Before You Borrow

Before making any borrowing decisions, you should:

  • File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Tap your other resources.
  • Borrow Federal Direct Loans first
  • Pursue Federal Graduate PLUS loans next (if you are a graduate student).
  • Ask for help from your parents.
  • Shop around before borrowing an alternative (private) loan.

Federal Loan Eligibility

To be considered eligible for a Federal loan, you must:

  • Be matriculated and making academic progress in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or diploma at Syracuse University.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Be enrolled for six or more credit hours per term
  • Not be in default on any previous federal student loan or grant program.

Loan Disbursements

Loans are sent in two disbursements, half in the fall and half in the spring. If the loan is being borrowed for only one semester, the funds are disbursed in full at the beginning of the semester. Graduate students enrolled in online programs will receive their loan disbursements at the beginning of their enrollment period.

Many students receive a refund from their loan funds for living expenses. You may request a refund on MySlice under Student Services or by contacting the Bursar’s office.

Come to campus prepared to buy books and have money for personal expenses because refunds may not be immediately available when you arrive on campus.

Application Deadlines

You must reapply for your loans by completing the FAFSA each academic year. You may apply for a federal loan at any point throughout the term for which you want the loan, but you cannot borrow a federal loan for a term that has ended.

  • What is the interest rate?
  • Is it fixed or variable, and how is it determined?
  • How often is the interest rate adjusted?
  • How much are the origination fees and how are they charged?
  • Will I have to pay interest while enrolled in school?
  • When does the interest start to accrue, and will it be capitalized?
  • What are the minimum and maximum loan limits?
  • Under what circumstances would a co-signer be required?
  • When does repayment start?
  • Is there a grace period before repayment begins?
  • Can I defer repayment of the loan if I go to graduate school?
  • What is the monthly minimum payment?
  • What is the maximum repayment period?
  • Am I allowed to pay the interest while in school?
  • Are there any loan repayment benefits or reductions?
  • If so, will they remain if a future payment is late?
  • Is the loan eligible for consolidation?
  • How are the loan proceeds disbursed?
  • Must I establish financial need for the loan?
  • Do you sell your loans?
  • If so, do the benefits go with them?
  • Under what conditions would I qualify for cancellation, discharge, or forgiveness of the loan?
  • Does the lender provide a toll-free phone number or website to ask questions as they arise?
  • Do you apply any penalties or charges for pre-payments or early payoff?