Image: Student studying at the library

Available Loan options

As you are deciding what loans to borrow and for how much, be sure to borrow only what you need to cover your tuition and fees. It can be very tempting to borrow more than just what you need, but remember: the decisions you make now impact your future. We are here to help. Should you have any questions regarding these loan options, please contact our office.


The Federal Direct Loan Program includes low interest loans that are borrowed through and guaranteed by the Department of Education. These loans enable students to borrow money toward their education and repayment of these loans is deferred while the student is in school. More information about the Federal Direct Loan program can be found online.

There are two types of Direct Loans a student could be offered:

  • Direct Subsidized Loan: need-based loan (undergraduates only) in which there is no interest accruing while enrolled at least half-time.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: not need-based (undergraduate and graduate students), interest accrues while enrolled.

The interest rate on the Federal Direct Loans is fixed and is based upon the award year and type of loan that you are awarded. For the 2023-2024  academic year, interest rates are as follows:

  • Undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized loans: 5.50%
  • Graduate unsubsidized loans: 7.05%

Interest rates prior to the 2023-2024 academic year can be found online here.

New borrowers at Hiram College of the Federal Direct Loan are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and loan counseling, called entrance counseling, which are both completed online.  You will need your FSA ID to complete these steps. Your FSA ID is the information you used to sign your FAFSA. We will receive notification that these steps have been completed electronically within 24-48 hours. 


Students that borrow federal loans while attending Hiram College are federally required to complete Exit Loan Counseling when they graduate or withdraw. This process is completed online using your FSA ID and password. Failure to complete this requirement can result in your Hiram College transcripts in being held.

For additional information about repayment, including repayment plans, please visit the Department of Education’s Student Loan Repayment webpage.


The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a loan borrowed by the parent on behalf of the student. Parents can borrow up to the cost of education less any financial aid the student has already received. Detailed information about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan can be found online by clicking here, but the highlights of this program include the following:

  • The interest rate for loans borrowed for the 2023-2024 academic year is 8.05%.
  • Repayment on this loan begins once the loan has been fully disbursed, though it can be deferred by request while the student is enrolled.
  • This loan is not guaranteed and is based upon credit-worthiness. Should a parent apply and be denied this loan for any reason, they have the ability to appeal the denial or reapply with an endorser.
  • If denied and the parent doesn’t appeal the denial or reapply with an endorser, the student becomes eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan for either $4,000 (for freshman and sophomores) or $5,000 (for juniors and seniors).  

To apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan

The parent applies online using their Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) directly with the Department of Education.  The outcome of the PLUS Loan application will be sent to Hiram College electronically 24-48 hours after it has been processed by the Department of Education.  If approved, we will incorporate the PLUS Loan as part of your financial aid award.  If denied, you do have the ability to reapply with an endorser or appeal the credit decision.  If neither of these are an option, the student is eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan in their name as described above.

Once approved, the parent will need to complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) using their FSA ID to electronically sign the MPN.


Private student Loans are loans offered through private lending institutions, like banks, credit unions, or savings and loan associations. Approval is based upon the credit of the applicant (student or parent) and their co-signer (if applicable).

Before researching and apply for a private loan, make sure you have maximized all other financial aid options, including institutional, federal and state grants and scholarships. Exploring your options now may save you time and money in the future.

Private student loans vary between lenders and applicants should consider all information when selecting a lender. When selecting a private educational loan, you should consider what is important to you, including the following:

  • Interest rate: is it variable or fixed, and which do you prefer? When is deferred interest capitalized?
  • Repayment terms: when does repayment begin? Does the lender require in-school payments on the interest?
  • Deferment/forbearance options? Can you defer repayment if you continue to graduate school? What options do you have if you aren’t able to meet your payments?
  • Benefits: is there an interest rate for ACH payments? Other opportunities to reduce your interest rate? Access to FICO scoring? Financial counseling?
  • Co-signer release: does the lender offer your co-signer release from responsibility of repayment after you make on-time payments? If yes, how many payments do you have to make before your co-signer can apply for release?
Fast Choice

FASTChoice helps you review and compare lenders by providing you with detailed information about the loan programs, as well as the terms and benefits offered by different lenders. You are not required to use the lenders that are listed here. Should you choose to borrow from a lender that is not listed, please contact our office so that we can counsel you on the process you need to follow to ensure timely processing of your loan.

Click here to link to FASTChoice.