There are several types of loans available to Bluffton students, both federal loans and private student loans.

Students may qualify for one or more of the loans discussed below unless the student is in default on a previous student loan or has borrowed the maximum amount allowed. Undergraduate students must have a minimum of six credit hours per semester to be eligible for loans. Students must also complete the FAFSA to determine what type of loans and the amount they may be eligible to receive.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs

All first-time direct loan borrowers at Bluffton must complete both Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at before loans can be disbursed to their account.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

  • Need based loan
  • No interest while a student is registered for at least six credit hours
  • Fixed interest rate of 4.53% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2019
  • Repayment on the principal begins six months after completing program of study or dropping below six credit hours
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
    • while you are in school at least half-time
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
  • If you received a Direct Subsidized Loan that was first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period.  If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.
  • More information about federal direct loans, including income-based repayment options 

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans           

  • Non-need based loan
  • Interest begins as soon as the loan is disbursed
  • Students may choose to make interest only payments while in school or choose to have the interest capitalized
  • Fixed interest rate of 4.53% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2019
  • Repayment on the principal begins six months after completing program of study or dropping below six credit hours

  • More information about federal direct loans, including income-based repayment options   

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

  • Parents of dependent students can take out loans to supplement their dependent student's  aid packages.  The Federal Parent PLUS loan lets parents borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student's financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance.  There is no cumulative limit.
  • Parent PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student.  The parent must pass a credit check to qualify for a PLUS loan.
  •  If a Parent Plus loan or an estimated Parent PLUS loan is included on the award letter, there are additional steps that need to be taken in order to secure that loan.  One parent must complete both the application and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at .
  • A new application must be submitted for each academic year.  The parent may apply anytime after May 1.
  • Repayment on the principal and interest begins within 60 days after the second disbursement, with a 10 year repayment period. Deferment of repayment is an option.
  • Fixed interest rate of 7.08% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2019 

Origination fees

The table below reflects the origination fee percentages based on the first disbursement date for Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Direct PLUS Loan awards.

For any loan disbursement for a loan where the first disbursement is/will be... The origination fee percentage for Direct Subsidied Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans is ... The origination fee percentage for Direct PLUS Loans is ...
On or after Oct. 1, 2018, and before Oct. 1, 2019 1.062 4.248
On or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020 1.059 4.236


PRIVATE education loan options for students and parents

  • Private student education loans provide students an option for funding their education. To be considered for approval, the student must have a creditworthy cosigner.

  • Private parent loans are private education loans that parents, family members, or other creditworthy individuals may borrow to assist undergraduate and graduate students who are attending school full time, half time or less than half time.  The student cannot be the borrower or the cosigner.

    To apply for a private education loan, please click on FASTChoice for lender information and selection.