Loan Promissory Notes

All loans require a signed promissory note

Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan promissory notes are available at  You will need your Federal PIN.

Perkins Loans and Institutional Loans require a PSU access account which you will receive during first-year orientation week

ENTRANCE LOAN COUNSELING must be completed by all Penn State College of Medicine students who are borrowing a Stafford or Grad PLUS loan for the first time.  Entrance counseling can be completed at

EXIT LOAN COUNSELING is provided to medical students who are graduating, going on a leave of absence or students who cease enrollment. Loan counseling is required of all student loan borrowers who cease enrollment for whatever reason and for graduating students prior to commencement.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a low-interest loan used by most of the medical students who borrow money for their education.

Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded on the basis of financial need and the government pays the interest while you are in school.  Not available after July 1, 2012.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans can be awarded to students without financial need. Interest accrues from the date of disbursement and may be paid or allowed to capitalize.

 Stafford Loan Limits for PSU Medical Students



Annual Loan Limits for:


Year 1

Subsidized $8,500

  • Not available after 7/1/2012

Unsubsidized $32,222

  • $42,722 after 7/1/2012

Year 2

Subsidized $8,500

  • Not available after 7/1/2012

Unsubsidized $34,444

  • $44,944 after 7/1/2012

Year 3

Subsidized $8,500

  • Not available after 7/1/2012

Unsubsidized $36,667

  • $47,167 after 7/1/2012

Year 4

Subsidized $8,500

  • Not available after 7/1/2012

Unsubsidized $34,444

  • $44,944 after 7/1/2012

Aggregate Loan Limits for

all Stafford Loans (including prior borrowing)

$224,000 (only $65,500 can be subsidized)



To participate in the Federal Stafford Loan Program you must indicate an interest in loans on the FAFSA.  After you receive your award notification you will need to sign a promissory note.

Perkins Loan

  • The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan (5%) which is subsidized while you are enrolled at least half-time.
  • Loan amounts, usually between $1,000 and $3,000, are based upon the student and parental information supplied on the FAFSA. You must indicate an interest in loans on the FAFSA
  • If you have been awarded the Perkins loan, you will need to sign a Master Promissory Note the first year that you receive this award. The Office of Loans and Scholarships will notify you when your note is available.
  • Repayment begins after a nine-month grace period.
  • If you cannot repay your loan you may be eligible for a deferment or forbearance. Information for these options are available at the Office of Loans and Scholarship web site

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

If there is remaining eligibility after the Stafford annual limits have been exhausted, students will want to consider the Graduate PLUS Loan. Medical students who qualify for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program-based on credit history, not need or income, may borrow any amount up to the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid they were already awarded. Additional information about the Graduate PLUS loan can be found at

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans usually do not have many of the benefits associated with other forms of financial assistance. Not all students are eligible for this assistance program since lenders use credit scoring to determine eligibility. Use the following items as a guide when comparing alternative loan programs: 

  • fees
  • loan limits
  • interest rates and ceiling
  • grace period
  • capitalization policy
  • repayment benefits
  • customer service
  • on-line payment options
  • compare the alternative loan program with the Federal Graduate PLUS loan program

A list of alternative loan lenders can be found on the University Park financial aid website.