Duke University offers the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs for graduate students, including Stafford unsubsidized loans, Graduate PLUS, and Carl Perkins loans. Each of these loans has different terms and conditions, but they are generally deferrable until after graduation or until the student is enrolled for less than half-time.
These federal loans are available only to United States citizens and, generally, only to master’s students, because Ph.D. scholarships and fellowships typically exceed the cost of attendance. Visit the Duke Financial Aid website for more information and application procedures for student loans.
Since 2013, The Graduate School has partnered with the Duke Credit Union to provide a short-term loan package for Ph.D. students who occasionally find themselves in need of funds on a short-term basis in order to settle into a new home when they begin their Ph.D. program at Duke, purchase a computer, or address an unexpected emergency. GSAP offers qualified Ph.D. student loans of up to $2,500 for up to 12 months at competitive interest rates. Payroll deduction is available. See the Duke Credit Union GSAP page for details and to apply.
The Helen & Gordon McKinney Emergency Loan Fund, created in 2013, provides short-term, low-interest loans to Graduate School Ph.D. students for general expenses such as settling into a new home, purchasing a computer, or addressing unexpected emergencies.
Terms and Conditions
- The maximum loan amount is $1,000.
- The repayment term is up to 12 months (or prior to graduating if applicable) at a 3.5% interest rate. Interest does not begin accruing until the third month of the loan period.
- The loan period begins from the date of disbursement.
- Students must possess the ability to repay the loan while they are enrolled as there is no deferment period.
- Students cannot have more than one loan outstanding at any point in time, and may only request three loans during their academic career.
- Loan availability is subject to loan amount and qualification of borrower. Not all applicants qualify for the loan. Loan approval is dependent on fund availability, successful academic progress, financial aid status, and explanation of need.
To apply for the McKinney Loan, please complete the short online application form. As part of the form, you will be asked to upload:
- A PDF of a completed ACH Authorization form (download) to set up auto monthly withdraw from a bank account for repayment
- A photo or scanned image of a voided check for the bank account listed on the ACH Authorization form (write “VOID” on the front of the check and either take a photo of it or scan it)
Once you submit the online application, The Graduate School’s finance office will review your information and contact you within five business days.
If approved for a loan, you will be notified by our finance office and advised of next steps regarding your promissory note and loan disbursement.