Types of Graduate Aid
Federal Stafford Loans
The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible graduate students at participating schools Direct Unsubsidized Loans ("Direct Stafford Loans").
To be considered for a federal student loan:
- Student must be accepted by FL Tech
- Student must file the FAFSA. Our school code is 001469.
- Student must be a U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
- Student must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program
- Student must register for at least half-time status (at least five credit hours per semester)
If you qualify, your loan options will be presented to you in your financial aid award letter. If you wish to take advantage of the loan(s) presented to you, you must then accept your loan(s).
Graduate PLUS Loans
Federal Graduate PLUS loans are not based on financial need. They are available to graduate and professional students. Credit checks are required for Federal PLUS Loans. The decision to approve or deny the loan is based on the results of a credit check that is conducted by the US Department of Education. This loan can help the student cover any educational expenses not covered by other financial assistance up to the cost of education. Eligible borrowers can apply at studentaid.gov. When applying for a PLUS loan, it is important to note that it is a loan and must be paid back. PLUS loans are unsubsidized, meaning they begin to accrue interest starting from the date the funds are disbursed to the student’s account. These loans also have an origination fee deducted by the lender before funds are disbursed to Florida Institute of Technology. The interest rate and origination fees are a set rate each academic year and set by the federal government. Rates are typically announced during the summer before the academic year begins.
Who Is Eligible?
Graduate students attending college at least half time in a degree-seeking program are eligible for Graduate PLUS loans. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Loan approval is subject to credit criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. A credit report will be obtained by your lender from a national credit bureau once you apply.
- Step 1: You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our Federal School Code is 001469.
- Step 2: The graduate student should log into studentloans.gov web site using his/her FSA ID. From there, select Request a Direct PLUS Loan from the menu, and then select Graduate PLUS on the following page. Be sure to request Florida Institute of Technology as the school of choice to ensure we receive the PLUS information.
- Step 3: Promissory note and entrance counseling While on the studentloans.gov website, the borrower should also complete and sign the Plus Master Promissory Note (MPN) and loan entrance counseling.
- Step 4: Loan Certification The Florida Institute of Technology Financial Aid Office will certify your PLUS loan request and submit it for final approval, guarantee and disbursement.
- Step 5: Loan Disbursement PLUS loans are disbursed directly to the school via electronic funds transfer (EFT). Funds are deposited into the student's school account upon verification of the student's enrollment. There is an origination fee deducted from each disbursement by the lender prior to the transfer of funds. For the current rate, please visit the Student Federal Aid web site.
- Step 6: Refund Refunds from proceeds of PLUS loans will be issued to the student.
Graduate PLUS Loan Denials & Counseling
If your credit has been denied for the Graduate PLUS Loan, you will be given four options on the application to choose from:
- I do not wish to pursue a PLUS loan at this time.
- I will obtain an endorser. Choose this option if you would like to add a co-signer. Borrowers whose Direct PLUS Loan credit checks are denied and then approved with an endorser, must complete PLUS Counseling before the Direct PLUS Loan can be disbursed. Borrowers can access the PLUS Counseling after they login by selecting PLUS Counseling from the menu, then selecting Graduate PLUS to complete the counseling.
- I want to appeal the credit decision. Choose this option if you believe the credit check is inaccurate or you can provide updated information about extenuating circumstances.
PLUS Counseling is required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed you that you have an adverse credit history and you have obtained an endorser or documented to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.
PLUS Counseling can be completed voluntarily at any time. If PLUS Counseling is completed voluntarily and you are determined to have an adverse credit history by the U.S. Department of Education within 30 days of PLUS Counseling completion, your PLUS Counseling requirement will be considered to be fulfilled.
Borrowers can access the PLUS Counseling after they login by selecting PLUS Counseling from the menu, then selecting Graduate PLUS to complete the counseling
Private Loan Providers are loans contracted with private lending companies directly by the borrower.
Florida Tech works with FASTChoice to make finding a private loan provider as simple as possible. The lenders listed on FASTChoice are lenders that have previously made private education loans to our students and have met our university’s strict criteria.
Florida Tech’s Loan Options page is reviewed annually. Note that at least two lenders will always be presented to you. You are free to choose any lender, including those not presented. Please note that private education loans do not carry a federal guarantee, and are considered financial aid because Florida Tech must certify three things to the lender:
- Student is accepted at Florida Tech
- Student is enrolled in courses
- Borrowed amount is within the student's Cost of Attendance less any other financial aid
Our officials are prohibited from accepting any financial or other benefits in exchange for displaying lenders and loan options in FASTChoice.
Code of Conduct
Florida Tech explicitly prohibits any conflict of interest between our counselors and Federal or private education loans. All counselors responsible for loans are informed annually of the provisions of this code of conduct. The code of conduct prohibits the following:
- Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
- Receiving gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan services
- Contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
- Directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications
- Offers of funds for private loans
- Call center or financial aid office staffing assistance
- Advisory board compensation