Student Loans

For information related to the One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief Program announced by the Biden administration, visit

Loans can be a short-term answer, but a long-term problem. We encourage you to consider your expenses carefully and borrow wisely, if you choose to pay for your education with student loans. Because we care about your life after SUU as much as we care about having you here, we have put together some information to help you keep your debt at a reasonable level for your future earnings.

  1. The best thing you can do to avoid unreasonable debt is to plan ahead. For helpful tips on planning and preparing for college expenses, visit SUU Financial Wellness.
  2. How much money can you expect to make after graduation? How much student loan debt can you afford? UHEAA has some excellent calculators that can help you get and idea of what you can afford to borrow.

In spite of the caution we use when advising you about debt, if a small amount of debt is all that is standing between you and your education, student loans are not a bad way to go. Once you have considered all the above information, you will be able to borrow wisely, complete your education with a minimal amount of debt, and get a head start on your future.

All Federal loan information is sent to the Federal National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.

Read the Student Loan Code of Conduct.

The U.S. Department of Education annually produces federal student loan default rates. A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers in the U.S. who enter repayment on certain loans during a federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) and default prior to the end of the next one to two fiscal years. 

Southern Utah University's cohort default rates are shown in this table with comparison to the national average cohort repayment default rates.

National Average Cohort Repayment Default Rates
FY 2017 FY 2016 FY 2015
SUU 6.3% 5.9% 5.4%
National Avg 9.7% 10.1% 10.8%


Federal Student Loan Payment Calculators

Types of Loans

  • Federal Direct Loans

    This is money you can borrow from the federal government. It must be repaid beginning six months after you graduate or drop below six credits. Direct loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized means that interest will not begin to accrue until six months after you graduate or drop below six credits. Unsubsidized means that interest begins accruing immediately upon disbursement. You will receive a quarterly statement from your lender indicating how much interest has accrued on your unsubsidized loan. Current interest rates can be found on the Student Aid Website. You are not required to pay the interest while you are in school, but if you don’t, it will be capitalized onto the principle balance of your loan. Direct loans require at least half-time enrollment (six credits for undergraduates, five credits for graduates). Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA.  Available to undergraduate and graduate students.

  • PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student)

    This is a loan requested by your parent(s) and borrowed from the federal government. Repayment begins six weeks after the last disbursement of the loan, or when the student graduates or drops below six credits, whichever comes first. Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA, and based on a credit check. Interest begins to accrue immediately upon disbursement. The current interest rate is 6.84%. The PLUS loan require at least half-time enrollment (six credits).

    To apply, complete the FAFSA, then complete the Direct Parent PLUS loan application found at  Once complete, the application will be forwarded to our office for further processing.

  • Graduate PLUS Loans

    Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses. The terms and conditions applicable to PLUS Loans for parents also apply to PLUS Loans for graduate and professional students. These terms and conditions include a determination that you (the applicant) do not have an adverse credit history. The Graduate PLUS loan requires at least halt-time enrollment (five credits for graduate students).

    To apply, complete the FAFSA, the complete the Graduate PLUS loan application found at  Once complete, the application will be forwarded to our office for further processing.

  • Alternative (Private) Loans

    We recommend that you research these options (and any others you may find) and determine which loan best suits your needs. Always consider things like origination fees, interest rates, and repayment benefits such as interest reduction for on-time payments. If you need additional information on what these terms mean, please contact your financial aid counselor. Available to undergraduate and graduate students.

    To help you find a private lender that may be right for you, check out our FASTChoice Portal. Please note, this is not a preferred lender list, but a comparison site of the most commonly used lenders by students attending SUU. SUU does not have a preferred lender list.