Student Loans

Student loans fall into two general categories.

Subsidized Loans

Subsidized loans (also referred to as need-based loans) are interest-deferred during in-school periods. This means interest is neither charged to the student nor added to the amount borrowed while the student is enrolled. Interest begins to accrue on subsidized loans after enrollment ceases. Not all students will qualify for subsidized loans—a financial aid counselor must determine your eligibility for these need-based loans.

Two subsidized loans are available to Princeton students

Subsidized Loan Descriptions
Loan Type Interest Rate Fees Annual Limit Repayment Period

Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

4.45% fixed – charged after enrollment ceases 1.069%

Fr –  $3,500
So $4,500
Jr    $5,500
Sr   $5,500

Begins 6 months after borrower leaves school – maximum 10-year repayment term

Princeton Subsidized Loan

5% fixed – charged during repayment None Determined by Financial Aid Office

Begins 9 months after borrower leaves school – maximum 10-year repayment term

Unsubsidized Loans

Unsubsidized loans are used to replace the expected family contribution and finance a portion of the family’s payment to Princeton. There is no interest deferment on unsubsidized loans—interest must either be paid while the student is enrolled or be added to the loan principal.

Two unsubsidized loans are available to Princeton students

Unubsidized Loan Descriptions
Loan Type Interest Rate Fees Annual Limit* Repayment Period

Direct Unubsidized Stafford Loan

4.45% fixed – accrues during enrollment 1.069%

Fr –  $5,500
So – $6,500
Jr    $7,500
Sr   $7,500

Begins 6 months after borrower leaves school– maximum 10-year repayment term

Alternative Loans

Typically variable – tied to a market index (Prime, Libor, etc.) plus up to 10 points. Typical range is 4% to 15%.

May range from 0 to 11% of the loan principal

Cost of attendance minus student aid

Typically begins 6 months after borrower leaves school – typical maximum 10-year repayment term

*includes subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans

Advice Regarding Alternative Loans
Alternative loans are available from a variety of lenders outside the University. These loans are credit-based and should be viewed as a last resort after other borrowing options have been considered. Although terms and rates vary among private lenders, in many cases a Stafford loan may provide the student with more beneficial terms and conditions than an alternative loan. The financial aid office does not recommend specific lenders, as described in our code of conduct.


Please contact the Financial Aid Office prior to applying for a student loan.