Using student loans to finance your education is an investment in your future. You must repay your loans, ensure you understand your options, your responsibilities and borrow sensibly.

If you decide to take out a loan, be sure you understand who is issuing the loan and the terms and conditions. Student loans can be issued by the federal government, private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or other organizations such as your school or employer. The various loan options (federal PLUS, private, other) may require a credit check.

Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans are low-interest loans with various repayment options. These loans help to pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. These loan funds are authorized and issued by the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. Specific loan amounts will be based on several factors, including program progression and enrollment status.

To receive a Federal Direct Student Loan, you must:

When you graduate, leave school, or your enrollments drops below half-time, you will enter your grace period. The grace period is a 6-month period before repayment of your federal student loans will start.

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan

Direct Subsidized Loans are issued to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student continues to be enrolled at least half-time, during the students 6-month grace period, and during qualified deferments.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. The student is responsible for the interest on the loan during all periods. The student may let the interest capitalize but is encouraged to pay the interest quarterly.

Maximum Federal Student Loan Award Limits

Subsidized Unsubsidized Subsidized Unsubsidized
Freshman 0-29 $3,500 $6,000 $3,500 $2,000
Sophomore 30-59 $4,500 $6,000 $4,500 $2,000
Junior 60-89 $5,500 $7,000 $5,500 $2,000
Senior 90+ $5,500 $7,000 $5,500 $2,000
Graduate N/A $0 $20,500 N/A N/A

* All award limits are shown for the award year.

Status Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
Independent $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Dependent $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Graduate $0 $138,500 $138,500
* All award limits are shown as aggregate limits.

For information on interest rates and loan fees for Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans

Federal Direct PLUS Loans are credit-based loans issued to qualified graduate students or parents of undergraduate dependent students. These loans come with various repayment options. These loans help to pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. Specific loan amounts will be based on several factors. Contact the Financial Aid Specialist, (309) 779-7740 and visit Federal Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans Applications to learn details about the PLUS loan program and how to apply.

Alternative Loan Options

Nursing Student Loan (NSL)

Nursing Student Loans are school-based loans issued by Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program. Specific loan amounts will be based on several factors, including available funding and enrollment status.

The Nursing Student Loan (NSL) option is only available after all other financing options have been exhausted. The NSL is interest free while the student is attending school at least half time. Student will enter repayment 9-months after you graduate or leave school. The interest on the NSL is 5%.

To receive a Nursing Student Loan, you must complete a separate application and promissory note. To inquire about specifics on the Nursing Student Loan program or to apply, contact the Financial Aid Specialist, (309) 779-7740.


Before applying for a private student loan, you should compare all financial aid available to you, including federal student loans. It is important to understand the difference between federal student loans and private student loans. Please visit Private Loans for a detailed explanation of the specific differences.

Before pursuing a private student loan:

  • Complete the FAFSA.
  • Review your estimated financial aid offer with the Financial Aid Specialist.
  • Determine how much you need to borrow in each loan program (Federal Direct Loans, private loans, school-based loans, etc.)
  • Remember to borrow wisely and borrow only what is needed for educational expenses.
  • Approval or denial of a private student loans is generally displayed upon submission of your loan application. Private student loans require a credit check and may require a co-signer. Your loan approval, subsequent interest rate and loan fees (if applicable), will be based on your credit status.

Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences does not give preference to or make any recommendations regarding lender selection. It is the student's responsibility to review each lender's terms and conditions before making a selection.

Fast Choice

Provides you detailed information for various private loans allowing you to compare lenders rates, terms, and benefits offered by different lenders. As a borrower, you have the option to select any lender you choose.