The government offers many different loan options for PhD study. PhD means “Doctor of Philosophy”, which is a long college degree that focuses on research and learning about a specific topic in-depth. The loans provided by the government vary on a case-by-case basis.
The financial aid you can get from the government isn’t just for undergraduates to help cover tuition fees. It also offers over 30 different types of grants, loans, and student benefits to help out postgraduates with their living costs.
Here is everything you need to know about government loans that can help you on your way toward achieving your goal of becoming a Doctor of Philosophy.
What is a PhD Loan?
The PhD loan is a type of student loan. It is designed specifically for students who are enrolled in PhD programs. This type of loan offers a fixed interest rate and a fixed repayment schedule. The terms of the loan are set by the lender, and they may vary from one lender to another.
The amount of your PhD loan will depend on several factors. These factors include how much money you need, how long it will take you to finish your degree and whether or not you qualify as an independent student rather than a dependent one.
PhD loans are sometimes referred to as “doctorate loans” or “doctoral loans.” Some lenders offer doctorate loans only, while others offer doctoral loans alongside other types of student loans such as undergraduate loans or parent plus loans.
Government Loans for PhD Study
Until further notice from the government, there are still little specifics on the proposed PhD loans, but the following is certain:
With a payback rate of 9 percent, the loans can be used in conjunction with an existing government Master’s loan (for which the current interest rate lies at 6 percent )
As far as we know, no one who is accepted into a PhD program at a UK university will be denied these loans on the basis of their ability to repay them.
These loans will be accessible beginning in 2018/2019 if you are accepted into a postdoctoral job at an institution of higher education.
Who Qualifies for Government Loans for PhD Study
The government loans for PhD study are for all students including international students. The research departments of universities and colleges across the world offer PhD programs on a wide range of topics.
The following types of people may qualify for government loans for PhD study:
- People who are currently enrolled in a PhD program at a public university may be eligible to receive federal loan funding through their school’s financial aid office.
- Students who already have an undergraduate degree must also meet certain requirements before they can apply for these funds (which we’ll discuss later). This funding comes directly from the federal government and is administered by each school individually.
- People who want to pursue advanced degrees but cannot afford them on their own may qualify for federal grant funding through various agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) or Department of Defense (DoD).
Requirements For Government Loans for PhD Study
Government loans for PhD study are available for students to pursue a PhD degree. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Direct Loans) are available from the Federal government to help pay for all or part of your education. To be eligible, you must:
- They must be employed on at least a half-time basis either full-time or half-time and working toward their degrees during the academic year.
- They must be pursuing a doctorate degree at a US college or university that is approved by the Department of Education (DOE).
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year that you wish to receive federal student aid funding. You can also complete the FAFSA online.
- Make satisfactory academic progress toward your degree program as defined by your school’s policy, which may include minimum grade point averages and completion of certain classes within specified time frames.
- You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application and not older than 65 years at the time of disbursement.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED (General Education Development) certificate or its equivalent (for example: International Baccalaureate Diploma).
- You must not have any felony convictions and/or drug related convictions on your criminal record within 10 years before applying for a loan; however, this requirement does not apply if you have been convicted of only one misdemeanor involving any controlled substance (except marijuana) within 3 years before applying for a loan.
What are the Different Loan Types Available?
There are two types of government sponsored student loan programs available for PhD students. The first is a subsidized loan, which means that your interest rate will be lower than the market rate when you begin repayment. The second type is an unsubsidized loan, which has a higher interest rate than the market rate. Both types will have an annual limit on how much money you can borrow, which may vary depending on your field of study and whether you are attending school full or part time.
1. Direct Subsidized Loans
These are loans where the government pays the interest while you are in school. They are available to undergraduate students who have not yet reached their grace period (this is when payments begin after you graduate).
2. Direct Unsubsidized Loans
These are available to undergraduate students who have already reached their grace period and have had at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment status for at least one semester. It is important to note that these loans do not have an interest subsidy and you will be responsible for paying the interest while you are in school.
3. Federal Perkins Loans
These loans are made directly from the school and work very similar to private student loans, but they offer lower interest rates and better repayment terms than other private student loan options. Perkins loans require that you stay enrolled at least half-time each semester until graduation, so this option may not be available if you take time off between semesters or graduate early.
How Much Can you Borrow?
For a doctoral degree in any field, you may be able to get a UK PhD loan of up to £27,892 from Student Finance England or £27,880 from Student Finance Wales. You only have to pay back the money if you make more than £21,000 a year.
Will the Loan Cover All the Costs of your PhD Study?
In contrast to undergraduate Student Loans, the Doctoral Loan is paid directly to you – unlike the money that goes immediately to your university to cover your tuition fees.
Because it’s up to you how to utilize it, this means you’ll have to factor it into your monthly spending.
In order to get a Doctoral Loan, you must be able to meet both your living expenses and your university tuition.
All the money you request for will be spread out evenly over the term of your studies. A four-year study would cost roughly £6,973 if you applied for the full £27,892 grant.
Each installment will be paid out over the course of the year in three separate payments of 33 percent, 33 percent, and 34 percent..
Once your university confirms that you’ve registered for the course, the first payment will be deposited into your account. Consider this at the beginning of the school year, if you need to pay rent and/or a deposit for accommodation, for instance.
What are the Repayment Terms?
There is an income-based repayment plan for doctoral loans. Repayment begins when you make more than $21,000 per year (£1,750 monthly) and you only pay back 6 percent of what you earn above that amount.
Your repayments will begin in April of the year following your graduation or four years after you begin your PhD. (whichever is sooner). You can begin repaying your doctoral debt while you’re still in your PhD, but only if you’re making enough money.
It all depends on what kind of work you’re doing at the time:
If you work in the UK, the Student Loans Company will automatically withdraw repayments from your paycheck if you are hired through HMRC. This is something that occurs on a regular basis, usually every month.
Your annual tax return will include repayments to HMRC if you are self-employed.
If you are working outside the United Kingdom, you will need to contact the Student Loans Company to discuss repayment options. Before you leave the United Kingdom, you should do this.
In the event of unemployment, you will be unable to make your loan installments. If you’ve ever made less than £21,000 a year, the same rules apply to you.
How Do I Apply for a PHD Student Loan?
To apply for a PHD student loan, you need to submit an online application form which will be available on the official website of the university. You can also download the application form from there and submit it by post
The whole process of applying for government study loans is quite simple. You can visit your local library to read student guide books written on the topic. You can also apply online through the official website of the government. The next task is to get the completed application form signed by you and submit it online on a specified date. Your application will be reviewed and you would be informed via mail in a specified period of time whether your application has been approved or rejected.