These Loans Pay Off

Make sure you understand how education loans work, and decide if this is the best option for you.

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Learn All About Loans

Education loans can be a great way to pay for college, but make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. You probably have a lot of questions, and NOVA has a strong interest in making sure that, in the end, the loan works to your benefit.

Let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Loan?

Loans are money that you or your parents borrow and repay with interest.

Education loans are offered at low interest rates and have long repayment terms. Some loans require a demonstration of need, others do not.

Who Is Eligible?

To qualify for financial aid, you must:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program of study
  • Maintain satisfactory academic standing
  • Not be in default on a federal educational loan or owe a repayment to a federal grant

State and federally funded aid programs require:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Permanent residency, Asylee or refugee status
  • Virginia residency (state funds only)
  • Federal school code for NOVA: 003727

How Much Can You Borrow?

There are different factors that determine, and limit, the total amount you are eligible to borrow:

  • What school you are enrolled at
  • What type of loan your school supports
  • What year of school you are in
  • Whether you are dependent or independent
  • If your parents are eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan

For more detailed information about limits, please visit our Loans page on

What Are the Risks?

It pays to be informed about what you are signing up for. Loans carry an inherent risk to the borrower. Student loans are an obligation that must be repaid. Think carefully about what you need, and what your future career will comfortably allow you to repay. There are serious consequences for failing to repay student loans, such as: wage garnishment, withholding of tax refunds, collection fees, denial of financial aid and damage to your credit history.

Start planning to repay your student loans with NOVA's Loan Planning form.

For more detailed information about repayment, please visit our Loans page on

Repayment Resources