Skip to main content



Federal Direct Loans are the most common loan fund source. The federal government makes these loans. Federal Direct Loans have a fixed interest rate and offer several different repayment plans. To be eligible for federal Direct Loans, students must be matriculated, enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and enrolled at least half-time (six credits at Salem State). Types of federal Direct Loans include: 

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on Direct Subsidized Loans while a student is enrolled in school in at least half-time credits, during a six-month grace period after a student leaves school, and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments.) 
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. This loan is not need-based. Students are responsible for their interest during all periods. Students may make arrangements with their loan servicer to pay the interest while they enrolled in school. If a student chooses not to pay the interest while in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, the interest will accrue and be capitalized. 

Direct Loan amounts are offered based on a student's grade level and dependency status. There are limits on the amount a student can receive in subsidized and unsubsidized loan funds each academic year, annual loan limits, and the total amount a student may borrow for their undergraduate and graduate studies. 

Federal Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Once your student has filled out a FAFSA, parents can apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan at

  • Parent PLUS loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can take out to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Once Salem State has received your student's FAFSA, parents can apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan at
  • For Federal Direct PLUS Loan purposes, a parent is considered your biological or adoptive mother or father, but not a legal guardian.
  • Federal PLUS loans are also available to graduate or professional students. You can find more information on Federal Graduate PLUS Loans at

Nursing Student Loans is a need-based loan available to undergraduate students pursuing a degree in nursing through the School of Nursing at Salem State University. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides funds for the Nursing Student Loan program. The interest rate is a 5% fixed rate for the life of the loan. There is no interest charged while the student is in school. Students have a nine-month grace period after they leave school and up to ten years to repay their loans. Funds are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for the Nursing Student Loan, students must:

The Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL) program was created to provide needy Massachusetts residents attending post-secondary educational institutions in Massachusetts with a state-funded loan. The NIL program offers zero-interest loans to assist students in meeting educational costs. Students have a period of ten years to repay their NIL loans. The minimum initial amount a student can receive is $1,000, with a maximum award amount of $4,000 per academic year. NIL award amounts are determined according to financial need. A NIL-eligible student has a lifetime borrowing limit of $20,000. Funds are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for a Massachusetts No Interest Loan, a student must:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for one year before the start of the academic year for which the loan is awarded.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or non-citizen eligible under Title IV regulations.
  • Have applied for financial aid using the standard Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Not be in default of any federal or state Student Loans for attendance at any institution or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.
  • Be enrolled full-time (at least twelve credits or more) in a bachelor's degree program.
  • Not have received a prior bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress following institutional and federal standards.
  • Demonstrate financial aid need as determined by their FAFSA.

Private student loans can help you cover the cost of attendance that isn't covered by other aid you've received. These private loans are available through banks, credit unions, online lenders, and other financial institutions and must be paid back. Salem State does not endorse any particular lender; visit to compare student loan options.

Contact Us

Financial Aid

Monday–Thursday 8:30 am–5 pm, Friday 10 am–5 pm
Student Navigation Center: Second Floor, Classroom Building, Harrington (Central) Campus, 71 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Mailing Address:
352 Lafayette St.
Salem, MA 01970
Back to top