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Financial Aid


Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

Eligibility for Stafford Loans is determined in part by completing the FAFSA application.  This loan program allows eligible students to borrow funds directly from the federal government with no credit check involved.  Students begin repaying loan funds either six months after graduating, dropping below half time status, or ceasing enrollment. Various repayment options exist, however most borrowers are allotted ten years to pay off their loan debt.  Subsidized Direct Loans are based on need and the interest on the loan is subsidized by the federal government while the student is enrolled.  Unsubsidized Direct Loans are not need-based and therefore the interest is the responsibility of the student. Students must be enrolled at least half-time per semester (6 or more credits for undergraduates) to be eligible to receive a Direct Stafford Loan. A student may receive a combination of both loans but the following loan limits by grade level cannot be exceeded. Please visit for more information.

First time loan borrowers of Direct Stafford Loans are required to complete an Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to the disbursement of loan funds at

Annual Maximum Federal Direct Loan Limits
Undergraduate Direct Loans

  Dependent Independent
Freshman (0 - 28.5 credits)    $5,500 $9,500
Sophomore (29 - 55.5 credits)  $6,500     $10,500 
Junior and Senior (56 - 124 credits) $7,500 $12,500*

The undergraduate dependent student loan aggregate is $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized), and the aggregate loan limit for an undergraduate independent student is $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized).  Once a student has reached the aggregate loan limit alternative funding sources will need to be secured.  

Graduate Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Graduate students matriculated in a program leading to a Master’s or Doctorate degree are eligible to borrow up to $20,500 annually in the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program based on their calculated cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. Graduate students must be enrolled on a half- time basis (4.5 or more credits for graduate) to qualify and must have a FAFSA application on file. The aggregate loan limit for graduate students is $138,500. This limit includes federal loans received for undergraduate study.

Graduate PLUS Loan
Graduate students matriculated in a program leading to a Master’s or Doctorate degree are eligible to apply for the federal Graduate PLUS loan. The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit based, fixed interest rate student loan funded through the federal government. Students may borrow up to the cost of their education minus any other financial aid and must be enrolled at least half-time (4.5 or more credits for graduate.). Students must be credit worthy to be eligible and the FAFSA application is required.

Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan is administered by the 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 begins nine months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment status. This is a need-based loan. 

Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) provides government-insured, long-term, low-interest rate loans to eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students who need additional financial assistance to meet the cost of attendance. Parents may borrow up to the total cost of their dependent student's education minus any other aid for which the student is eligible. Eligibility for the PLUS loan will be based on the outcome of a credit check. The dependent student must be enrolled at least half time per semester (6 or more credits for undergraduates) to be eligible to receive the PLUS loan. If a parent is denied the PLUS loan based on credit, the parent can appeal the decision by securing a credit worthy co-signer or endorser. Parents interested in applying for the federal PLUS loan can apply directly online at  Please note that a FAFSA application must be on file.

Loan Maximum: The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive. If your cost of attendance is $18,000 for example, and you receive $5,500 in other financial aid, your parents can borrow up to $12,500.

Parent PLUS Loans and Refund Checks:
Parents applying for the PLUS loan please note that when completing the online application you will be presented with the option to have any credit balance sent to the student, however Kean University has an institutional policy that prohibits excess funds, as a result of the PLUS loan, from being sent to the student. Any PLUS loan anticipated refund will be sent to the parent regardless of the option selected on the PLUS application. Feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid with any questions.

Private or Alternative Loans
Alternative and private loans are funds offered through a lending institution and are not a part of the federal educational loan programs. Alternative loan interest rates may be slightly higher than the rates offered for federal student and parent loans. Eligibility is based on the credit worthiness of the borrower or co-signer. Please contact the lender directly with any questions related to a loan program's specific terms and conditions. You have the right to select the education loan provider of your choice, however you can view and compare some private loan products at the ELM Select Website.

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
  • You will be given a 30-day approval window to accept the loans offered
  • You will have a 3-day right to rescind the loan

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 Self-Certification Form is a requirement and must be received by the lender before the loan can presented to the Office of Financial Aid for official certification. 

Financial Aid Disbursement
The process of disbursing financial aid to student accounts begins after the drop/add date published each semester. Before aid is disbursed, the Office of Financial Aid is required to adjust awards and the cost of attendance if the student dropped or added credits during the registration period. Additionally, awards may be adjusted if there were changes to the students’ on-campus housing status and after the third week’s attendance has been submitted by all instructors. Upon final review of attendance by the Office of Financial Aid, awards will be disbursed.

Awards for students selected for “verification” that are incomplete or missing documents will not be disbursed until all documents have been received, reviewed and completed. Verification is processed on a rolling basis and according to the date all documents are received by the Office of Financial Aid.

Students accepting Direct Stafford Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loans are required to complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) if they are first time borrowers. Loan funds will not be disbursed until all federal requirements are met. The Entrance Counseling and MPN can be completed electronically at

Students attending the full academic year
All financial aid funds are disbursed in two payments to the student's account. If the student is attending both Fall and Spring semesters their funds will be disbursed accordingly within each term. 

Students attending only one semester
For students attending only one semester, only one disbursement is necessary and it will occur after the start of the semester.

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