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Financial Aid


In order to be considered for Federal student and parent loans, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the specified deadlines


Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Direct Stafford program allows eligible students to borrow funds directly from the Federal Government with no credit check involved.  Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits for undergraduates; 4.5 credits for graduates) each semester to be eligible.  Direct Stafford Loans can be awarded as subsidized, unsubsidized, or both based on financial need and level of study.

Subsidized Direct Loans are awarded to undergraduate students based on financial need.  Interest on the loan is subsidized by the Federal Government during the student’s enrollment and grace period. 

Unsubsidized Direct Loans are non need-based loans awarded to graduate and undergraduate students.  Accrued interest is the responsibility of the student during enrollment and grace period.

First-time Direct Stafford Loan borrowers are required to complete an Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note (MPN), before loan funds can be disbursed.  Both can be completed online at

Students generally begin repaying principal loan funds six months after graduating, withdrawing, or ceasing halftime enrollment.  While most borrowers repay their loans within the standard ten-year repayment period, various repayment options exist.

Annual Federal Direct Stafford Loan Limits




- Freshman (0 - 28.5 credits)   



-Sophomore (29 - 55.5 credits) 



-Junior and Senior (56+ credits)






*For undergraduate Direct Loans, the subsidized portion (based on need) cannot exceed: $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores, or $5,500 for juniors and seniors.

**Dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS Loan are eligible for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans at the independent student level.

Aggregate Federal Direct Stafford Loan Limits




- Subsidized   



- Subsidized/Unsubsidized Combo 



Graduate/Undergraduate Combo



*Dependent students who were awarded additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans due to parent’s ineligibility for PLUS Loans are limited to independent student aggregate levels.

**This includes graduate-level subsidized loans which were discontinued as of July 1, 2012.

Once a student has reached annual or aggregate Direct Stafford Loan limits, s/he must explore alternative funding options.


Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Parent and Graduate)

Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) to help pay for the student’s educational expenses.  Graduate/professional students can also borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan to supplement their financial resources.  While Direct Stafford Loans have annual and aggregate limits, creditworthy borrowers may borrow a PLUS for up to the student’s cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance.  As with Direct Stafford Loan borrowers, the student must be enrolled at least halftime in order for the borrower to receive PLUS Loan.  Additionally, the student must file the FAFSA.

Prospective PLUS borrowers must complete the online PLUS Application at .***   If the applicant is not approved for a PLUS due to adverse credit, s/he can obtain a creditworthy endorser (excluding the student for parent borrowers) to receive the loan.  If approved, the borrower must complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), also at .

Parent PLUS Borrowers

  • If an endorser is needed, the student cannot be the endorser.
  • If you are approved with an endorser, you must complete PLUS Credit Counseling.
  • If you are denied PLUS and choose not to apply with an endorser, the Office of Financial Aid will offer the student an additional Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan ($4,000 for freshmen and sophomores; $5,000 for juniors and seniors).
  • On the PLUS application, you will be given the option of delivering any credit balance (refund) to yourself or to the student after the funds are disbursed.  Kean University’s policy is to refund any credit balance from a PLUS Loan to the parent, even if s/he selected “student” on the application.
  • The student must meet satisfactory academic progress standards and other Federal Student Aid requirements, in order for Kean to certify a Parent PLUS application.

Graduate PLUS Borrowers

  • Independent students enrolled in an eligible certification program are ineligible for a Graduate PLUS Loan, which is made available to students enrolled in a program leading to a Masters or Doctorate degree.
  • When logging in to sign your MPN, select "PLUS MPN for Graduate/Professional Students", which is separate from the MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans.


Interest Rates for Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans First Disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019

Loan Type

Borrower Type

Interest Rate

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford   



Direct Unsubsidized Stafford   



Direct PLUS

Graduate/Professional or Parent of Undergraduate



Interest Rates for Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans First Disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018

Loan Type

Borrower Type

Interest Rate

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford   



Direct Unsubsidized Stafford   



Direct PLUS

Graduate/Professional or Parent  of Undergraduate


The above interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan.  For rates of Direct Loans first disbursed before July 1, 2017, click here.


Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is a need-based loan administered by Kean University.  Depending on availability of funding, loan amounts range from $600 - $1,200 per academic year.  Priority is given to students who file their FAFSA before the April 17 deadline. The Perkins Loan has an interest rate of 5 percent.  Repayment of principal and interest begins nine months after graduating, withdrawing, or ceasing halftime enrollment.

Note: authorization for the Perkins Loan Program was extented by Congressional action through September 30, 2017.  After this date, no new Perkins Loans will be awarded to students.


Private or Alternative Loans

Alternative and private loans are funds offered through a lending institution and are not a part of the above-listed Federal loan programs.  Alternative loan interest rates vary between lenders, and eligibility is based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and/or co-signer.   You can view and compare some private loan products at the ELM Select Website; you also have the right to select the education loan provider of your choice.  Contact the lender directly with any questions related to a loan program's specific terms and conditions. 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 amended the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act to include new disclosure requirements and to prohibit certain practices for creditors making private education loans.

What does this mean for you as a student?

  • Lenders will be required to send you standardized disclosures. 
  • You will be required to complete a "self-certification" with the lender.  (See below.)
  • You will be given a 30-day approval window to accept the loans offered.
  • You will have the right rescind the loan within three days.

Self-Certification Form - Students will be asked to provide the cost of attendance based on the number of registered credits, and the financial assistance they are eligible for when applying for a private loan.*** You can view your cost of attendance on the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, and your estimated financial assistance can be found under your financial aid forms.  Both of these documents can be found on KeanWISE after you log into your account.  An example of how to complete the self-certification is listed below:

(A) Student's cost of attendance for the period of enrollment covered by loan


(B) Estimated financial assistance


Difference between amounts A and B


The completed Self-Certification Form must be received by the lender before the loan can presented to the Office of Financial Aid for official certification. 

*** Loan Periods

If you are applying for a PLUS or Private Loan, the applicant must specify the loan period (or enrollment period) for which the funds are needed.  For example: the 2017-2018 school year (Fall+Spring) would be 09/2017-05/2018, Spring-only is 01/2018-05/2018, and the Summer Session is 05/2018-08/2018.  PLUS borrowers must also select the award year on their application: 2017-2018 for Fall 2017, Spring 2018 or Summer 2018; 2018-2019 for Fall 2018, Spring 2019 or Summer 2019.

Borrowers must apply for Summer Session loans separately from the academic year (Fall/Spring).  Similarly, loans for Winter Session (private loans only) must be separate from the Fall and Spring semesters.


Financial Aid Disbursements
Click here for aid disbursement and adjustment information at Kean University.

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