What you need to know about Loans!

Loans are a form of financial aid that MUST be repaid.  FAU encourages students to only borrow what is needed to cover their cost of attendance for the academic year. 

To be considered eligible for most forms of financial aid, you must attend at least half-time at FAU. For Fall and Spring semesters, half time is defined as 6 credits for undergraduate students (including those pursuing a second bachelor degree) and 4.5 credits for graduate students. Audited courses, courses which are not applicable to the student’s degree, and some repeated courses do not count towards financial aid enrollment requirements. If you are not enrolled at least half-time at FAU, you will be viewed as INELIGIBLE for most financial aid funding with the exception of Federal Pell Grant funding (for some students, based on Expected Family Contribution) and certain private/alternative loan products. 

Information regarding a student’s Federal loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). By logging into and viewing dashboard student will be able to access loan history by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of this system. Students can review their Federal Loan History on NSLDS to monitor their progression toward the aggregate limit.

Loan process steps must be completed at least two weeks prior to disbursement to ensure that you receive your funds in a timely manner, with the exception of the Short Term Advance.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans Website

These are available to undergraduate and graduate students who enroll at least half-time. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans are offered to undergraduate students demonstrating financial need. Students are not responsible for interest accrued on Subsidized Direct Loans while in school. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans are offered to students who do not qualify for the Subsidized Direct Loan or do qualify and are still in need of additional funding. Students are responsible for interest accrued on Unsubsidized Direct Loans while in school. Annual Direct Loan borrowing limits for dependent undergraduate students are $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores, and $7,500 for undergraduate students beyond Sophomore standing. Independent undergraduate students may borrow additional unsubsidized loans beyond the above stated limits (additional amount depends on academic standing). Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per year in Unsubsidized Direct Loans. Repayment of principal and accrued interest begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half time enrollment. There is no penalty for accepting a partial loan amount.

Seniors in their Final Semester

When an undergraduate borrower’s remaining period of study is shorter than a full academic year, the Direct Loan must be prorated based on enrollment. Failure to notify the Student Financial Aid Office prior to the beginning of your final semester may result in immediate repayment of a portion of your Direct Loan. Students who owe a balance to FAU will not receive their diplomas.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

A Web site has been implemented for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge process. Borrowers seeking a disability discharge of their FFEL Program loans, Direct Loan Program loans, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligations will find complete information at the new TPD Discharge Web site.

Federal PLUS Loans

Federal PLUS Loans Website

FAU Direct PLUS Loan Process

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a low interest loan available to assist the parents of dependent students admitted and enrolled in an undergraduate degree program or graduate students admitted and enrolled in a graduate degree program. To be eligible for the Direct PLUS Loan, the parent borrower or the graduate student borrower should have no adverse credit history. Maximum eligibility is equal to cost of education minus other aid. Repayment of principal and interest begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. The borrowers may be eligible to defer repayment until student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. In order to receive a Direct PLUS Loan, students must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Private Loans

Private Loans

Private student loans (also known as alternative loans) are non-federal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union or state agency.  Federal student loans include many benefits (such as fixed rates, income-based repayment plans, and loan forgiveness plans) not typically offered by private loans. In many cases, private loans may be more expensive than Federal student loans. A student should NEVER consider borrowing from a private loan program until they have exhausted all their Federal Loan options first.

Dependent Undergraduate students applying for private loan financing with a parental cosigner are advised to first investigate the options offered by the Federal PLUS program before applying. A detailed comparison between the PLUS and Private loan programs can be viewed in our Direct Loan Comparison Worksheet.

Selecting a Private Loan Program

Below are some factors to be considered when comparing prive loan products

  • Have an idea of what rate you will qualify for BEFORE you apply.
  • Compare rates from different lenders
  • Focus on the APR.
  • Find out about any fees the lender may charge to originate the loan.
  • Ask about interest capitalization
  • Ask about borrower benefits

Students may view and compare some of the private loan programs through which Florida Atlantic University students have successfully obtained funding in the past via the ELMSELECT private loan search and comparison tool. When using ELMSELECT, students are recommended to use the "Sort and Filter" options on the left sidebar to identify the loan programs with the terms and qualifying criteria that meet their needs. Neither Florida Atlantic University nor the FAU Office of Student Financial Aid promote, endorse or recommend any of these loan products or lenders by including them on the list. Though the FAU Office of Student Financial Aid is able to process private loans with all private loan providers, processing is most efficient with ELM participating lenders. If your preferred lender does not appear on the list provided, you are advised to contact them to confirm they are an ELM participant.

View the private loan programs at ELMSELECT.

Private Education Loan Applicant Self Certification Form and FAU Cost of Attendence

Due the enactment of new regulations (Title X - Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act of 2008), a student applying for a private educational loan is required to complete the Private Loan Self Certification Form This form must be submitted directly to the lender. To complete this form, information regarding FAU cost of attendance must be provided.

Short Term Advance

Short Term Advance

A University monetary advance available to degree-seeking students enrolled at least half-time at FAU for assistance with purchasing textbooks, emergency funds relating to educational expenses and unanticipated living expenses until the disbursement of financial aid. Keep in mind that the Short Term Advance is NOT a source to assist with paying your tuition and other related fees.

Maximum loan amount is $750 with a non-refundable processing fee of $5.00 assessed. Students must meet additional eligibility criteria.

To access the online Short Term Advance Application:

  1. Sign into MYFAU with your FAU credentials
  2. Click/tap the "FAU Self-Service" tile to access FAU Self-Service
  3. Click/tap the "Short Term Advance Application" tab to access Financial Aid within Self-Service


To determine if your Short Term Advance has been recived/approved:

STEP 1: Access Financial Aid section of FAU Self-Service via MYFAU

Method 1:

  1. Sign into MYFAU with your FAU credentials
  2. Click/tap the "Money Matters!" tile
  3. Click/tap the "Your Financial Aid" tile to go directly to Financial Aid within FAU Self-Service

Method 2:

  1. Sign into MYFAU with your FAU credentials
  2. Click/tap the "FAU Self-Service" tile to access FAU Self-Service
  3. Click/tap the "Financial Aid" tab to access Financial Aid within Self-Service

STEP 2: Find status within FAU Self-Service

  1. Click/tap the "Short Term Advance Status" tile (for informational purposes ONLY)

NOTE: Remember the first disbursement of the Short Term Advance will occur at least three (3) BUSINESS days before the start of each semester, if the student meets all eligibility criteria (date is subject to change without notice).