Loans: Undergraduate Students

A loan is a type of aid that must be paid back in the future. Below is a description of the types of loans that may be offered as part of a financial aid award. Your eligibility for each type of aid was determined during the awarding process, and you were only awarded aid you were eligible to receive.

Student loans are a serious obligation. Failure to repay them can result in damage to your credit rating and difficulty in securing other credit, such as car loans or mortgages. If you’re in default on federal loans, you will be ineligible for any additional federal financial aid. Please visit our Repayment page for additional information.

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loan program offers two types of loans: Direct Subsidized Loans, in which the government pays the interest while you are a student enrolled at least half-time, making the loan interest-free while you’re enrolled, and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, in which interest accrues while you are enrolled.

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to borrow through this loan program. If you meet all eligibility requirements, you can borrow through both loan programs up to the maximums shown in the chart shown here. Detailed information about Federal Direct Loans can be found here.

No payments are due until six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status. During this grace period, interest will accrue. Deferments are available. A fee is charged for each Direct Loan and is subtracted from the amount borrowed. Direct Loan fees are subject to change.

If your financial aid package does not include a Federal Direct Loan, you may be able to add one to your financial aid award. If the Direct Loan on your award is less than your annual limit, you may be able to increase the loan amount. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility.

Tufts Loans

Tufts offers a need-based Tufts Loan of $500 to $2,000 annually to some undergraduate aid recipients. You are charged no interest while enrolled, and repayment begins six months after you leave Tufts. The interest rate is 5% with a five-year repayment. Deferments are available. You’ll receive information about signing loan documents during the summer.

Accepting Loans

Please note that you are not required to accept the loans you are offered. You can request to reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely. If you decide to accept a loan, you must complete online documents in order for the loan funds to disburse to your student account. You'll receive an email with full instructions during the summer. Once you’ve met these requirements and are enrolled at least half-time, your loan funds will be disbursed to your account, minus any loan fees in the case of a Federal Direct Loan. Find full details and our application process here.