Student Loans

Funds for the loan programs described below come from the federal government or from private lending institutions. All applications are made through the M Center, which must certify to the lender a student's enrollment and eligibility for the loan.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

This government program provides loans of up to $3,500 a year for first-year students, up to $4,500 a year for sophomores, and up to $5,500 a year for juniors and seniors, with an undergraduate aggregate limit of $23,000. Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program and must demonstrate financial need for federal student aid in order to qualify. An origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. The federal government will pay the in-school interest which accrues on this loan as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half time. Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates or drops below half time, and payments are made in installments over a period of up to 10 years with a standard repayment plan. Students who plan to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program must complete all Federal Direct Stafford Loan requirements no later than November 15 for the fall semester and no later than April 15 for the spring semester.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to students who do not qualify for the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, or to students who want an additional loan to supplement the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan. An origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. Unlike the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower is responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (added to the loan principal) when the loan enters repayment. No repayment of the principal is required when the student is in school and enrolled at least half time, or during grace or deferment periods.

Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates or drops below half time. A student does not have to demonstrate need for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan except to the extent that total financial aid (including the unsubsidized loan) cannot exceed the student's cost of attendance for the given academic year. Undergraduate annual borrowing limits for this program, including any Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans, are as follows:

Status Limit
Dependent first-year students $5,500
Dependent sophomores $6,500
Dependent juniors and seniors $7,500
Independent first-year students $9,500
Independent sophomores $10,500
Independent juniors and seniors $12,500

The aggregate borrowing limit is $31,000 for dependent undergraduates (including Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan amounts) and $57,500 for independent undergraduates (including Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan amounts). Students who plan to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program must complete all Federal Direct Stafford Loan requirements no later than November 15 for the fall semester and no later than April 15 for the spring semester.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

This federal loan program enables parents of dependent students to borrow for what they find to be an unrealistic family contribution or to cover a student's need (which may not have been met by other financial aid). Parents who have no adverse credit history may borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus other financial aid.  An origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. Repayment typically begins after the final disbursement of the loan, and payments are made in installments over a period of up to 10 years. Parents who plan to borrow through the Federal Direct PLUS program must complete all Federal Direct PLUS requirements no later than November 15 for the fall semester and no later than April 15 for the spring semester.

Mills College Loan

This long-term student loan program, funded by Mills College, is designed for students with financial need who have exhausted their borrowing eligibility through government student loan programs. Borrowers must be registered full time and be in good financial standing with the College.

No interest accumulates on this loan while the borrower is enrolled full time at Mills or, subsequently, in a degree program at another institution of higher education. Repayment with an 8.5 percent interest rate begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled full time. The annual borrowing limit is $2,500. Depending on the amount of the loan, repayment may extend up to five years.

Private Loans

Private loans may assist with college expenses that may not be covered by federal loan programs or other financial aid. Private loans are offered by a number of lenders but typically are credit based and often have higher interest rates and fees than federal loans. Private loans which must be certified by the College can be certified for a maximum of the student's estimated cost of attendance, as indicated on the student's financial aid award letter, minus other aid the student will be receiving for the academic year.