Federal Student Loans

Federal Student Loans are a major form of self-help aid for college students who are unable to pay their expenses out of pocket. Loans provide funding for essential education expenses, allowing students to focus on their studies and reduce or limit the need to seek employment during the academic year.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is granted to U.S. citizens and permanent resident students regardless of income or assets. It has a fixed interest rate and a six-month grace period. The maximum amount to be borrowed per year through this loan is $20,500*. Interest will accrue while the student is in school and during the grace period. An origination fee will be taken off of each disbursement. The maximum any student can receive in Unsubsidized Loan during their lifetime is $138,500 and includes undergraduate and graduate Unsubsidized Loan borrowing.

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

*Students who are enrolled within the PhD in Clinical Psychology program are eligible for up to $33,000 for the Fall and Spring semesters, and up to $36,667 - $37,167 total if enrolled for the Summer semester. 



Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Graduate PLUS Loan is granted to U.S. citizens or permanent resident students regardless of income or assets. The Graduate PLUS Loan 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 are eligible to secure an endorser for the loan. To appeal a denial, call Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394. An origination fee will be taken off of each disbursement.

We encourage students to view their lender information and borrowing history by checking the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

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



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. A complete FAFSA submission is required each year for students who 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

Federal Loans are not available for International Students

Because international students cannot complete the FAFSA and are therefore ineligible for federal financial aid (including Federal Loans, Federal Work Study, and the Federal TEACH Grant), those wishing to use loans to pay for their expenses must do so via a private lender of their choosing. In order to apply for private student loans through a U.S. financial institution, international students will need a co-signer who is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.


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 (or the equivalent) for each term that federal aid is needed

  • Be in a degree-seeking program; non-degree students are not eligible for federal aid

  • Make 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.

Federal Loan Origination Fee Calculator

An important part of paying for your education through loans is knowing how much you need and being careful not to overborrow. Teachers College will generally suggest the maximum amount of federal loans for which you are eligible to be awarded.

The Federal Loan Calculator tells you how much money you will receive from your student loan or help you to determine the amount you may need to accept. You should take origination fee rates into consideration when requesting your amount.

All amounts below are represented in U.S. dollars:

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