Student Loans

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PBA participates exclusively in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program, which are issued by the United States Department of Education, rather than by a traditional bank. In order to qualify, you must submit a FAFSA each year.

With Direct Loans, you

  • have a single contact—the loan servicer—for everything related to the repayment of your loans via online access to your account, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
  • can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.


  • be a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen
  • be enrolled at least half-time
  • not have defaulted or owe a refund to any previous aid program
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress 

Types of Direct Loans

The following loans are made through the Federal Direct Loan Program:

Direct Subsidized Loans

For students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

Direct PLUS Loans

Unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

To Apply for Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loans:

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete Master Promissory Note
  3. Complete Entrance Counseling

To Apply for Graduate PLUS Loan:

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete the Grad PLUS Loan process

To Apply for Parent PLUS Loan:

Parents of dependent students can apply for a Parent PLUS loan by following these instructions.

To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history, which the Department will check when you apply for the loan. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan by using an endorser or appealing your credit decision. An endorser (who does not have an adverse credit history) is someone who agrees to repay the loan if you do not. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a PLUS Loan. If you believe there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history, you may submit an appeal with the Direct Loan Center to reverse the credit decision. 

2019-20 Interest Rates

 Undergraduate Direct Loans (Subsidized & Unsubsidized) 4.53% 
 Graduate & Pharmacy Direct Loans (Unsubsidized) 6.08%
 Direct PLUS Loans (Parent/Grad) 7.08%

Origination Fees

Origination fees are collected to help pay for the administration of the loan programs by the U.S. Departments of Education and Treasury. These fees are similar to processing fees often attached to consumer loans and are subject to change.

Yearly Loan Limits

Student Type  Dependent  Independent 
Freshman $5,500 - No more than $3,500 may be subsidized. $9,500 - No more than $3,500 may be subsidized.
Sophomore $6,500 - No more than $4,500 may be subsidized. $10,500 - No more than $4,500 may be subsidized.
Junior / Senior $7,500 - No more than $5,500 may be subsidized. $12,500 - No more than $5,500 may be subsidized.
Graduate   $20,500 - Unsubsidized only
Pharmacy (90+ hours)   $33,000 - Unsubsidized only

Please note: If the parent of a dependent student is unable to obtain a Parent PLUS loan, the student may receive the independent max loan amount.

Exit Counseling

Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time in an eligible program, you will receive a 6-month grace period on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans during which you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.

If you have an in-school deferment on a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan that entered repayment at an earlier date (before you returned to school) and you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or withdraw from school, you will be required to immediately begin making payments on the loan because the 6-month grace period has already been used up; there is no second grace period.

Lifetime Loan Limits:

Undergraduate Dependent
$31,000 - No more than $23,000 may be subsidized

Undergraduate Independent
$57,500 - No more than $23,000 may be subsidized

Graduate - $138,500 

Pharmacy - $224,000

Please make sure that both PBA and your loan servicer know that you are no longer enrolled. If you don't begin making payments when required, there is the possibility that you will lose repayment incentives you may have received or even go into default.

PBA is required to ensure that you receive exit counseling before you graduate or withdraw. Check with the Financial Aid Office to see how exit counseling is conducted, whether as a personal or group exit interview or as a session that you can complete online at the website.

Private Student Loans

When considering private student loans, it is extremely important from a personal finance standpoint that you have first exhausted ALL other financing options such as grants, scholarships, and considered all types of federal student loan options. Without excellent credit histories, students will likely need to find willing, creditworthy individuals to co-sign their Private Loan applications in hopes of being approved.

Regulation Z Requirements - Private Loan Regulations (Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act) : As of February 14, 2010, both private lenders and institutions offering private loans to students must comply with a new set of regulations per the Federal Reserve Board. Under the new laws, a lender offering private loans for post secondary educational expenses must first provide a disclosure about loan terms and features at the time of application and must disclose information about federal student loan programs that may offer less costly alternatives. If the initial application reaches an approval status, a second loan disclosure statement must be provided to the student at that time. If a student accepts the loan terms provided in the second disclosure statement, a third final disclosure must be provided when the loan is consummated. An additional piece of the new private loan regulations requires an applicant to complete a “self-certification form” and return it to the lender before they may disburse the loan to the school. The “self-certification form” may be found on the lender’s website. If you need assistance completing the form, please visit the Office of Financial Aid. Each private lender may have a slightly different application process, so it is best to contact your private loan lender directly if you have any questions. Last, a lender must provide the student with a 3 day rescission or “right-to-cancel” period after the final loan disclosure form is sent to the student. The 3 day rescission period means that once the school has certified your loan and it is ready to be disbursed, there is a mandatory 3 business day waiting period before the lender may disburse loan funds to the school. If a lender only offers a mailed Final Disclosure (not online), then they must wait 6 days to disburse the loan to the school (3 days for mail time and an additional 3 day “rescission or “right-to-cancel” period).


If you are having trouble choosing a lender, view the list we have compiled on FASTChoice. Palm Beach Atlantic University provides a preferred lender list which is reviewed biannually by a board of professionals. The list is comprised of lenders that the board has deemed competitive. The criteria are based on historical data with Palm Beach Atlantic University and information provided about specific loan products. Carefully review and compare loan products, and apply for the product that best suits your eligibility and needs. You may use a lender that is not on the list.

We recommend you request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion), at, as you are entitled annually by law. While you must pay a fee to each of the three credit bureaus to obtain your actual credit score(s), it is important to at least check your credit report(s) annually for any errors or illegal use.  

Private Student Loan Application Process

  1. Make sure you have completed the FAFSA, accepted your annual maximum in federal student Stafford Loans, and exhausted all other financing options first.
  2. Consider applying with a willing, creditworthy co-signer, as doing so will likely increase your chances of approval and potentially lower your interest rate.
  3. If you are having trouble choosing a lender, visit FASTChoice using the links above.
  4. Apply online (you will receive the Application Disclosure Statement)
  5. Complete the Self-Certification form and return to your lender
  6. The lender with whom the student and/or co-signer apply will conduct a pre-approval credit investigation and notify the applicant(s) as to approval or denial. If approved by a lender for a Private Student Loan, the student and co-signer will need to review the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for accuracy, sign, and return to the lender. However, most lenders offer an e-sign option online.
  7. Finally, you will receive a Final Disclosure Statement (allowing you up to 3 days to cancel the loan before it is disbursed to the school)
  8. Loan proceeds will be sent directly to the University. The proceeds will be applied to the student account to clear any balances, and remaining funds will be mailed directly to the borrower.

Student Loan Guidance

Did you receive a phone call from the i3 Group? Palm Beach Atlantic University is partnered with the i3 Group who has worked with colleges & universities across the country for over 10 years to help students avoid delinquency and default on their student loans. Their expert concierge advisers have served over three million students by placing them into sustainable repayment plans, regardless of loan balance or personal income.

For more information you can contact the i3 Group at (866) 296-7955.i3