Loan Information

Palm Trees Outside Central Classroom Building at El Paseo de Caesar Chavez

Loans are funds that must be repaid. Students should only borrow the amount that is absolutely necessary. It is a good idea to project what your total borrowing needs will be throughout your college career, and to be aware of what the necessary payments will be upon earning a degree.

Loans are available for fall and spring semesters. Summer loans are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Visit Summer Financial Aid for more information.

The amount of the loan is determined by:

  • Cost of attendance
  • Loan eligibility
  • Year in school, and
  • Other aid already awarded.

Maximum annual loan amount is based on the year in college and dependent/independent status. There are also Maximum Aggregate loan amounts. 

Separate interest rates are established each year for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1 through the following June 30. 

All Direct Loans, except Direct Consolidation loans, will be "variable-fixed," meaning students would receive a new rate with each new loan, but then that rate would be fixed for the life of the loan.

There are also interest rate caps at 8.25% for Direct Subsidized loans and Direct Unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students, 9.50% for Direct Unsubsidized loans for graduate/professional students. 

The interest rates are calculated using a base 10-year Treasury Note Index of 1.710% plus an add-on amount for each loan program - 2.05% for Direct Subsidized loans and Direct Unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students, 3.60% for Direct Unsubsidized loans for graduate/professional students.

View Interest Rates


Enrollment requirements

Students must be enrolled in, and successfully complete, at least half-time enrollment (6 units for Undergraduate, Credential, Post-baccalaureate; 4 units for Graduate students) during each semester of attendance.

Disbursement of funds

The initial disbursement of funds begins the first week of each semester; thereafter, disbursements occur on a weekly basis. Financial Aid funds are first applied towards any current fees owed to the university (i.e., tuition, campus fees, housing, etc.). If students are owed a refund after fees have been paid, the Bursar's Office will refund students either by check or direct deposit. Students are encouraged to enroll in Direct Deposit (eRefund).

Borrower Information

  • Origination Fees: All Direct subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS loans have origination fees.
    • For loans disbursed between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015, the subsidized and unsubsidized loans the fee is 1.073%. For Direct PLUS loans (both parent and graduate) the loan fees are 4.292%. 
    • For loans disbursed after October 1, 2015, the subsidized and unsubsidized loans the fee is 1.068%. For Direct PLUS loans (both parent and graduate) the loan fees are 4.272%.
    • For loans disbursed after October 1, 2016, origination fees to be announced at a later date.
  • Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC): ELC is an on-line session which addresses interest rates, deferments, and how to avoid default. Students who are first time Direct Stafford loan borrowers with SJSU must complete the online Entrance Loan Counseling session prior to receiving the first loan disbursement; there are no exceptions to this federal requirement.
  • The Master Promissory Note (MPN): The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education. The MPN must also be completed for first time Direct Loan borrowers. 
  • Perkins Loan Counseling: Students awarded the Perkins Loan must eSign a promissory note and/or borrower information sheet before loans can be disbursed. For additional information on the Perkins Loan, please contact the Bursar's Office at or at 408-924-1601.
  • Exit Loan Counseling: As a recipient of funds from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, students are required to complete an exit loan counseling session within sixty (60) days of your last date of attendance at SJSU.
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Repayment and Loan Consolidation: View repayment plans that are right for your financial situation. Federal student loans may be consolidated. 

Responsibility as a Borrower

Students must maintain updated information with the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Servicing Center. Report the following changes, if any:

  1. Name, address or phone number
  2. Transferring to another school
  3. Leave of absence, withdrawal from school, or dropping below halftime enrollment
  4. New graduation date

California Dream Loan

The California (CA) Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The CA Dream Loan is a subsidized loan program for undergraduate students with a valid CA Dream Act application and a valid AB540 affidavit or “U” Visa on file with San Jose State University (SJSU). You must attend at least half-time (6 or more units per semester) in order to receive the CA Dream Loan. 

Interest Rate, Deferment, and Grace Period

The interest rate for 2015-16 is 4.29%. The interest rate for the CA Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change for new loans annually. The CA Dream Loan does not accrue interest while enrolled at least half-time, during periods of approved deferment, and during the 6-month grace period before entering repayment. Borrowers will be responsible for the interest charged at all other times. 

Repayment of Loans

California Dream Loans are setup to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period and have a minimum payment of $50 a month. Borrowers can pay off loan earlier without penalty. Repayment begins at the end of a 6-month grace period. The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.  

Loan Limits

The CA Dream Loan is subject to annual, semester, and aggregate limits set by the state legislature, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and SJSU. The annual loan limit is $4,000 and the semester limit is generally $2,000. The aggregate limit of $20,000 is the maximum that can be borrowed from the CA Dream Loan program at SJSU. 

Eligibility for the CA Dream Loan

Because funds are limited, you will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if you meet the eligibility criteria for the CA Dream Loan. The application process will be explained in emails sent to your SJSU email account, and in the To Do List items in MySJSU.

You may decline the loan offer or accept less than what is offered to you, but funds are limited and you may not be able to increase your loan at a later time. Students who accept the CA Dream Loan must complete a promissory note and entrance counseling. If you fail to complete all the required steps to receive your loan disbursement by the assigned deadline, we may cancel the loan offer. Funds are limited and you may not be awarded the funds again at a later date.

Receipt of funds in one year does not guarantee availability or receipt of funds in subsequent years.