Loans are a reality for most graduate and professional students, and we will help you navigate the borrowing process from application to repayment. We encourage you to be a responsible consumer and to borrow only what is necessary. We urge you to seek advice from our Student Financial Services team whenever needed.
Please keep in mind that with loans, lenders often deduct loan fees before monies are disbursed, which can impact the amount you need to borrow. You should calculate loan fees prior to finalizing loan requests. Please see Federal Loan Fees for more information.
Repaying Your Loans
Be sure you're in touch with your Loan Servicer at all times throughout your years of borrowing. It is even wise to pay interest while you're in school, if at all possible, on any loans that are accruing interest (i.e. every loan EXCEPT the Direct Subsidized Loan). Once you're ready to leave school, we recommend using the Repayment Estimator to determine which is the best loan repayment option for you. Note: You may switch plans as your income situation changes. Just realize this — the longer you take to repay your loans, the more they will cost you.
The U.S. Department of Education offers low-interest loans to eligible students to help cover the cost of graduate and professional school. These loans are available to cover your Cost of Attendance, which includes both your direct costs (those that are billed to you) and your indirect costs, such as living, personal and miscellaneous expenses.
To apply for Federal Direct Loans you must file the FAFSA and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Complete Entrance Counseling. For all Federal Loans, you will also need to complete Exit Loan Counseling when you are no longer enrolled at least half-time. Both Entrance and Exit Counseling provide information about terms of borrowing, interest accrual and repayment options, and can be completed online.
Unsubsidized Direct Loans
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to all graduate and professional students regardless of need. UNE will determine the amount you can borrow based on your Cost of Attendance and annual limits. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for information on loan borrowing limits and the current interest rates for direct loans.
Loan borrowing limits for health professions programs for specific years not listed on the federal website:
- Pharmacy Students
- First–Second year: $33,000
- Third year: $33,000
- Fourth year: $37,167
- Medical Students:
- First–Third year: $47,167
- Fourth year: $44,944
- Dental Students:
- First year: $40,500
- Second–Fourth year: $47,167
Please be advised that the aggregate maximum or Federal Direct/Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan funds is $224,000 for medical (D.O.), dental (DMD), and Pharmacy (PharmD) students. This includes any outstanding Direct/Stafford Loans borrowed for undergraduate and/or graduate school.
Graduate PLUS Loans
The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan, subject to credit approval by the lender, that can be used to help meet both direct and indirect costs. PLUS loans help pay for expenses up to the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all other financial assistance (e.g., Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or scholarships). The Graduate PLUS Loan will be offered to you as part of your financial aid award. Should you choose to borrow some or all of this loan, you need to accept the offer via U-Online. The loan is then subject to lender approval. If credit is denied for the PLUS Loan, you can continue to pursue the loan with an endorser or appeal the denial.
Because of the flexible and forgiving nature of Federal Direct Loans, we recommend that you exhaust those sources before applying for private or alternative loans. However, we recognize that you may need to seek this type of loan to cover the costs of your advanced degree. See UNE’s Recommended Lender List for more information on private loans.
Charles E. Gilbert Loan Program
This low-interest loan program is available to medical students who are graduates of the University of Maine. Annual amounts vary depending upon availability of funds and the total number of eligible applicants (for the 2017–2018 year, award amounts were $25,000–$35,000 per year, based on year in the program). Applications are available by contacting the University of Maine Office of Financial Aid.
Office of Student Financial Aid
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) offers forgivable loan programs for Maine residents (as determined by FAME's standards) who commit to working in underserved areas of Maine after completion of their studies.
This low-interest loan program encourages medical and dental students to practice in Maine. Loans are need-based and awards range from $10,000–$25,000 annually.
This forgivable loan program was designed to encourage dental students who are Maine residents to practice primary dental care in an eligible dental care facility in an underserved area in Maine. Awards are $20,000 annually.
This program is a competitive, merit-based, forgivable loan program for Maine students pursuing careers in teaching, including speech pathology and child development or childcare.
For more information on applying and for deadlines, contact FAME at 5 Community Drive, P.O. Box 949, Augusta, ME 04332-0949 or 1 (800) 228-3734 or visit the FAME website.