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Federal Aid

Discover ways to fund your doctorate

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Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages jobs in support of the community and work related to your course of study. You may work up to 15 hours per week during the school year, and rates of pay are based on the type of position and skill level required. Federal work study is not a loan and does not have to be repaid upon graduation. Work study is a great way to help pay for living expenses that you don't want to put on a student loan.

Health Professions Student Loans

One of the Health and Human Services Loan programs, HPSL, is available to full-time students attending ICO who demonstrate family financial need. These are subsidized loans with an interest rate of five percent and a 12-month grace period after graduation. The government pays the interest during periods of eligible enrollment, grace or eligible deferment. This loan has a 10-year repayment term unless it is included in a Direct Loan Consolidation.


If you want to apply for the HPSL program, you also need to submit parental income information on your FAFSA. As a graduate student, you are considered an independent student for financial aid and parent data is only used to determine eligibility for HPSL. By supplying the information, your parent(s) are not accepting any responsibility for the loan. However, all income and asset information of your parent(s) needs to be completed on the FAFSA in order to apply.

Due to COVID-19 US Federal Student loans have 0% interest and no required payments through January 31, 2022.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.284 percent for 2021-22. The origination fee, as of October 1, 2020, is 1.057 percent. There is a six-month grace period upon graduation (or ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time). You will have between 10 to 30 years to repay your loan depending on which repayment plan you choose.

Unsubsidized loans are not awarded on the basis of need. Interest will accrue from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Your loans will disburse quarter by quarter and interest begins accruing after each disbursement. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized after graduation–that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.

Under the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, health professions graduate students can generally borrow up to $40,500 for each 9-month academic year and $47,167 for each 12-month academic year. The actual loan amount you receive is based on your need and any other forms of assistance you may be receiving. The lifetime loan limit from all Direct Unsubsidized Loans is $224,000. The graduate loan limit includes any Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans received for undergraduate or prior graduate study.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

This is an unsubsidized federal student loan that can be used to cover additional attendance need costs. This loan program allows students to borrow funds above the limits of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program to ensure that they can meet your needs without having to seek private loans. Interest accrues while in school and unpaid interest capitalizes upon repayment (similar to Direct Unsubsidized Loans). The interest rate of Direct Graduate PLUS Loans is 6.284 percent for 2021-22. As of July 1, 2020, the origination fee is 4.228 percent.

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