University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu


Loans are another method of paying for your college education. Different requirements are defined depending on the type of loan a student chooses to pursue. Below are several options for students.

Federal Direct Loans

Eligibility for the federal student loan program requires completion of the FAFSA. To process and disburse a loan through the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu, separate loan requirements will need to be completed as instructed. The student must be enrolled with UH West O’ahu at a minimum of 6 credits to be eligible for any federal loan program.

  • Please note that first time federal loan borrowers are required by the Federal Government to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling.  These requirements ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming and promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

Direct Subsidized Loan

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. UH West O’ahu determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need. A minimum enrollment of 6-credits with the University is required to maintain eligibility for this fund.

  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan:
    • while you’re in school at least half-time,
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.  UH West O’ahu determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive. A minimum enrollment of 6-credits with the University is required to maintain eligibility for this fund.

  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) Loan

The U.S. Department of Education is an optional federal loan program for parents of dependent students. Parent PLUS loans help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. The parent borrower is responsible for repayment of this loan and interest accrues once the loan has disbursed. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum of 6 credits) at the University in order to be eligible.

  • You must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be conducted. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if you meet additional requirements.

To apply for the parent PLUS loan, a completed parent PLUS Loan Request Form must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. View additional information regarding the Direct PLUS Loan.

Private Alternative Loans

Before considering private loan options, you should apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, including federal student loans which have a fixed interest rate. UH West O’ahu strongly encourages all students to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Private education loans are often used to close the remaining costs between educational cost and the amount of federal assistance you have received. Private lenders offer these loans; eligibility is based on your credit score. The interest rate may be variable and/or fixed. Most private loans offer deferred payments until you leave school and often have flexible repayment options. Applying for a private loan with a co-signer may help you qualify for better terms.

  • Students must be enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program to participate in all private loan programs.
  • If you are applying for a private loan for a past due balance and/or an academic year that has already ended, please contact the Financial Aid Office directly. Certain restrictions may apply.
  • Be sure to understand the full impact a private loan will have on your financial aid package and your budget. UH West O’ahu will not certify a loan that exceeds your cost of attendance.

Before accepting a loan, be sure to review all terms and conditions.

The Department of Education provides more information on Responsible BorrowingHow to Manage Your Student Loans and Repayment: What to Expect.

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