CSU Channel Islands participates in the Direct Loan Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS federal student loan programs to give our students the full range of options available for paying for college. These federal loan programs offer a secure, government-regulated and reasonably affordable way to invest in yourself and your goal of a higher education.

Student Loans are financial obligations that must be repaid. While some loans are based on financial need, there are loan programs available to all federally-eligible students – regardless of income. Keep in mind that you should not borrow more than you need or can comfortably repay after leaving school. We recommend using the Loan Repayment Calculator on the Federal Student Aid website as a guide as to what your monthly payments will be once you enter repayment.

Federal Direct Loan Program

CI participates in the Direct Loan program, which offers Stafford Loans for students as well as supplemental PLUS loans for graduate students or parents of dependent undergraduate students. Direct loans offer a variety of deferment and repayment options, and are financed directly by the U.S. Department of Education so there's no need to choose a lender. Please refer to the Annual Loan Limit Chart for the maximum amount students may borrow in Federal Stafford Loans per academic year.

Direct Stafford Loans

A Federal Direct Stafford loan is a low-interest loan available to college students who are enrolled at least half-time, enrolled in a degree granting program, and meet other basic requirements. These loans do not require credit approval; eligibility is determined by filing the FAFSA application. Payment of principal is deferred while students are enrolled in school at least half-time. After you graduate, withdraw, or drop to less than half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period – during which time no payment on principal will be due. Repayment on the principal amount begins at the conclusion of the grace period.

Subsidized Stafford Loans

A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The U.S. government pays (or subsidizes) the interest on this loan while you are enrolled at least half-time, and until the end of the six-month grace period.

Interest rates for undergraduate students only:

First disbursement of a loan: Interest rate on the unpaid balance
Made on or after And made before
July 1, 2009July 1, 20105.6 percent
July 1, 2010July 1, 20114.5 percent
July 1, 2011July 1, 20123.4 percent

All Other Students

The Subsidized Loan for all other (non-Undergraduate level) students has a fixed interest rate of 6.8% for the life of the loan.

Loan Origination Fee

There is a 1.5% Origination fee on the Subsidized Stafford Loan; Direct Loans provides an immediate 1.0% rebate on this origination fee – resulting in a net fee of 0.5%, which will be deducted from the gross amount of the loan borrowed (if you borrow $3,500, you will actually receive $3,482.50 – or $17.50 less). Once you enter repayment, if you make your first 12 monthly payments on time, the rebate becomes permanent. If you fail to make the first 12 monthly payments on-time, however, a charge for the rebate amount (i.e., $17.50) will be added to the outstanding balance of the loan.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

An unsubsidized loan is awarded regardless of need. You are charged interest on the amount disbursed from the date of disbursement and you may either make – or defer – interest payments while you are in school and during the six-month grace period. If you defer your interest payments, the accumulated interest will be capitalized, or added, to the principal of your loan when you enter repayment. All future interest charges are then based on the new, higher principal amount.

Parent (PLUS) for Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students

Parents of dependent undergraduate students can take out a Parent PLUS Loan to supplement their student's aid package. Parents may choose to defer payments on a PLUS Loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time and to pay the accruing interest monthly or quarterly, or to defer interest payments and allow interest to be capitalized quarterly. A parent also has the option to choose not to defer payment, and can begin repaying both principal and interest while the student is in school.

Graduate PLUS Loan for Graduate and Doctorate Students

This program is only for those students in graduate or doctorate level programs, and is meant to supplement the funding from the Stafford Loan program. You must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program and taking courses that lead to your degree. Students will receive an automatic deferment on the principal amount of the loan while enrolled at least half-time. You are charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed and may either make or defer interest payments while you are in school and during periods of deferment. If you defer your interest payments, the accumulated interest will be capitalized, or added, to the principal of your loan when you enter repayment. All future interest charges are then based on the new, higher principal amount.

Unlike the Stafford Loan, there is no grace period for the Graduate PLUS Loan; you will enter repayment immediately after you graduate, withdraw, or drop to less than half-time enrollment.

  • For more information on the Graduate PLUS Loan, refer to the Graduate PLUS Loan Basics (PDF, 4.89MB) from Direct Loans.
  • Prior to applying for a Grad PLUS Loan, you must complete the FAFSA and apply for your maximum eligibility through the Direct Stafford Loan program ($20,500 per academic year).
  • To receive, or initiate, a Grad PLUS Loan application, contact CI's Financial Aid office.

Stafford Loan Annual Limits-Dependent Students

Borrower's Academic LevelMaximum SubsidizedTotal Eligibility (Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
Freshman (0-30 units)$3,500$5,500
Sophomore (31-60 units)$4,500$6,500
Junior and Beyond (Inc. 2nd Bachelor's)$5,500$7,500
Teaching Credential Students$5,500$5,500

Stafford Loan Annual Limits-Independent Students

Borrower's Academic LevelMaximum SubsidizedTotal Eligibility (and Dependent Students whose parent(s) are denied a Parent PLUS Loan)
Freshman (0-30 units)$3,500$9,500
Sophomore(31-60 units)$4,500$10,500
Junior and Beyond (Inc. 2nd Bachelor's) $5,500$12,500
Teaching Credential Students$5,500$12,500
Graduate / Professional $8,500$20,500

For periods of study shorter than an academic year:

The amounts students can borrow will be less than those listed. In addition, loan amounts may be less if students receive other financial aid that is used to cover a portion of their cost of education. All students will be automatically packaged with the maximum amount allowed based upon grade level, cost of education, and other financial aid received.

Restriction for graduating seniors with one-semester loan:

We are required by federal law to prorate (determine partial loan eligibility) when an undergraduate student plans to graduate at the end of the one term for which they are receiving a Stafford loan. For example, a senior who will be graduating at the end of fall term will be subjected to proration of his/her annual loan amount because he/she will not attend the whole academic year. The proration is based on the annual loan limit ($5500) multiplied by the number of units needed for graduation divided by 24. If you think you may be under this restriction, please come into our office for further clarification.

Stafford Loan Aggregate Limits

Dependency StatusSubsidizedMaximum Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Graduate / Professional ‡$65,500$138,500

‡ Aggregate limit for Graduate students includes amount borrowed as an undergraduate student.