In some cases, students may need to borrow loans to help meet their educational costs. Loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid.  Source of loans may be either federal or private, rates and payment terms can vary. Both student and parents may apply for these loans.

If you and/or your parent(s) borrow from one or more of the Federal loan programs, information regarding your Federal loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Please review the information on student, parent and private education loans.

Federal Direct Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers affordable fixed interest rate loans to students and parents through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Students are required to file the FAFSA to determine eligibility. Disbursements are applied directly to your student account at Peabody within 10 days of the start of the semester upon completion of a promissory note and entrance counseling. A small origination fee equal to a percentage of the loan principal will be deducted from the proceeds and reduce the amount of your disbursement. Peabody participates in the following Direct Loan Programs:

  • Subsidized Direct Loan – The Subsidized Direct Loan is available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Interest is deferred while the student is enrolled in school on an at least half-time basis. First year students may borrow up to $3,500; second year students may borrow up to $4,500; third- and fourth-year students may borrow up to $5,500. The origination fee is equal to 1.057% of the principal on loans disbursed before October 1, 2023.  When the loan enters repayment, a fixed 5.50% interest rate will start to accrue. Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled in school on an at least half-time basis.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Loan – The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is available to graduate and does not require a demonstration of need. Interest will accrue from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500. Any increase will be subject to annual limits established by the federal government. The origination fee is equal to 1.057% of the principal on loans disbursed before October 1, 2023.  The interest rate is fixed at 7.05%. Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled in school on an at least half-time basis.
  • Direct PLUS Loan – The Direct PLUS Loan Program provides loans to creditworthy graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. PLUS Loans may be borrowed to fill in the gap between financial aid and the student’s cost of attendance. A separate application and credit check are required (please see our Forms page for an application). The origination fee is equal to 4.228% of the principal on loans disbursed on and after October 1, 2023.  The interest rate is fixed at 8.05%.
  • Graduate /professional student PLUS borrowers: If you are a graduate or professional student PLUS borrower, repayment is deferred while you’re enrolled in school at least half-time, and for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed for an additional 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.
  • Parent PLUS Loan Borrowers: Parent PLUS Loan borrowers may defer payment of PLUS loans first disbursed while the student for whom the loan was borrowed is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional 6 months after that student is no longer enrolled. Parent borrowers must apply for this deferment.

For more information about the Federal Direct Loan Program, including borrowing limits, interest rates & calculators, repayment plans, deferment and consolidation, please visit the Department of Education’s Direct Loan webpage at

PLUS Application Procedures:

**Beginning June 14, 2017**

Graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can complete the PLUS loan process by following the instructions below.  PLUS loan amounts may not exceed the cost of attendance for the academic year less any financial aid the student is eligible to receive.  Students must be considered for their full eligibility under the Federal Direct Loan program before a PLUS loan will be certified.

All PLUS Applicants:

Go to

  • Log in with FSA ID and other identifying information.
  • Select the “Request a Direct PLUS Loan” option.
  • Select Loan Type ‘Graduate PLUS‘ or ‘Parent PLUS‘.
  • Be sure to select JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV-PEABODY when asked to provide the name of your school.
  • If credit application is approved, proceed to the step to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Graduate PLUS or Parent PLUS
  • Be sure to select JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV-PEABODY when asked to provide the name of your school.

The Clarence Manger and Audrey Cordero Plitt Loan

The PLITT Loan Fund is available to parents to help families pay educational expenses over an extended period of time at a low 5.82% interest rate. This fund was specifically designed to help parents of full-time undergraduates pay for college in regular installments, over an extended period of time, at a lower than usual interest rate. Parents cannot have an adverse credit history. Eligibility is established by Peabody after a review of the loan application form. In general, parents are eligible if combined annual adjusted gross income is between $30,000 and $150,000.  For additional information, please contact the Peabody Financial Aid Office at 667-208-6590.

Supplemental Private Education Student Loans

Some states offer educational loan programs to residents of that state with interest rates and repayment terms that are equal to or better than the federal student and parent loans. We recommend that students and parents check with their state higher education agencies about the availability of these loans.

Private banks also offer loan programs for educational costs. For most of these loans, the student is the borrower with the parent as a cosigner. Interest rates generally are variable. Peabody recommends that students exhaust their eligibility for federal loans before considering private loan programs. If you are uncertain about your eligibility for federal loans, please contact the Financial Aid Office prior to initiating a private loan application.

For state or private loans, the borrowing limit is the total cost of education for the academic year (as defined by Peabody) less any other financial assistance received.

Peabody does not endorse or recommend any lender, nor does Peabody have any financial interest in any lending institution. Students and their families have the right to select the educational loan provider of their choice. Additional information on factors to consider when securing a private loan is available below.

Questions to Ask a Private Lender

  1. What is your lowest interest rate and fee combination and how can I get it? Is the rate only for a limited period or is it for the life of the loan?
  2. For variable rate loans, is there a limit on how high the variable rate can go? How often is the interest rate adjusted, and how is it determined?
  3. What interest rate can I get on a fixed-rate loan?
  4. How long will I be repaying the loan? Is there any penalty for paying it off early?
  5. When do I have to start making payments? How long can I defer payments while I’m in school? If I go to graduate school and defer payments, how much will I owe when I do start making them?
  6. Will I lose my discount for paying on time if I have only one late payment or if I ask for a change in the payment schedule?
  7. What proportion of your borrowers get the discounts you offer? Are your discounts guaranteed or are they subject to change later?
  8. Would you allow me to defer or reduce my payments temporarily because of economic hardship, under what circumstances and for how long?

— From the Project on Student Debt

Consumer Information on Student Loans

For more information on comparing lender benefits, questions to ask when considering a private loan, and more see the following website.