Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans are a major form of self-help aid for college students to help pay for tuition, books, room and board, and other education-related costs. To be To be eligible, students must meet basic federal aid eligibility requirements, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and must be enrolled at least half-time.

Borrowers must repay student loans in full, including interest and fees. Federal student loan repayment generally begins six-months after you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or leave school. When students are about to enter repayment, their loan servicer will provide a loan repayment schedule that states when the first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment.

Teachers College, Columbia University, in accordance with federal regulation, reports all loan borrowing, student enrollment status (less than half-time, half-time, or full-time), and any changes in enrollment status to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) via the National Student Clearinghouse. Authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions have access to this information.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on financial need. Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500* per academic year. However, the amount a student is eligible to receive is determined by your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid such as grants or scholarships.

*The combined aggregate limit for subsidized/unsubsidized loans is $138,500.

**Students enrolled in the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology program, are eligible for up to $33,000 for the Fall and Spring semesters, and up to $37,167 if they are also enrolled for the Summer semester. Based on this additional eligibility, the aggregate loan limit for students in this program is $224,000.

Visit the Accept Financial Aid page to learn about accepting your aid, federal loan disbursements, returns and refunds. 


Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Graduate PLUS Loan is not based on financial need, and students can be offered up to the Cost of Attendance (COA) budget set forth by each institution. However, eligibility is determined by credit approval. Students who are denied the Graduate PLUS Loan may still receive this loan by obtaining an endorser or submitting an appeal due to extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education.

Visit the Accept Financial Aid page to learn about accepting your aid, federal loan disbursements, returns and refunds. 


Interest and Loan Fees

Federal Direct Loans offer a fixed interest rate, and federal law sets this rate. Federal Direct Loans, unlike other forms of debt, are daily interest loans, which means that interest will accrue daily. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan have loan fees that are proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. Therefore, the amount disbursed to your student account will be less than the amount requested. Click here to learn more.

                                                                                               Interest Rates
Loan TypeFirst Disbursement DateInterest Rate
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 6.54%
Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 7.54%
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 5.28%
Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 6.28%


                                                                                             Loan Fees
Loan TypeFirst Disbursement DateLoan Fee
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 1.057%
Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 4.228%
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 1.057%
Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 4.228%


*Per federal guidelines, there will be no change to the origination fee for loans that will be disbursed for the first time between October 1, 2023 and September 30, 2023.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP)

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program offers additional loan support, forgiveness, and cancellation to eligible students who are committed to entering the workforce as nurse educators upon graduation. NFLP seeks to prepare and train qualified nurse educators to fill faculty vacancies and increase the number of trained nurses in the workforce.

NFLP provides loan support to selected students for a maximum of 5 academic years, up to $35,500 per academic year, to cover educational expenses. NFLP awardees who fulfill their service obligations upon graduation are eligible to receive loan forgiveness and cancellation of up to 85% of their NFLP loan balances.

Students who are interested in NFLP must demonstrate a clear commitment to the nurse educator profession upon graduation. To be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents attending school for at least half-time. Students must also have a FAFSA on file each year they are interested in receiving NFLP funding.

Students who are selected for NFLP loan funding each year are required to fulfill borrower responsibilities (including a master promissory note and counseling requirement) and academic coursework obligations throughout their matriculation at the institution. In addition, students must also maintain enrollment eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress in each term for which NFLP funding is awarded.  Students awarded NFLP are required to fulfill their service obligation as a nurse faculty member upon graduation. Failure to complete both borrower responsibility requirements and student obligations will result in revocation of NFLP loan assistance and loan forgiveness eligibility.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program Information

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for any sort of federal aid (Federal Work-Study, the Federal TEACH Grant, and/or federal loans), applicants must meet multiple requirements. Failure to meet any of these requirements may result in the loss of federal aid eligibility.

 All students wishing to receive federal aid must meet and maintain the following criteria:

  • File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include the Teachers College Federal School Code (G03979) for each aid year that federal aid is needed

    • Do not select Columbia University in the City of New York as your school. We encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, if possible. Note that new FAFSA records, as well as updates to existing FAFSAs, generally take one to two weeks to reach our office
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

  • Enroll at least half-time for each term that federal aid is needed

  • Be in a degree-seeking program (i.e., M.A., M.S., Ed.M., Ed.D, and Ph.D.) 

    Note: Students enrolled in a non-degree or certificate program are not eligible for federal student aid.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

  • Remain in good standing with any past drug conviction issues

 Visit the U.S. Department of Education's official federal aid eligibility website to learn more.

Teachers College-Columbia University , Office of Financial Aid, code of conduct for Educational Loans prohibits:

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Employees within the financial aid office awarding  aid to themselves or their immediate family members.
  • Contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
  • Financial aid staff taking action that is for their personal benefit or could be perceived to be a conflict of interest.
  • The Financial Aid Office from denying, impeding, or unnecessarily delaying a borrower's choice of a lender
  • Employees of the Financial Aid Office soliciting or accepting any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. 
  • The Financial Aid Office from providing information that is not accurate, biased, and reflects preference arising from actual or potential personal gain. 

*** All required consumer information shall be displayed in a prominent location on the Financial Aid Office website and in any printed materials, easily identified and found.

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