Did you know?

When the US Congress passed The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, it created a student loan interest rate tied to the 10-year Treasury note, to be adjusted annually. As you are aware, interest rates have been rising, and the US Department of Education recently announced that rates for academic periods beginning on or after July 1, 2014 will be as follows:

Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans: 6.21%

Graduate PLUS Loans: 7.21%

These rates represent a 0.8% increase over the rates available between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. If you intend to borrow and are enrolled in a program that includes a summer term, such as the PESP or PEPM programs, or continuing students in the EMPA program, the lower rates still apply so long as you complete all necessary application materials before July 1.

These rates are fixed for the life of the loan, although we are encouraged by recent proposals in the Senate to allow for refinancing of student loans at lower interest rates. Also remember that the government deducts fees from these loans at the time of disbursement; rates set during Sequestration are now at 1.073% for the Unsubsidized Loan and 4.292% for the PLUS loan.

If you have any questions about student loans, please contact the SIPA Financial Aid Office at sipa_finaid@columbia.edu  or 212-854-6216. We hope you have an enjoyable and productive summer.