Financial Aid

Loans

Loans

Unlike grants, a loan must be repaid. Students must repay loans even if they do not complete their programs. Students are legally obligated to repay loans, so we encourage you to 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 FAFSA application, admission into a degree-seeking program and at least half-time enrollment.

Western’s Financial Aid office will always advise responsible borrowing and help students see what all their options look like.

Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan program is a federally-sponsored loan program, which offers two types of student loans.

1. Direct Subsidized

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based and interest does not accrue while you are in school at least half-time.

2. Direct Unsubsidized

  • Interest accrues on an unsubsidized loan starting with the initial disbursement. You can pay the interest while you are in school, during grace periods and deferment/forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan) upon entering repayment. Although you must file the FAFSA to be eligible, you are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Repayment of federal direct loans begins six months after you graduate, drop below half time, or withdraw.

Parent PLUS Loan for Undergraduate Students

The Parent PLUS Loan for Undergraduate Students allows parents to borrow up to the total cost of education, minus any other aid received. All credit worthy parents of dependent students are eligible to apply for the loan. A step-parent is eligible to apply for a PLUS loan only if their information was provided on the FAFSA. Grandparents and other relatives are not eligible to apply for this loan. Repayment of the Parent PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the final disbursement with an interest rate of 6.84 percent. The PLUS Loan is based on credit, not financial need however, a FAFSA is required.

Private Alternative Student Loans

Private student loans or alternative loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal loans or who need assistance beyond their federal financial aid eligibility. These loans are made through banks and private lenders and are subject to their terms.
Alternative student loans should only be considered after first applying for federal student aid. More information and a list of private loans.

Direct Unsubsidized

Interest accrues on an unsubsidized loan starting with the initial disbursement. You can pay the interest while you are in school, during grace periods and deferment/forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan) upon entering repayment. Although you must file the FAFSA to be eligible, you are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Graduate PLUS Loan

In addition to the unsubsidized loan, graduate students can apply for The Graduate PLUS Loan. The graduate PLUS loan requires students submit the FAFSA. Eligibility for unsubsidized loans are to be determined first before graduate loans are awarded. The loan is credit based and repayment begins 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed.

Private Alternative Student Loans

Private student loans or alternative loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal loans or who need assistance beyond their federal financial aid eligibility. These loans are made through banks and private lenders and are subject to their terms.

Alternative student loans should only be considered after first applying for federal student aid. More information and a list of private loans.