For many students, loans are a good option to cover costs not covered by other forms of aid. Whether or not you decide to take out a loan is your choice. The most common types of loans are summarized below. Keep in mind that some loans may be subject to credit approval.

Federal Loans

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans made to undergraduate or graduate students attending school at least half-time. The loans are made in the student’s name and are sent directly to the school on behalf of the student. Repayment of Direct loans begins six months after a student has left school or dropped below half-time. The six month period is known as the grace period. The current interest rate for Direct Subsidized and Unbsubsidized Loans is fixed at 4.5%.

Federal Direct Loans are funded from the Department of Education. University of the Ozarks will submit loan requests from students to the DOE for processing and disbursements.

There are two types of Direct Loans:

  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan Program

    If you qualify for a subsidized Direct loan, you can borrow up to $3,500 during your freshman year, $4,500 during your sophomore year, and up to $5,500 when you're a junior or senior.  Your first payment will be due six months after you graduate or leave college.

    The Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded based on financial need after the student has completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Federal Government pays the interest on this loan while the student is in school and during the grace period.

  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program

    If you don't qualify for a subsidized Direct loan, you can still borrow money through the unsubsidized Direct loan program.  These loans carry the same loan limits and interest rate as the subsidized Direct Loan, but interest begins to accrue while you are still in school.

    The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not based on financial need. It is available to all undergraduate or graduate students regardless of financial need. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form must be completed and submitted each year that the student will be applying for aid. The interest on this loan is not paid by the Federal Government. The student is responsible for all interest (which begins accruing immediately). The student may pay the interest while in school or defer it until repayment, at which time it is capitalized and added to the loan balance.

Federal PLUS Loans

Federal PLUS Loan - The Parent PLUS Loan is a loan for parents of undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time.  There are no maximum limits on the PLUS loan, but parents will undergo a check of credit history to qualify for the loan.  After being pre-approved for credit, a parent may borrow up to the cost of attendance for their student minus any other aid received.  Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.  The current interest rate for PLUS Loans is fixed at 7.9%.

Federal Perkins Loans

A Federal Perkins loan will allow you to borrow up to $4,000, with the amount determined by your financial need.

Ozarks Loans

Vera Pfeffer Loan

The institutionally funded Vera Pfeffer loan provides up to $6,000. If you graduate from Ozarks, your first payment will be due six months after graduation, with an interest rate of 0.1%.

To Learn More...

If you have questions about your eligibility for a loan, or questions about loan terms and application processes, contact our financial aid office. Send an email to or call 479-979-1227.

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before you can apply for any type of financial aid. This application can be completed online at

To make it easier to pay out-of-pocket cost, or to allow you to avoid taking out a loan, University of the Ozarks offers an interest free payment plan. This plan, administered by HigherOne, gives you the opportunity to pay your tuition in 9 payments (beginning on August 1) or in 10 payments (beginning on July 1). For more information on the payment plan, please call 1-800-264-8636 to talk to one of our Financial Aid Counselors.