Federal Loans

Student eligibility for federal student loan programs is based on the information provided annually by the student applicant on the Federal Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for all education loan programs. International students may borrow from private sources, but not from federal programs.

The Office of Financial Aid strongly encourages all students to carefully review their budget needs and to borrow conservatively.

Required Disclosure Information for Borrowers

In accordance with HEOA 489 Amended HEA Sec. 485B, Suffolk University is required to disclose to all borrowers that any federal loan borrowed by a student or eligible parent will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The information reported to NSLDS will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Borrowers may review their NSLDS history and information at any time at NSLDS.

Federal Direct Loan Program General Information

Suffolk University Law School processes all Federal and Graduate PLUS loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program.  For students enrolled for a standard academic year consisting of a fall and spring semester, loan funds will be awarded to be credited to a student's account in installments equal to 50% of the annual amount, less the origination fee, at the start of each semester.

Students should note that loans must be processed by Student Financial Services during a student's period of enrollment each academic year.  Federal loans cannot be processed or awarded once a student's annual or semester period of enrollment has ended.  Students should be sure to allow for sufficient processing time when requesting a federal loan.

Federal Direct Loan Program Information

Information from the U.S. Department of Education on federal student and PLUS loan programs.

Federal Direct Loan Repayment Estimator

Whether you’re just thinking about taking out a federal student loan or you’ve already received one, it’s important to know just how much you will repay and what your options may be. Use the U.S. Department of Education's Repayment Estimator to quickly calculate estimated monthly payment amounts under several repayment plans using either your actual loan information (which can be access directly from the site) or using the estimated information you enter.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA)

Information on public service loan forgiveness and income-based loan repayment for Federal Direct Student Loan Program borrowers.

Federal Direct Loan Program

The interest rate for 2024-2025 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students is a fixed 8.08%. A government program fee of 1.057% will be deducted from the loan amount at disbursement. The annual maximum award amount is $20,500. The aggregate maximum, including all prior Loan debt, is $138,500 combined for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after graduation, after withdrawal, or after enrollment drops below half-time. The standard repayment term is ten years but may be extended through various repayment plans.

Unsubsidized Federal Loan

The Unsubsidized Federal Form loan accrues interest from the time of initial disbursement while you are enrolled in school and during the grace period. You may opt to pay the interest on a quarterly basis or have the accruing interest capitalized. The annual maximum loan amount is $20,500.

Students are notified of their Federal Direct Loan eligibility as part of their Suffolk University Law School award letter. New students awarded Loans are required to complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

New students are also required to complete loan Entrance Counseling prior to the disbursement of any Loan funds.

For students enrolled for a standard academic year consisting of a fall and spring semester, loan funds will be awarded to be credited to a student's account in installments equal to 50% of the annual amount at the start of each semester.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Students should apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan first by completing the FAFSA, and after receiving their initial annual award letter from Suffolk University Law School, if additional funds are needed, complete a separate application for the credit-based Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. To borrow through the Direct Grad PLUS Loan program, the student must be eligible for federal aid and pass a basic credit check. The credit approval criteria for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan are less stringent than for most private educational loans. To be approved for a Grad PLUS Loan, the student must not have adverse credit. Adverse credit, for the purpose of this loan, is defined by regulation as 90 days or more delinquent on any debt or having a credit report that shows a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt, during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.

Students apply for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans annually and may borrow up to the cost of attendance less other financial aid. The 2024-2025 Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 9.08%. A government program fee of 4.228% will be deducted from the loan at disbursement. Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement of the loan.

Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan; however, students enrolled at least half-time may defer payments while in school. The standard repayment term is 10 years. See the Graduate PLUS and Private Loan Comparison Chart for more detailed information regarding loan terms.

For students enrolled for a standard academic year consisting of a fall and spring semester, loan funds will be awarded to be credited to a student's account in installments equal to 50% of the annual amount at the start of each semester.

Calculate Additional Loan Required

Do you need to determine how much PLUS Loan to borrow to cover your bill? Or, would you like to borrow just enough to take care of some living expenses? Use the PLUS Calculation Form to help you make these calculations.

If you still have questions, please feel free to contact your financial aid counselor in the Office of Student Financial Services, however you will need to make your own consumer choice as to whether the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan or an alternative student loan from a bank is best for you. The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan provides borrower benefits, protections and features such as in-school and unemployment deferments, consolidation, and extended and income-based payment plans.

Alternative student loans may offer the possibility of lower interest rates and fees based on your credit rating. You should do your research, compare [PDF] and make a choice that will best suit your own circumstances.

To Apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Complete the application, e-signing of the MPN, and the loan entrance counseling for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. You will need your FSA ID (formerly FAFSA PIN) to access the site.

  1. Start the application process to be approved for the loan. Please be sure to apply for a loan to cover the full academic year. For most students the loan period would be September to May.  For students enrolled in a summer program, the loan period would be different.  If you are enrolled in the summer semester immediately preceding the fall/spring academic year, please check with Office of Financial Aid, 617-573-8470, for help in determining your loan period.
  2. E-sign the Direct Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), once approved*
  3. Complete loan Entrance Counseling

PLUS Loan Credit Counseling

Students who apply for the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan and are denied due to an adverse credit report may appeal that decision or apply with an endorser at apply with an endorser. If a Federal Graduate Loan applicant’s appeal of an adverse credit decision is granted, the applicant may be required to complete additional PLUS Counseling prior to receiving Graduate PLUS loan funds.  Please note that this credit counseling should not be confused with loan entrance counseling which also must be completed prior to receiving federal loan funds.

Students denied a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan should contact Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7344 to determine the reason for the denial and any further requirements needed. Students should verify what needs to be addressed on their credit report in order to be approved for the loan.

Loan Deferments

Students with prior education loans may choose to defer loan payments while enrolled at Suffolk University Law School. To defer your loans, contact your current lenders to find out how they process deferments. Suffolk transmits enrollment records to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse. Therefore, if your lenders also participate in the Clearinghouse, your loan deferment should occur automatically. However, if the lender does not participate in the Clearinghouse, you will need to submit a paper deferment form to the Office of the Registrar for manual processing. After the semester begins, all paper deferment forms are forwarded to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse for enrollment to be manually certified. You should continue to make loan payments until you are notified by your lender that the deferment has been approved.

For further detailed information on managing your federal student loans, please visit the U.S. Department of Education.