Amherst College
2023-2024 Student Loans Overview
Loan TypeInterest RateOrigination FeeGrace Period

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Subsidized and Unsubsidized

5.50%1.057%6 months
Amherst College Computer Loan5.00%n/a6 months
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan8.05%4.228% 

 Students may request a loan to assist with additional expenses, replace earnings expectations, replace work study, or as a family financing option. To request a loan:

  1. Submit the Student Loan Request Form to the Office of Financial Aid ( and
  2. Complete Entrance Counseling  and the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Your login is your FSA ID and password. 

For more information on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, please seen the Parent Loan section of the Family Financing Options.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loans are administered by Amherst College. There are both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans. All aid resources (including parent loans) cannot exceed the student expense budget. 

Subsidized Loans 

  • The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while the student is in college
  • The subsidized loan program is need-based
  • The amount that may be borrowed is limited to the difference between the student expense budget and all other financial aid received. 

Unsubsidized Loans

  • Interest accrues from the date of disbursement. Interest may be either paid as it accrues or may be deferred and capitalized (i.e., added to the loan principal) while you are in school and for a six-month “grace” period after graduation or termination of studies.
  • Unsubsidized loans are not need-based
  • The maximum amount that may be borrowed is the difference between the statutory loan limits (below) and the amount of subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan. 

Loan Limits

  • A student may borrow a Federal Direct Stafford Loan (either subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination) of as much as $3,500 as a first-year student, $4,500 as a sophomore, and $5,500 a year as a junior or senior. 
  • Dependent students may borrow an additional unsubsidized loan of as much as $2,000 a year. The cumulative loan maximum for dependent students is $31,000, of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized.
  • Independent students may borrow additional unsubsidized loans of as much as $6,000 as a first-year student or sophomore, and as much as $7,000 as a junior or senior. The cumulative maximum for independent students is $57,500, of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized.

There is a federal origination fee of 1.057 percent for loans disbursed during the 2023-24 academic year. This federal origination fee is subtracted from the loan amount before the remaining proceeds are credited to the student account.

Amherst College Loans

The College provides loans from its own funds for a limited number of international students and those who do not qualify for federal loan programs. The interest rate is 5 percent for subsidized Amherst College Loans. The grace period, deferment, and cancellation provisions of the Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan program apply to Amherst College Loans.

Amherst College Computer Loans

Students who receive need-based scholarship from Amherst College are eligible for an Amherst College loan to pay for the cost of a computer.

The loan is a subsidized loan with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent. Repayment begins 6 months after a student graduates or separates from the College, and no interest is paid or accumulated while the student is enrolled and during the grace period. There is no pre-payment penalty should the loan be repaid prior to the end of the grace period.

Computer loans can be for up to the amount of $3,000 and may be used towards the purchase of:

  • Desktop or laptop computer
  • Extended Warranty (Required)
  • Printer
  • Cooling Pad (If you purchase a laptop)
  • Basic software purchased through the College

A student loan cannot be used to purchase an iPad or Tablet. You may receive one computer loan during your time at Amherst College. To request a loan:

  1. Students must submit a loan request in writing to the Office of Financial Aid. 
  2. In addition to the loan request, we need one of two documents submitted to our office:
    1. A cost estimate from the vendor’s website from which the computer will be purchased.  The estimate must include: the computer’s configuration, the extended warranty, sales tax and shipping costs.  If a printer will also be purchased, the vendor’s estimate for the printer and/or cooling pad for a laptop must also be included as well.


    2. A final invoice if a computer and extended warranty (printer and cooling pad if you wish) has been purchased upfront without initial loan funds.

You will receive an e-mail from with a link to e-sign the loan documents.

Students who request a cash advance for the computer purchase must provide a final invoice to the Office of Financial Aid to complete the loan transaction. If a computer purchased is less than the cost of the amount of the initial loan, the extra loan funds must be returned to the College immediately. Please note a student loan cannot be used to purchase an iPad or Tablet. You may receive one computer loan during your time at Amherst College.

IT Resources:

Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans may be made to any Amherst student for emergency purposes and in case of financial need not covered in the usual procedures for long-term loans. The Morris Morgenstern Student Loan fund and the New England Society loan fund provide a limited number of interest-free short-term loans. Other, interest-bearing short-term loans are available through the College's Student Loan fund.