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Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Financial Aid
Federal Direct Loan Program

Spertus Institute students may qualify for student loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program (officially, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program). This program allows students to borrow for graduate school through the U.S. Government — specifically through the U.S. Department of Education — with Spertus acting as a certifier and monitor of student eligibility. To qualify a student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that is used to determine eligibility. The Government may charge fees for loan origination, insurance, or guarantees. With Direct Lending, repayment of the loan is paid directly to the U.S. Department of Education. This is a change for those students who have had loans previously, as students no longer choose a lender for their Federal Student Loan. Direct Loans still have the same interest rate, annual and aggregate loan limits, and six-month grace period. The difference is in the servicing of the loans.

There are two Direct Loan programs:
Stafford Loans and GRAD PLUS Loans.

Stafford Loans

  • The student is the borrower.
  • A completed, valid FAFSA is required. The school code for Spertus is 001663.
  • Currently, unsubsidized Stafford Loans are the only Stafford Loan available to graduate students
  • The current interest rate for unsubsidized Stafford Direct Loans is fixed at 6.8%. Interest on this loan (or part of loan) accrues from the day the loan is received. The student is responsible for this interest. Family income has no bearing on eligibility.

Federal Student Loans for Graduate and Professional Students

The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 was signed into law on August 2, 2011. The Act makes the following change to the William D Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program:

Effective for loans made for periods of enrollment (loan periods) beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. The terms and conditions of Direct Subsidized Loans received by any student for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012, for either graduate or undergraduate study, are not affected by this change.

The annual loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500 but this amount will now be limited to Direct Unsubsidized Loans, as shown in the following chart:

  Annual Loan Limits for Graduate/Professional Students


Loans for periods beginning before July 1, 2012


Loans for periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012

Subsidized Loan Maximum

Unsubsidized Loan Maximum

Subsidized Loan Maximum

Unsubsidized Loan Maximum

All Graduate and Professional Students


$20,500, less any subsidized amount received



Note: Lifetime loan limit is $138,500. For more information on Federal Direct Loans, click here.


  • The student is the borrower.
  • A credit check is required.
  • The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%.
  • The maximum eligible loan amount is determined by Spertus according to the following formula:
  • Estimated cost of attendance less estimated financial aid from all other sources.
  • Direct GRADPLUS borrower services include help with completion of the MPN and appeals of denied credit decision or Credit Appeal Overrides.
  • The COD School Relations Center manages the credit decision appeal process.
  • All credit decision appeal documentation should be mailed to:

U.S. Department of Education
Attn: Credit Appeals Team
P.O. Box 9002
Niagra Falls, NY 14302

Overnight Address
COD Applicant Services
2429 Military Road, Suite 200
Niagara Falls, NY 14304

If you wish to receive a Federal Stafford or GRAD PLUS Loan, you are required to authorize a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete an online Loan Counseling Session (also called an Entrance Counseling Session). You must do this even if you have previously completed these items in an earlier year, because now you will have a new lender and new guarantor (the U.S. Department of Education).

Entrance Counseling and Master Promissary Note

You can complete the MPN and online Loan Counseling at

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Did you know?

Tuition and fees paid out-of-pocket
(ie: not covered by Student Loans) for accredited higher education (like the graduate and certificate programs at Spertus Institute) may qualify for a deduction of up to $4,000 on your
federal taxes, depending on your income. Check with your tax adviser
for details. 

Disclosure: Reporting to the National Student Loan Data System

Students receiving financial aid through the Title IV Federal Student Loan program will have their loan information and enrollment status regularly updated on the National Student Loan Data System.

Return of Funds to Title IV

The following information related to Return of Funds to Title IV (R2T4) and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as related to financial aid eligibility are important and are provided to further clarify Spertus financial aid policies and procedures.