Types of Student Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans
  • Subsidized Loans
    • Subsidized Federal Direct Loans are awarded to undergraduate students ONLY. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans are need-based loans. A student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours for undergraduate students) to be eligible to receive a Subsidized Federal Direct Loan. The interest on this loan is paid by the federal government while the student is enrolled in school and during the first 6 months following withdrawal or graduation from school. Learn more about Subsidized Loans.
  • Unsubsidized Loans
    • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans are non-need based loans. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full. The student can choose to pay the interest while enrolled or allow it to accrue. If the interest is allowed to accrue, it will be added to the principal amount of the loan, thereby increasing the amount of money the student is required to repay.  The student must be enrolled on a half-time basis (6 credit hours for undergraduates & 5 credit hours for graduates/professionals) to be eligible and to receive the award. Learn more about Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Graduate PLUS Loans
    • The U.S. Department of Education administers a loan program for students called the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Graduate students in an eligible master’s degree or doctoral program may be eligible to borrow a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan to help pay education expenses if enrolled at least half-time. The student must be creditworthy. Learn more about Graduate PLUS Loans.
Private (Alternative) Loans
  • Private or Alternative loans are credit-based loans offered by a variety of third-party lenders. These loans are borrowed by the student and require the student to have a satisfactory credit history or a creditworthy co-borrower. Students may borrow up to their UCA cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid they receive. Loan fees, interest rates, and repayment terms vary by lender, so please review all application information very carefully. UCA will process loans from any eligible lender that a student selects.  Learn more about Private or Alternative Loan Lender information.