The College of Idaho participates in the US Government's Title IV loan programs and is proud to help connect students with these federal loans. Federal loans can offer lower interest rates, flexible repayment options, and loan forgiveness. Not every benefit applies to every student, but federal loans offer some of the broadest options in the simplest packages.
Federal Direct Loan Program
The College offers direct loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. In the Direct Loan Program, the US Department of Education is your lender. In other programs, like the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the College is your lender. We do not award this type of aid, including the Perkins Loan, so direct loans are the only federal loan options for our students. Direct loans are sometimes called Stafford Loans, so if you're looking for information about Stafford Loans you've come to the right place.
You must be an admitted student and enrolled at least half-time to participate in the Federal Direct Loan Program. There are three types of loans available, and one or all of the loans may be part of your award package. You must file a FAFSA before being eligible for any federal loans or grants. For more information, you can read up on how to apply for grants and loans.
The Direct Subsidized Loan is for a student with demonstrated financial needs. The loan is considered "subsidized" because the Department of Education pays the interest on your loans as long as you're at least a half-time student, for the first six months after graduation and during deferment periods. You are still responsible for most of the interest on your loans, but these advantageous terms are designed to help those students who need it most.
You can find complete details about subsidized loans, including interest rates, maximum loan amounts, fee amounts, and repayment information on the Federal Student Aid website.
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is for all students and does not require you to demonstrate financial need. You pay all interest on your loans as soon as they are disbursed. You can choose to defer interest payments until after graduation, after a six-month grace period, or during select periods of deferment or forbearance. Your interest still accrues, though, and is compounded into your loan balance. To keep payments in check and ensure strong credit history we highly recommend making what interest and principal payments you can during your time in college. If you can't make payments during school that's okay, but you'll need to plan ahead and start making them as soon as possible after graduation.
You can find complete details about unsubsidized loans, including interest rates, maximum loan amounts, fee amounts, and repayment information on the Federal Student Aid website.
The Direct PLUS Loan is for parents of dependent undergraduate students and is used to make up the difference between financial aid awarded through other programs and the cost of attendance. This differs from subsidized and unsubsidized loans, which have different maximum loan amounts independent of the cost of attendance. PLUS loans require payment as soon as the loan is fully disbursed. Payments can be deferred while a child is enrolled in school at least half-time, but interest will still accrue on the loan during any period of non-payment.
You can find complete details about PLUS loans, including interest rates, maximum loan amounts, fee amounts, and repayment information on the Federal Student Aid website.