Loan Opportunities

Alvernia University wants to simplify the borrowing process for you and your family as much as possible. “Student Loan” is commonly used to describe loans borrowed to pay for a college education. Many different types of student loans exist. Some of these loans are federal loans, meaning the rules and regulations are set by the federal government. Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans are examples of federal loans.

We have included a description of each loan type to help you better understand your options and decide which loan is best for you.

Remember to borrow only what you need. A loan must be paid back.

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Direct Stafford Loans are federally regulated funds borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education. A student’s academic level determines the maximum eligibility for the Direct Stafford Loan each year. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. Renewal of the loans requires the FAFSA to be completed each year. In addition, the student must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits per semester).. Annual loan terms for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans are based on a minimum of two semesters per year.  The interest rate on the Federal Loans is determined by federal law.  The rate established each year is a fixed rate for the life of the loan.  The current rate through June 30 is 4.29%, however each year by July 1 a new rate is determined.  This rate may be the same, higher, or lower than the prior year rate.  The rate does cap at 6.8%.

  • . Stafford Loan limits are as follows:

    If you are a dependent, undergraduate student, your loan limits for the 2016-2017 academic year are:
      Subsidized Limit       Additional Unsubsidized Limit
    Freshman $3,500 $2,000
    Sophomore $4,500 $2,000
    Junior & Senior $5,500 $2,000

    If you are an independent, undergraduate student or if you are a dependent, undergraduate student and your parent is not approved for a PLUS Loan, your loan limits for the 2016-2017 academic year are:
      Subsidized Limit       Additional Unsubsidized Limit
    Freshman $3,500 $6,000
    Sophomore $4,500 $6,000
    Junior & Senior $5,500 $7,000

    For the 2016-2017 academic year, graduate students* may annually borrow up to:
             Unsubsidized Limit
    Graduate           $20,500

* Beginning July 2012 graduate loans are unsubsidized.

Students interested in applying for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan must complete an MPN at

    • Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans

      The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for parents is a government-backed, loan with a fixed interest rate. Eligible parents may borrow up to the full annual cost of their child’s education, minus other financial aid received. The PLUS Loan may be deferred, including interest, or may be prepaid at anytime, without any penalty. PLUS Loan credit requirements are typically more lenient than consumer credit requirements. In general, any resolved credit problems are disregarded. To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, please complete and submit a PLUS loan credit check and a Direct PLUS loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at  For detailed instructions on applying for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, please contact the Financial Aid office.


    • Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

      The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for graduate and professional students (Grad PLUS Loan) can help you cover the full cost of your education, minus other aid received. The Grad PLUS Loan offers flexible credit requirements, a fixed interest rate set by the U.S. government and an easy application process. To apply for a Direct PLUS loan you must complete a PLUS credit check and a Direct PLUS loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at 



  • Alternative or Private Loans

    Alternative or Private Loans are not federal student loans. They are consumer loans made available by lenders to assist college students when federal loans are not enough to cover their college expenses. The credit requirements vary by individual lender and most often require a creditworthy co-borrower. Additional information on Private student loans can be found by clicking here or by viewing Alvernia's Recommended Lender List.  If you plan to borrower a Private loan, please be aware that you may need to complete a Self Certification Form for your lender before your loan will be disbursed. 

The Office of Student Financial Planning

400 Saint Bernardine Street
1st Floor – Bernardine Hall
Room 104
Reading, PA 19607
Phone: 610.796.8356
Fax: 610.796.8336

Office Hours
Mon - Th: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri - 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Summer Office Hours*
Mon - Th: 8:00 am – 5 pm
Fri - 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
*Starting on May 31

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