Federal Stafford Loan—Subsidized and Unsubsidized

Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need, and while you’re enrolled in school, the federal government pays the interest on your loan. For detailed information and current interest rates, visit

An unsubsidized loan is awarded to students who don’t qualify for need-based subsidy or are independent students. The government does not pay interest on this loan and the student may choose to pay on interest as it accrues or have it added to the principle balance quarterly. The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan.

Loan Limits:

  • $5,500 ($3,500 can be subsidized): Freshmen
  • $6,500 ($4,500 can be subsidized): Sophomore
  • $7,500 ($5,500 can be subsidized): Juniors, Seniors, 5th Year

Independent students can receive additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds. (Available to students who don’t have access to the Parent PLUS Loan. This typically occurs when a parent is denied for the PLUS Loan.)

  • $4,000: Freshmen, Sophomores
  • $5,000: Juniors, Seniors, 5th Year

A note about Stafford Loans: Your ability to borrow through the Federal Stafford Student Loan Program increases as you progress through your four years at Gordon College. Some years a portion of your need-based Gordon grant may be replaced by this increased loan eligibility.

Apply for the Stafford Loan >>

Perkins Loan

This is a college-administered program that combines money from both the federal government and the College and is designed for students with a high level of financial need. Perkins loans complement the federal Stafford Loan and are not a replacement of Stafford. The interest rate is fixed at 5% and students do not need to pay the interest that accrues while enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours or more) or during the nine month grace period (a grace period begins when a student graduates or is taking less than 6 credit hours during a semester). If you qualify for this loan, we’ll send you instructions on how to apply.

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Federal PLUS Loans (for parents)

This loan is awarded to parents only, and the parent applying must receive credit approval for the loan or have a credit-worthy endorser. Parents can borrow as much as the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid awards. Repayment begins 60 days after full disbursement of the loan or the borrower may request to defer repayment while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Parents who wish to defer repayment may request this option when completing the federal application.

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Alternative Student Loans

These loans are acquired through your bank,credit union, or state agency (but if you want, you can look at our preferred list). Make sure you pay attention to interest rates and how they are calculated, repayment terms, the opportunity to defer if your student wants to attend graduate school and the possibility of repayment during a delay in enrollment.