Lenders?
    (L-8) Preferred Lender Lists 
    You are not required to select or limited to lenders on this list.  We exercise a duty of care and loyalty to our students when compiling the preferred lender list without prejudice and for the sole benefit of students and families at Baylor University.  We will not deny, impede the borrower’s choice of lender, or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification for those who choose a lender that is not included on the preferred lender list.

  • How do you select Private Education Loan Lenders on the ElmSelect List?
    (L-9) Preferred Lender Arrangements 
    A school or school-affiliated organization (e.g. alumni organizations, foundations) that participates in a preferred lender arrangement must comply with the code of conduct provisions in HEA Section 487(a)(25) (20 U.S.C. 1094(a(25)) and HEA Section 487(h) (20 U.S.C. 1094(h)).  We select lenders on the basis of the best interests of borrowers at Baylor.  Please see the criteria we review under Preferred Lender Arrangement above.  

 

Baylor One Stop New Location
Questions about financial aid, scholarships, billing and payment? Stop by the new One Stop location on the 3rd floor of the SUB or make a virtual office visit appointment today!