Student Loans

Federal Loans

Loans are funds that are borrowed and must be repaid. There are several different types of loans for students, including federal and private. Plan carefully if you choose to borrow a student loan. While loans may be necessary for you to finance your education while at Meharry, students should borrow conservatively. If you are offered a student loan as part of your financial aid award, you have the option to accept, reduce, or decline the loan.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federal loans available to Graduate students and are not based on need. Interest accrues from date of disbursement.

  • Graduate PLUS Loans are federal loans available for Graduate students and eligibility is based on credit. Interest accrues from date of disbursement.

  • Private/Alternative Student Loans are also available and based on credit. Meharry works with all lenders. Students are encouraged to do their due diligence in determining the appropriate lender before selecting a private/alternative loan product. Meharry cannot recommend a specific lender.


**No Subsidized loans for graduate students beginning July 1, 2012.

Federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you will receive will be less than the amount you borrowed. You are responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan with a first disbursement date between 10/01/2021 and 09/30/2023 have an origination fee of 1.057%.

  • Graduate PLUS Loan with a first disbursement date between 10/01/2021 and 09/30/2023 have an origination fee of 4.228%.

Borrowers of federal Title IV loans are subject to aggregate loan limits. There is a cap on the total amount a student is allowed to borrow. It is very important for students to be aware of their lifetime loan totals and their aggregate loan limits. Students need to borrow conservatively, consider how much they will need to borrow in the future, and know when they will reach their aggregate limit. Students can access their Title IV loan information at

Student Level


Graduate (Masters & Ph.D.)

Graduate/Health Professional (Medical & Dental)

Loan Aggregate Amount


$138,500 (no more than $65,500 subsidized)

$224,000 (no more than $65,500 subsidized)

Note: Undergraduate loans are included in the aggregate amount.





MED 2 (Research)










ID3 (Dental) – 11 months

ID3 (Dental) – 12 months

Unsubsidized Loan Amount
















*No Subsidized loans for graduate students beginning July 1, 2012.

Private/Alternative Loans

  • These are credit-based loans based on the student’s credit. Private/alternative loans are available to all students, based on each lender’s credit criteria. These funds are not in addition to borrowing federal student loans.

  • To apply, choose a lender you prefer and apply directly with them. You must reapply each year when you will need funding for an academic year.

  • The amount is not to exceed the student’s Cost of Attendance minus the student’s other financial aid.

  • Interest rates vary from lender to lender. Some lenders may require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). It is the student’s responsibility to understand the lender’s criteria when borrowing a private/alternative loan.

  • For more details on these private education loans (and/or to verify the latest information, which may be changed by the lenders without notice), contact the lenders directly.

A student who is denied a Graduate PLUS Loan due to adverse credit history has certain rights and options. The student may take the following actions to see if the loan may still be approved:


Appeal the credit decision: You can appeal directly to the U.S. Department of Education based on extenuating circumstances here.


Add an endorser (co-signer) to the loan: You can obtain a credit-worthy endorser (co-signer). An endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if the student is unable to repay it. The endorser may not be the student. An Endorser Addendum must be completed by the cosigner and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. The endorser can complete the application here.


Student Note: The Loan ID can be found in the denial email received from the U.S. Department of Education. The ID starts with the student’s SSN followed by “P22G0350600” and ending in the number of the Graduate PLUS Loans sent to the U.S. Department of Education. If a student has been offered multiple Graduate PLUS Loans, the Loan ID will end in “1”, “2”, etc. (e.g. SSNP22G03506002)


If your Credit Appeal or Endorser Addendum is approved, the student must complete the PLUS Credit Counseling here before your loan funds can be disbursed.

Federal law requires entrance counseling before Meharry can release loan funds to you.


You will need to complete Graduate PLUS entrance counseling only once. If you have previously completed the entrance counseling at another institution, you are not required to complete it again. Graduate PLUS entrance counseling requirements are in addition to entrance counseling requirements for other loans you may receive.


Complete Your Entrance Counseling Requirement:

  • Go to

  • Sign in with your FSA ID

  • Click on “Complete Entrance Counseling”

  • Make sure to indicate that you are a “Graduate or Professional Student”

  • Log in to start

  • Once completed, print the conformation page for your records


Complete Your Master Promissory Note (MPN):

  • Go to

  • Sign in with your FSA ID

  • Click on “Complete a Master Promissory Note”

  • Click on “MPN for Direct PLUS Loan”

  • Complete the MPN by signing with your FSA ID


Note: If this is your first time borrowing federal student loans, you must complete the “MPN for Unsubsidized Loans.”

At Meharry, low-interest health professions loans may be offered to qualifying students with exceptional financial need. The health professions loans we offer are:

  • Health Professions Student Loan Program (only for dental students)

  • Loans for Disadvantaged Students

  • Primary Care Loan (for medical students only)

To be eligible, you must have completed your FAFSA and must be enrolled full-time in a program of study leading to a degree in medicine or dentistry.


Meharry is required to collect your parents’ financial information regardless of your age, marital, tax, or independent status. Your parent’s financial information is required to make the best possible financial need estimate.

A health professions loan is a campus-based loan and is administered through Meharry. The maximum annual award amount per qualified student varies from year to year, depending on the total available funding.


There are no origination fees; the interest rate is a fixed 5% and does not accrue while in school. You will have 9-months after leaving Meharry or dropping below half-time to begin repayments. Payments are submitted to Meharry’s Student Financial Services department, not to the federal government via Heartland ECSI.

You will need to complete a promissory note every year when you accept a health professions loan.

  • Go to (a direct link can be found in your email)

  • Enter your SSN, Last Name, First Name, and Date of Birth

  • Once you have been authenticated, electronically sign your MPN, carefully read your Entrance Counseling Rights and Responsibilities, take the 10-Question Quiz, and complete the Reference Sheet. You will receive an on-screen confirmation when this has been done successfully

  • Your loan funds should deliver electronically to your student account within 5 business days


You will need to complete entrance counseling, which is offered by Heartland ESCI along with the promissory note, before your loan can disburse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn a little more about applying for student loans.

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