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Student Finance

Academic Success


To finance the expenses associated with professional education, most medical students will need to identify loan sources. A loan is money that is borrowed from a lender and must be repaid. It is important to know what sources of aid are available and understand the terms and conditions associated with each loan. The Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan and the Direct PLUS loan are Title IV loans offered through the U.S. Department of Education. We often refer to both of these simply as “Federal loans”.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans

    Are awarded to students regardless of financial need. Borrowers are responsible for any interest that may accrue during the course of study or during grace and deferment periods. Interest begins accruing the day the funds are disbursed and will continue to accrue until the day the loan is repaid. In addition, an origination fee is charged to the borrower at the time of disbursement (the Department of Education takes a percentage from the total amount disbursed).

  • Direct PLUS loans

    Are also awarded to students regardless of financial need and are available for those requiring additional aid above the annual maximum allowable Stafford Loan amounts (up to the cost of attendance less other sources of financial aid).  In comparison, interest rates and origination fees are higher than those charged on Stafford loans but interest accrual is similar. 

    Interest rates on these loans will change each year; however, once a loan is borrowed at a certain rate it will remain fixed at that rate for the life of the loan.

  • North Shore-LIJ Health loan

    The North Shore-LIJ Health loan is an institutional loan program that is awarded based on financial need. To qualify, students must apply for institutional aid.  Being that this is a private, institutional program, funds borrowed will not be eligible for Federal consolidation, repayment, or forgiveness programs.  Please view the Application and Solicitation Disclosure for more information about this loan.

    **Current students** To log in to your Heartland ECSI account, please visit:  If you have access to your credentials and need to complete your promissory note, you may do so here:

  • Alternative loans

    Are often offered through various private lenders. These loans are issued by banks or credit unions and should be your final resort. Terms and conditions differ from loans that are backed by the Federal government. Some differences:

    • Interests rates are generally higher and variable
    • Interest and/or payments are not always deferred while you are enrolled in school
    • Deferment and forbearance options may differ or be nonexistent (Something to consider when beginning residency)
    • There may be large origination / general fees associated with borrowing
    • Repayment terms are often less favorable than federal loans
    • Loans are not eligible for consolidation, income-based repayment programs, or Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

Federal and Institutional Loan Interest Rates by Disbursement Dates

Loan Type

First disbursed 7/1/16 - 6/30/17

First disbursed 7/1/17 - 6/30/2018

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Fixed at 5.31%

Fixed at 6.0%

Direct PLUS Loan

Fixed at 6.31%

Fixed at 7.0%

North Shore-LIJ Health Loan

Fixed at 5%

Fixed at 5%

Federal and Institutional Loan Information

Loan Type

Annual Limit

Aggregate Limit

Origination Fee (After 10/1/2016)

Repayment Terms

Repayment Period

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

MS1: $44,944
MS2: $40,500
MS3: $47,167
MS4: $44,944

*see below


6 month grace period after graduation or after leaving school

Payments are made monthly.  Eligible for Federal consolidation, repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs.

Direct Graduate

Up to cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received for the period of enrollment.

There is no aggregate limit for the Graduate PLUS loan.


6 month grace period after graduation or after leaving school

Payments are made monthly.  Eligible for Federal consolidation, repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs.

North Shore-LIJ Health Loan

Annual limits vary by year and availability of funds.

$40,000 during the 4 year program period


48 month grace period after graduation.  Refer to Application and Solicitation Disclosure Statement for additional information.

Payments are made monthly.  Not eligible for Federal consolidation, repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs.

*The maximum outstanding aggregate loan limit for subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans is $224,000 of which no more than $65,500 can be subsidized. Please note that these are lifetime limits (total amount borrowed during undergraduate and graduate years). Aggregate loan limits do not include accrued interest.

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