Loan programs

After grants and scholarships are applied to your account, the balance of your cost of attendance can be paid using loans. Unlike other types of financial aid, loans must be repaid.

You don't have to accept all the loans that are offered to you. If you are awarded a subsidized loan, you should accept it before any unsubsidized loan because the interest is paid on your behalf while you are enrolled at least half-time (six credits for undergraduate students, five credits for graduate students).

Please note that PLUS loans, GradPLUS loans, and private education loans appear as "estimates" in MyAkron. You cannot "accept" these types of loans through MyAkron because you need to apply for them separately. Application processes for these types of loans are outlined below.

You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

The main difference between the two loan programs:

  • Interest on subsidized loans is paid by the U.S. Department of Education while you are in school at least half-time and during any grace or deferment periods. Half-time enrollment is six credits for undergraduate students and five credits for graduate students.
  • The borrower is responsible for the interest on unsubsidized loans. 

More information about these loans can be found at StudentAid.ed.gov, including:

To receive Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan(s) offered to you as part of your financial aid award:

  1. Accept the loan(s) in MyAkron
  2. Complete additional requirements - Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note - at studentloans.gov 

CHECK IT OUT: Step-by-Step instructions 

Student advisory regarding Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to a time limit.

The Nursing Student Loan programs provide long-term, low-interest rate loans to undergraduate students who have been admitted into the nursing program and have filed their FAFSA by December 1.

  • If your financial aid award includes a Nursing Loan, it will be automatically "accepted" in MyAkron on your behalf but the funds cannot be applied to your student account until these documents are completed and returned to the Office of Student Accounts (not Student Financial Aid):
    • Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
    • Personal and Confidential Information Sheet
    • Master Promissory Note
    • Truth in Lending Statement
  • Documents are available here.
  • If you are not interested in using the Nursing Loan that has been offered to you, please decline it via MyAkron. (Check the box in the "Decline" column, click "Submit," and click "Yes" to continue. If the process has been completed successfully, a "Submit Confirmation" page will appear.

Students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for this loan program. Only parents of dependent students can apply for a PLUS loan. The applicant is the student's parent, who is responsible to begin repayment almost immediately upon disbursement. 

  • Review maximum PLUS loan eligibility by viewing the estimate on your award letter or in the Student Center of MyAkron.
  • Parents of dependent students may apply for the PLUS loan at studentloans.gov. The parent applying for the loan must sign into studentloans.gov with the FSA ID (username and password) they used to sign the FAFSA. The student cannot be signed into studentloans.gov to have the parent apply for this type of loan. This is a very common error and will delay our ability to process the PLUS loan request.
  • Parents of dependent students may apply for the PLUS loan at studentloans.gov. The parent applying for the loan must sign into studentloans.gov with the FSA ID (username and password) they used to sign the FAFSA. The student cannot be signed into studentloans.gov to have the parent apply for this type of loan. This is a very common error and will delay our ability to process the PLUS loan request.

    CHECK IT OUT: Step-by-Step instructions 

  • Once approved, the parent must complete the Master Promissory Note at studentloans.gov.

If the parent is denied a PLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, he or she will have the option to do any of the following in order to attempt to be approved:  complete PLUS counseling, obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history, or document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information. This information is available at studentloans.gov. If these are not viable options for the parent, the student may be eligible to receive additional unsubsidized loan funds. Please contact our office for more information.

Private Loans are generally in the name of the student; however a parent or sponsor can also be a borrower. The FAFSA is not required for these loans. Often the student is the borrower, and may need to have a creditworthy co-borrower. Interest rates, repayment plans and deferment options vary widely among lenders. Be sure to "shop" for the option that is right for your situation since these are loans that are designed to bridge the funding gap when savings, scholarships, grants, federal loans, and other resources are not sufficient.

Please be sure to exhaust the federal loan programs (subsidized/unsubsidized/PLUS) available to you before considering a private loan. Private loans are not part of any federal student loan program. 

  • To research, apply, and borrow a private loan, compare lenders at FASTChoice. You will find online applications in FASTChoice too.

As a borrower you have the right to choose any lender, credit union, or student loan processor you choose. If you would like to use a lender not available through FASTChoice, contact us.

The Graduate PLUS loan, or GradPLUS loan, is a low, fixed interest rate student loan guaranteed by the U.S. government. Students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for this loan program. The Grad PLUS loan is a non-need credit-based loan similar to a private student loan with the benefit of having a fixed interest rate and federal guarantee. The GradPLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow the total cost for their graduate school needs, including tuition, room and board, books & supplies, and travel, less any other aid. GradPLUS payments can be deferred while you are in school.

If the student is denied a GradPLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, he or she will have the option to do any of the following in order to attempt to be approved:  complete PLUS counseling, obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history, or document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information. This information is available at studentloans.gov.

A full load of coursework at the graduate level is nine to fifteen semester credits. Doctoral students who are in their final semester of study can receive loans if they have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation. For international students participating in curricular practical training (CPT) and/or academic training (AT) opportunities of 30 or more hours per week with approval from the international center, one or more graduate hours constitute full-time enrollment. Students are required to complete the Request to be Considered Full-time with Less than Nine Credit Hours Form.

  • University of Akron students and parents should be aware that if they enter into an agreement regarding a Title IV, HEA loan that information will be disclosed to NSLDS and will be accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and other post-secondary educational institutions.
  • Student Loan Code of Conduct

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