Financial Aid

WAU encourages applicants to apply for financial aid. In order to be considered, you must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Filing this form in a timely manner will enable us to consider you for all types of need-based aid. WAU’s Office of Student Financial Services reviews the family financial circumstances of each admitted student and determines your financial need based on information supplied by the FAFSA.

Graduate Financial Aid, Types of Loans

Stafford Loans
Graduate students at Washington Adventist University may borrow up to $20,500 in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan funds per academic year; the loan amount is based on the number of credit hours the students plan to take. Those who feel they need more than the $20,500 maximum may seek a Graduate PLUS loan or private alternative loans to further cover their educational costs.

The difference between a Subsidized Stafford Loan and an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is that the federal government pays the interest that accrues on the subsidized loan provided a student is enrolled in a degree-seeking program at least half time. Conversely, while in school, the student is responsible for the interest that accrues on the unsubsidized loan. Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent as set by the federal government. Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan eligibility is, in part, determined by information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Graduate PLUS Loans
The Graduate PLUS loan is a federally sponsored education loan for graduate students. You are eligible to borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, living, book and transportation expenses, less any financial assistance received. We will not be able to certify your Graduate PLUS application until you apply for the Stafford Loan. Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 8.5 percent as set by the federal government, so you can borrow for your education without worrying about increases in interest rates or changes in monthly payments. A minimum credit check is required for all Graduate PLUS borrowers. If you are not eligible based on your own credit rating, you may become eligible if you obtain an endorser for the loan.

Private Alternative Loans
Private alternative loans are available to graduate students who feel they will need more than the $20,500 maximum available from the Federal Stafford Loan program or students enrolled in certificate programs that are not Stafford eligible. Most private alternative loans allow a student to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid.

Undergraduate Financial Aid, Types of Loans

Federal Direct Loan Program
The Federal Direct Loan Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. To receive a Federal Direct Loan—whether subsidized or unsubsidized—applicants for admission to WAU must submit a completed FAFSA. The financial aid award may include one or both of the following Federal Direct Loans.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: Offered to students with financial need. Under this loan, interest is paid by the federal government, and no payment is required from the student while enrolled at least half-time. Loan payment begins six months after the student graduates or leaves the University.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Interest begins accruing on the date the loan is received. Applicants may choose to pay the interest only or allow it to accumulate and capitalize (added to the principal amount of the loan) until six months after graduating or leaving WAU.

Direct Loan amounts increase each year as the student successfully matriculates. The interest rate on the Federal Direct Loan is a fixed rate. For the 2010-2011 academic year, the interest rate is 4.5 percent for first time disbursed subsidized loans and 6.8 percent for unsubsidized loans.

Federal Direct Plus Loan for Undergraduate Students
Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education are available to credit-worthy parents. With a Direct PLUS loan, parents may borrow up to the full cost of a student’s education, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and living expenses, less any other financial aid. There are no maximum or minimum income guidelines for eligibility for the loan. Additional advantages include a 7.9% percent fixed interest rate. Interest may be tax deductible.

Private Alternative Loans
Private alternative loans are available to graduate students who feel they will need more than the $20,500 maximum available from the Federal Stafford Loan program or students enrolled in certificate programs that are not Stafford eligible. Most private alternative loans allow a student to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid.

Questions?

Contact Devie Phipps, SGPS Financial Aid Advisor at (301) 891-4007 or 1-888-2GOBACK, or email dphipps@wau.com.

Washington Adventist University · 7600 Flower Ave. · Takoma Park, Maryland 20912 · 877-246-2225 · www.wau.edu

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