Most graduate and professional students rely on student loans to finance a portion of their educational expenses. If funding is needed, students should first consider borrowing the maximum in the federal unsubsidized loan since it has a lower interest rate than the GRAD PLUS Loan.
Federal unsubsidized loans
- Interest rate: 4.30% effective July 1, 2020
- Eligibility based on FAFSA
- Interest accrues while the student is in school, during grace periods and during deferment. Maximum loan amounts determined by grade level (see eligibility chart below).
- Aggregate limit for subsidized/unsubsidized loans for MBS students: $138,500
- Aggregate limit for subsidized/unsubsidized loans for MD students: $224,000
- Not based on financial need
Maximum loan eligibility
Graduate student $20,500 (MBS program)
MD1 student $41,611 (9.5-month academic year)
MD2 student $40,500 (9-month academic year)
MD3 student $47,167 (12-month academic year)
MD4 student $42,722 (10-month academic year)
Applying for unsubsidized loans
- Complete the FAFSA and use Geisinger Commonwealth’s federal school code: G41672.
- Complete Entrance Loan Counseling
- Complete the Master Promissory Note (Manage my Direct Loan page).
- Complete a new FAFSA each year in order for your Federal Unsubsidized Loans to be processed.
Federal GRAD PLUS loans
- Interest rate: 5.30% effective July 1, 2020
- Approval is based on the credit history of the borrower; adverse credit history will affect eligibility. Check your credit history at annualcreditreport.com.
- Students with adverse credit histories may still be eligible if they obtain an endorser.
- Can be borrowed in addition to unsubsidized loan limits.
- Students may request loans in amounts up to the cost of attendance.
Applying for the Federal PLUS loan
- Apply online.
- Click Manage My Direct Loan.
- Sign in using your federal FSA ID NUMBER.
- Click on Complete a PLUS Request Process.
- Select Grad PLUS.
- Complete the Grad PLUS application:
- Log in (green button with FSA ID NUMBER).
- Select Apply for a PLUS Loan.
- Select GRAD PLUS Loan.
- Complete the application to see if you are approved to borrow. If yes, proceed to next step.
- Complete the GRAD PLUS Master Promissory Note and follow the steps to Complete a GRAD PLUS Master Promissory Note.
- The school will be notified electronically notified once you have completed the loan requirements for both the unsubsidized and/or GRAD PLUS loan.
Loan funds will be disbursed to Geisinger Commonwealth at the beginning of each semester. One half of the approved amount, less fees, will be sent to the college in the fall and one half of the approved amount will be sent in the spring. For students who have borrowed on federal loans for living expenses, you can expect to see the credit on your account by the second week of the semester.
The bursar’s office offers direct deposit for students who are interested.
Loan origination fees
This is a mandatory fee charged by the U.S. Department of Education for all federal direct loan borrowers. The loan origination fee is a percentage of the amount of each loan you receive, and is subtracted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. We strongly urge students to keep these fees in mind when calculating and accepting your financial aid award packages. The amount that is reflected on your award letter does not have the origination fees taken out and thus represents the amount that you have borrowed and not the credit that will be applied to your school account.
The following required loan origination fees are taken out of the amount of your loan after you accept your financial aid award package:
- For Direct Stafford unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020, a loan fee of 1.059% applies.
- For Direct Stafford unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2021, a loan fee of 1.057% applies.
- For Direct GRAD PLUS loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020, a loan fee of 4.236% applies.
- For Direct GRAD PLUS loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2021, a loan fee of 4.228% applies.