Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans are issued through the Department of Education and are available to US Citizens and US Permanent Residents (green card holders).

The first step is to complete the Department of Education’s 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available as of October 1, 2016, for the coming academic year. Rice University’s FAFSA school code is 003604.

Once you are admitted to the program and your enrollment deposit is submitted, our system begins processing FAFSAs in late May. Loan application instructions will be emailed to your Rice email account beginning June 1.

The Department of Education offers two types of Federal Student Loans at the following rates for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The maximum academic year (Fall + Spring semesters) amount is $20,500 for the Evening and Extended programs. Due to the structure of the Weekend curriculum, this program is limited to a maximum of $10,250.

  • Interest Rate: 6.0% fixed
  • Origination Fee: 1.069%
  • Loan Disbursement: 50% in Fall and 50% in Spring
  • Interest Accrual: begins to accrue on the amount disbursed from the point of disbursement
  • Minimum Enrollment: a minimum of half-time (4.5 credits/semester)
  • Approval: completion of the FAFSA

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (a.k.a.: Grad PLUS)

You may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance less other funding.

  • Interest Rate: 7.0% fixed
  • Origination Fee: 4.276%¬†
  • Loan Disbursement: 50% in Fall and 50% in Spring
  • Interest Accrual: begins to accrue on the amount disbursed from the point of disbursement
  • Minimum Enrollment: a minimum of half-time (4.5 credits/semester)
  • Approval: completion of the FAFSA and a review of your credit history

Please visit Federal Student Aid for more information.

Loan Repayment

Prior to entering repayment, the Department of Education assigns a borrower's student loan(s) to a third-party Loan Servicer. The following are important elements of loan repayment. 

  • Repayment is deferred while you are enrolled at least Half Time (4.5 credit hours per semester)
  • There is a 6-Month Repayment Grace Period following graduation, withdrawal, or the point at which you drop below Half Time enrollment
  • The Standard Repayment Plan is 10 years, but repayment can span up to 30 years depending on eligibility
  • There is no early repayment penalty

Private Student Loans

Private Student Loans are an additional funding option to be used in combination with, or as an alternative to, Federal and State Student Loans.

The application process is student-initiated and directly with the lender of your choice. Approval and loan terms are based on the applicant's (and co-signer's, if applicable) credit worthiness as determined by the lender. The Office of Financial Aid Private Loans page contains an historical lender list* that may assist your research. If interested, please navigate to that page and select the ELMSelect link at the bottom. Due to the loan processing timeline, we recommend you begin the application process no earlier than May 15 for the coming academic year.

Please note that you are not limited to this list or obligated to borrow from any specific lender. If you do not see your desired lender, please contact them directly.

* Rice University does not promote, nor has affiliation with, any student loan lending institution. It is your responsibility to choose the lender that is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an online application provided by the Department of Education. It consists of (a) personal/household information and (b) the previous tax year's information and must be completed each academic year. 

Why is the FAFSA needed?
The FAFSA is a supporting document and is the first step when applying for both Federal and State Student Loans. It is not required for Private Student Loans. 

Am I eligible for student loans?
Domestic students (US citizens and Permanent Residents) are eligible to apply for Federal, State, and Private Student Loans. If you are an International Student, please reference the International Students section.

When do I start applying for student loans?
The loan application process begins after (a) you are admitted to the program and (b) you submit your enrollment deposit. (c) If applying for Federal and/or State Student Loans, the first step is to complete your 2017-2018 FAFSA. Our system begins processing FAFSAs and certifying loan applications in late May for the coming academic year. Application instructions for Federal and State Student Loans will be emailed to your Rice email account beginning June 1.

If applying for Private Student Loans, we recommend you apply no earlier than May 15. Processing begins around June 1.

How much should I borrow?
We always encourage you to borrow conservatively. In deciding how much to borrow, a basic principle is to borrow sufficient funding to cover the costs for the academic year (Fall + Spring).

Admissions Information

For questions, please choose the relevant contact below:

MBA Programs
713-348-4918
Full Time MBA: ricemba@rice.edu
MBA for Professionals: mbap@rice.edu
MBA for Executives: emba@rice.edu

Ph.D. Program
713-348-5849
Melinda.E.Pena@rice.edu

MAcc Program
713-348-2347
maccadmissions@rice.edu