Student Loans

Students and families may choose to utilize loans to help finance educational expenses not covered by additional financial aid. UT is committed to helping you identify the best and most responsible option and financing plan to support your goals.

Types of Loans

There are several different types of loans that may be available to you and to your parents if you are a dependent student. We encourage you to read about the different loan options and decide which option(s) are best for your need and situation using the drop-down menus below.

Direct Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of your education after high school. The lender is the US Department of Education. However, most of the contact will be with your loan servicer.

With Direct Loans, you:

  • Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact (your loan servicer) for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools
  • Have online access to your Direct Loan account information through your servicer’s website
  • Can choose from several repayment plans
    • You can also switch repayment plans if your needs change

The Direct Loan Program offers these types of loans:

  • Subsidized: 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
  • Unsubsidized: 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

Student borrowers are not required to begin making payments until after they drop below half-time attendance.

PLUS Loans – Parents and Graduate Students

PLUS Loans are credit-based unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate and/or professional students. These loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Apply here using your FSA ID to log in and complete your application.

Alternative Loans

Alternative student loans are made through private lenders (for example, banks). They are not part of the federal loan program. It’s important to note that disbursement can be slower for alternative loans than it is for direct loans.

We encourage students to look into federal loan programs before applying for a private loan. If you are ineligible for federal loans or you have exhausted government sources, private loans can help offset the difference between your educational expenses and loans.

There are many private loan options. We recommend that you research to find the loan that best meets your needs. The lender has final approval for alternative loans, rather than UT.

More about Alternative Loans

Loan Limits

There are limits to how much money can be borrowed in federal student loans.

Grade LevelAcademic Year Loan Limit*
Junior, Senior$7,500

*Amounts for dependent students (the majority of college students). Students who are considered independent by FAFSA are eligible for different amounts. Contact us with any loan questions.

Loan Interest Rates

Interest rates for direct loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2024, and before July 1, 2025

Loan TypeBorrower TypeFixed Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized LoansUndergraduate6.53%
Direct Unsubsidized LoansGraduate or Professional8.08%
Direct PLUS LoansParents and Graduate or Professional Students9.08%

Perkins Loans Repayment and Deferment

Have you previously borrowed through the Federal Perkins Loan program? Learn more about payment and deferment options on the Bursar’s website.

Student Loan Code of Conduct

The purpose of the federal student loan program is to provide the best possible loan terms and service for those who borrow to help finance higher education. We strive to provide trustworthy, accurate guidance about financial aid for UT students, families and authorized users. When we conduct business with student loan providers, our first priority is to ensure they have borrower benefits and services that provide for your best interests.

Read the full code

The following guidelines are intended to provide the best possible loan servicing and benefits for the students served by UT, and to avoid conflicts or the appearance of conflicts of interest.

  1. UT is prohibited from receiving anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for any advantage sought by the lending institution. This prohibits any inappropriate financial arrangements between lenders and the university and specifically prohibits “revenue sharing” arrangements and opportunity loan pools. Lenders cannot pay to get on the university’s recommended lender list.
  2. UT employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting gifts of more than a nominal value from any lender, servicer, or guarantor. This includes a prohibition for financial aid officers and other university officials from trips, catered meals, athletic or entertainment events, etc. paid for by lenders.
  3. Financial Aid personnel do not participate on lender advisory boards, but may discuss student loan services and products for UT students and parents with lenders.
  4. The university’s list of recommended lenders must be based solely on the best interests of the students or parents who may use the list, without regard to financial interests of the university. This ensures that lenders will be those the university has determined offer the best loan services and benefits that are compatible with the needs of students/parents and the university’s automated student loan systems. The recommended lender list should be prominently displayed on the campus website.
  5. The process by which recommended lenders are selected must be fully disclosed to students. The process should be prominently displayed on the campus website. Students should also be informed that they have the right to use a lender of their own choosing. UT will continue to ask students to name their selected lender at the onset of the student loan process for each new borrower and will not select a lender for a first-time borrower. The university will not refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based upon the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
  6. The university must ensure that employees of lenders never identify themselves to students as employees of the university. No employee of a lender may ever work in or provide staffing assistance to the university’s financial aid office.
  7. Financial Aid personnel are not to purchase stocks or accept stocks from banks that provide student loans to UT students.
  8. UT departments and affiliated organizations should not enter into any contractual preferred student loan consolidation arrangement with any lender, servicer, or guarantor.

Next Steps

1. Apply for Loans

Your first step is to complete the FAFSA every year. You must be admitted as degree-seeking and enrolled at least part-time to qualify. File by the UT Priority Date and use UT’s federal school code – 003530.

2. Accept & Complete Necessary Steps

All students who want to use student loans must accept them in MyUTK.

Additionally, first-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling with the Department of Education at

3. Maintain Your Loans

Learn about what you need to do to continue receiving your student loans.

The most recent federal College Score Card shows students typically borrow $16,000 in federal loans to attend UT. Borrow conservatively to avoid heavy loan debt and the potential for defaulting.

Visit the loan repayment calculator to explore and plan out your options for loan repayment.

Get Smart About Loans

We encourage you to understand your loan options, how much you really need to take, and to set yourself up for financial success by connecting with the Center for Financial Wellness (CFW). This amazing on-campus resource is committed to teaching students financial wellness skills that will support their success at UT and after! Smart borrowing and a loan repayment plans are two of their areas of expertise!

What Resources Does CFW Offer? The CFW team offers multiple opportunities for students and even parents/guardians to plug in! Hands-on events, digital and in-person presentations and learning modules, and one-on-one coaching sessions are available year round. Check out the CFW event page for more information.