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Undergraduate Aid
(413) 545-0801
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(413) 545-0801

Undergraduate Loans

A loan is a form of financial aid that you must repay with interest, usually after you graduate or leave school. To receive federal student loans, you need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal student loans come in different categories. UMass Amherst offers two kinds of loans from the federal government - Federal Perkins Loans and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans.

Federal student loans may also be subsidized or unsubsidized. With subsidized loans, the federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled in college and you must demonstrate financial need to receive these. With unsubsidized loans, you pay all of the interest, but payments may be deferred until you finish your degree.

Promissory Note

To receive a federal loan, you will need to sign a Promissory Note and complete an entrance interview form. For loans administered by UMass Amherst, the financial aid office will contact you with procedures for signing the notes. For private/alternative loans, your lender will provide the promissory notes.

Loan Deferments

If you had stopped out of your undergraduate education and had begun repaying loans, you may be eligible for a loan deferment when you return to school. Contact your loan servicing center to find out more.

Federal Loan Limits

There are limits on the amount that students may borrow under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program for one academic year. Dependent undergraduates in their freshman year may borrow up to $5,500 (no more than $3,500 may be subsidized), sophomores up to $6,500 (no more than $4,500 may be subsidized) and juniors and seniors up to $7,500 (no more than $5,500 may be subsidized). The cumulative limit for an undergraduate education is $31,000. (The subsidized portion may not exceed $23,000). If you are an independent student or a dependent student whose parent has been denied the PLUS loan you may borrow additional unsubsidized loan up to $4,000 the first two years and $5,000 the remaining years. The cumulative limit for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduate students whose parent has been denied a PLUS loan is $57,500. (The subsidized portion may not to exceed $23,000).

Under the Federal Perkins Loan program, students may borrow up to $5,500 a year. The total amount borrowed for freshman and sophomore years cannot exceed $8,000. The cumulative undergraduate limit is $20,000.

Dependent students whose parents have been turned down for a Parent PLUS loan become eligible to borrow additional unsubsidized loans at the independent level for each year the Parent PLUS is denied.