Types of Student Loans

We offer three kinds of student loans at Whitman: the Federal Perkins Loan, the Federal Stafford Loan, and a number of alternative loan programs. Subsidized Stafford Loan and/or Perkins Loan may be offered to students who demonstrate need based off of their FAFSA results. The Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan may be offered to students who do not demonstrate need. 

Interest rates for the 2013-14 school year are as follows:

  •     Subsidized Stafford - 3.86%
  •     Unsubsidized Stafford - 3.86%
  •     Perkins- 5%

For students who have need for loan beyond their eligibility for Federal Stafford or Perkins Loan, several lenders offer alternative student loans. These loans are not part of the federal loan program, so no subsidies are offered. 

If you are in need of additional loan, stop by the Office of Financial Aid Services and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Parent Loans

If your parents are interested in taking out a loan to help with your costs, they may be eligible to take out a Parent PLUS Loan.  PLUS Loans taken during the 2013-14 school year will have a 6.41% interest rate for the life of the loan.  These loans have a 4.204% origination fee which is deducted from the loan amount requested.

Amount to Borrow

There are really two concerns here: how much you may borrow and how much you should borrow. Through combinations of loans you and your parents together could conceivably borrow as much as the total cost of your education, less any other financial aid you are receiving. However, we encourage students to borrow the least amount of loans possible.

The loan programs have the following limits: Federal Perkins Loan is $5,500 per year; the maximum eligibility for the Federal Stafford Loan for freshman is $5,500, for sophomores $6,500, and for juniors and seniors $7,500; and the maximum amounts of total loan for undergraduate study are $31,000 in Stafford Loan and $27,500 in Perkins Loan. 


Students typically submit loan applications immediately upon receiving their financial aid award, in order to have the proceeds credited to their account at the time of fall registration. Sometimes students postpone applying for a loan until they have a better idea of how much they will need to borrow. Students are able to apply for a loan up to the end of the semester for which you need the loan. However, the amount of our Federal Perkins Loan funds is limited, so you should apply for the loan as soon as you know how much you need to borrow. 


You may defer repayment of your student loans in each of Whitman's student loan programs from six to nine months after you leave higher education. You may leave college and then return to college sometime later and have your repayment deferred again. Each loan program has a minimum monthly or quarterly repayment amount, and each loan program has the possibility of stretching out the repayment for up to ten years. Additional information concerning loan repayment may be found by clicking on Stafford or Perkins loans. 

The US Dept. of Education offers a brochure for graduating seniors with loans called the Exit Counseling Guide.

Emergency Funds

The college has a short-term loan program for students who have a legitimate need for the money, and can repay the loan in 30 days. There is no interest on the loan, but you must repay within the month. If you fail to do so, you are ineligible for any further short-term loans. Each student may have up to three short-term loans during the year unless a crisis occurs after you have already received the maximum number of loans.  To request an emergency loan, you will need to see Debra Wright, Accounts Coordinator in the Business Office, in Memorial.