Federal Direct Loan

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program provides low-interest loans for graduate students to help pay for their educational expenses.

  • Non need-based
  • FAFSA required
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time
  • 5.31% fixed interest rate
  • 1.069% origination fee for loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2016 but before October 1, 2017
  • Unsubsidized
  • 6-month grace period before repayment
  • Must complete Entrance Counseling & a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Graduate Federal Direct Loan Limits

  • $20,500 annual borrowing limit
  • $138,500 maximum aggregate borrowing limit

When considering borrowing a federal student loan, you should also understand repayment options.


Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan provides an additional borrowing option for law students.

  • Non need-based
  • FAFSA required
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time
  • 6.31% fixed interest rate
  • 4.276% origination fee for loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2016 but before October 1, 2017
  • Unsubsidized
  • Requires an application and credit check

Law students may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan on July 1 at StudentLoans.gov. After completing the Graduate PLUS application, students must also complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling.

NOTE: You will receive the results of your credit check immediately after your application is submitted. If you are denied a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan due to credit issues, you have the following options:

  • You may be approved with an endorser (co-signer)
  • You may appeal the credit decision directly with the Direct Loan Department at StudentLoans.gov or by calling 1-800-557-7394.

When considering borrowing a federal student loan, you should also understand repayment options.


Federal Perkins Loan

SPECIAL NOTE: Federal Perkins Loan program expired on September 30, 2015. However, in December 2015 the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015 was then signed, extending the program for another two years. As part of this legislation, no new Federal Perkins Loan will be offered beyond September 30, 2017.

According to the act, a school may continue to award Perkins Loans through September 30, 2016. For graduate students Perkins awards can be made to an eligible student who has received a Perkins Loan before October 2015.  Also, if the graduate student received his or her most recent Perkins Loan from the school, for enrollment in an academic program at the school.  And, if the new Perkins Loan will enable the graduate student to continue or complete the academic program for which the student received his or her most recent Perkins Loan.

The Federal Perkins Loan programs provides low-interest loans for students to help pay for their educational expenses.

Loan Limit

  • Eligible graduates may be awarded up to $8,000 annually; not to exceed $60,000 cumulative.

NOTE: Santa Clara University is the lender for the Federal Perkins Loan and Heartland ECSI our loan servicer.


Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study allows graduate students to earn money to help cover non-billable educational expenses by working at Santa Clara University or at authorized nonprofit organizations.

  • Need-based
  • FAFSA required

Private Educational Loans

Private Educational Loans allow graduate students who have exhausted or who are ineligible for federal aid an alternate means of borrowing to help pay for their educational expenses.

Private loan providers have their own application and repayment terms, you should review all terms and disclosures before applying for one of these credit-based loan alternatives.

As you are considering financial aid programs, you may want to learn how to apply for financial aid, how we determine financial aid, the costs and other consumer information.