A student in the Houston Cole library working on her iPad and taking notes on paper

A Loan is money you borrow and you must pay back with interest. If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand the terms, conditions, and who you're borrowing the money from. JSU highly recommends exhausting all federal eligibility before pursuing Alternative and Private Loans because they are generally more expensive than federal loans.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. These loans usually have low interest rates and offer attractive repayment terms, benefits and options. Generally, repayment of a federal loan does not begin until after the student leaves school. Federal student loans can be used to pay school expenses such as tuition and fees, housing, books, supplies, and transportation. Jacksonville State University participates in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program.

There are three types of Direct Loans available:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a JSU.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loans.
  • Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students or parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

To apply for loans, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. Steps to complete a FAFSA are listed under the FAQ & Hints tab.

If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your financial aid offer at JSU. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. If students wish to borrow the loans offered to them, they must accept these on their MyJaxState account.

  • For undergraduate dependent students:
    • $5,500 (freshmen)
    • $6,500 (sophomores)
    • $7,500 (juniors and seniors)
  • For undergraduate independent students:
    • $9,500 (freshmen)
    • $10,500 (sophomores)
    • $12,500 (juniors and seniors)
  • For graduate students:
    • $20,500
The amount a student may borrow is limited to the cost of attendance set annually by JSU minus any other financial aid. You may contact our office for more information on the cost of attendance. A student who receives a loan must be enrolled in at least half time in financial aid eligible coursework within a financial aid eligible program and complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before disbursement of funds. For total amounts borrowed, students may use his/her FSA ID to log in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

  • For undergraduate dependent students:
    • a maximum aggregate loan eligibility of $31,000.
  • For undergraduate independent students:
    • a maximum aggregate loan eligibility of $57,500.
  • For graduate students:
    • a maximum aggregate loan eligibility (including undergraduate loans) of $138,500. 

To view changes and accept or decline your offer, please follow the instructions listed below:

  • Log in to MyJaxState using your username and password Select "Financial Aid" under "Student Links"
  • Use the "Award Year" drop-down on the top, right to select the correct Aid Year (2023-2024)
  • Select whether you would like to "Accept" or "Decline" each type of aid. Pell Grants are automatically applied to the student's account based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and number of hours the student is registered in for the term.

Learn More

Students receiving a Federal Direct Stafford Loan at JSU must complete Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling during the term that you expect to graduate and/or if you drop below half time enrollment. You will be asked to complete an Exit Counseling/Interview if you have had a Federal Student Loan while at JSU. Your FAFSA ID will be required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling. It is very important to notify your lender(s) of address changes so that you will receive your repayment information when your grace period ends.

Alternative/Private Loans

Alternate/Private Loans are nonfederal loans issued by a lender such as a bank or credit union.

Private student loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check, and do not provide the benefits of federal student loans. A student must be enrolled at least half-time and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in most cases. Some lenders do allow students to be enrolled in less than half-time and/or not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.

JSU highly recommends exhausting all federal eligibility before pursuing Alternative/Private Loans because they are generally more expensive than federal loans. If you would like to review a historical list of private loan lenders for JSU students, you may visit FASTCHOICE. Steps to apply are listed under the FAQ & Hints tab.

For information to compare private loans to federal loans visit Federal Student Aid's site.

Parent PLUS Loans

The Parent PLUS loan application should be completed by a parent that is on the current FAFSA. 

  • Parents log-in to using their FSA ID 
  • Under the "Apply for Aid" section, select "Apply for a Parent Plus Loan" 
  • Select the appropriate award year from the drop-down box 
    • Award year example: 2023-2024 = Fall 2023, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024 
  • Input your student's information in the section labeled "Student information" 
  • Select your choice for the "Request for Deferment while student is enrolled in school" option 
  • Select your choice for the "Authorization for school to use loan funds to satisfy other charges"  
  • Select your choice for the "Credit Balance Option"  
  • Select the state your institution is located in from the drop-down box (Alabama) 
  • Select your school name from the drop-down box (Jacksonville State University) 
  • Specify whether this is a new application for this year OR if you are requesting a loan to a previous application
  • Input the amount of the loan you would like to request in the "Loan Amount Requested" box
    • If you would like to borrow the maximum, you may select "I want to borrow the maximum Direct PLUS Loan amount for which I am eligible, as determined by the school" 
  • Select your "Loan Period" by using the drop-down boxes, you may request this loan to cover multiple semesters 
    • Fall Semester: August - December 
    • Spring Semester: January - May 
    • Summer Semester: June - July 

Loan Repayment Information

Once you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or leave school, your federal student loan goes into repayment. However, if you have a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized you have a six-month grace period before you are required to start making regular payments.

Your loan servicer will provide you with a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment.

Stay in touch with your loan servicer, especially if you are struggling to make payments on your loans. Your loan servicer will explain your repayment options, such as applying for an income-driven repayment plan or a forbearance or deferment, to help you stay on track or get back on track when you fall behind. If you cannot make payments, contact your loan servicer to find out your options.

Federal Student Aid offers a Loan Simulator that can help you make decisions about your student loans!