To qualify for federal student loans and to defer federal student loans, a student must be enrolled half-time (at least five credit hours for graduate students) in an academic term. Under the current GFP credit hour configuration, first-year GFP students register for 7 hours in the summer, 2 hours in the fall, and 4 hours in the spring -- enough credit hours for a student to be enrolled half-time for part of the year, but not enough credit hours to maintain half-time status for the entire academic year. Here are the current financial aid options available to GFP students:
During the summer when GFP students enroll in a 7-credit hour course, they can apply for a federal student loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is possible that they may be granted a federal loan in an amount that would cover most expenses for the 2.5- to 3-year GFP program. Also, at any time during the GFP experience, any student may apply for loans from private financial institutions. More information can be found at http://miamioh.edu/admission/finaid/graduate/loans/index.html
All students who take out federal student loans qualify for only one six-month deferment for each particular loan. GFP students who have not previously used their one-time, six-month deferment are able to defer federal loans beginning in the summer that they are enrolled in a 7-hour course. Students are not currently able to defer loans for the entirety of the 2.5- to 5-year GFP program. GFP students who have already used their six-month grace period would only be eligible for another six-month grace period on any new loans that have been borrowed.