Student in a chemistry lab

Types of Student Loans

We offer three kinds of federal loans at Whitman: the Perkins Loan, the Direct Loan, and the Parent PLUS Loan. Direct Subsidized Loan and/or Perkins Loan may be offered to students who demonstrate need based on their FAFSA results. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan may be offered to students who do not demonstrate need. 

Interest rates for the 2017-18 school year are as follows:

  • Direct Subsidized - 4.45%
  • Direct Unsubsidized - 4.45%
  • Perkins - 5%
  • Parent PLUS Loan - 7.00%

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

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

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 Direct 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 Direct 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.