School Loan Programs for Rural and Farm Families


TARFF - Tuition Assistance for Rural and Farm Families

What is the Tuition Assistance for Rural and Farm Families?

The Tuition Assistance for Rural and Farm Families (TARFF) is a low interest student loan program designed to supplement any existing loan or grant program, including  Federal Direct Loans. It is also available to part-time students who do not qualify for traditional student loans and/or grants.

Who is eligible for a TARFF loan?

Any undergraduate or graduate student at a college or university or any individual enrolled in a trade school or certification program from a Michigan family with adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less who are:

  • members of a farm family; or
  • residents of a small rural community; or
  • closely associated with agricultural activities.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you may borrow will be based on tuition, registration fees, lab fees, books, and required course supplies, even if these expenses are already covered by another loan or grant program. A copy of the tuition statement or bill, course syllabus, book estimate, etc. will be used to determine the amount of your loan eligibility. Although based on tuition-related expenses, the TARFF loan may be used for any school-related expenses not being met by savings, loans, and/or grants.

  Loan limits:   Annual            Cumulative

          Undergraduate                     $8,000              $25,000
          Graduate                                   $8,000              $37,500*
          *Includes undergraduate loans. Cumulative limits may be adjusted on an individual basis.

When do payments begin?

Monthly payments of principal and interest will begin six months after graduation or your last day of attendance. Maximum repayment term is 10 years. (Minimum payments of $25.00.) Monthly payments of interest are required while you are in school.

What is interest rate and when does interest start?

The interest rate is 8%. Interest will begin to accrue from the date of disbursement. A "Prompt Payment Bonus" plan during repayment could reduce the interest up to 2% for qualifying borrowers. The borrower is responsible for all interest charges during the life of the loan.

Are there any enrollment restrictions or special requirements?

  • There are no minimum enrollment restrictions. Any applicant enrolled for one credit hour or more will be considered.
  • Attendance at any higher educational institution including two-year and four-year colleges and universities (including schools participating in the Direct Lending Program), trade schools, and certification programs will be allowed.
  • There is no age restriction.
  • There is no course of study restriction.
  • Every applicant will be required to provide a creditworthy cosigner.
  • All checks will be made co-payable to the borrower and the cosigner, and may also be co-payable to certain participating schools.
  • Disbursement date(s) cannot be more than 30 days prior to date(s) classes are scheduled to begin.
  • Multiple disbursement(s) may be required, based on amount of school cost per term and total loan request.
  • Total program funds may be subject to an annual limit.

How do I apply?

Click here to download an application and the instructions.


   Or you may click here to request an application be mailed to you.

Print the form, complete as per the instructions and mail to MRRC. Remember your school must also complete the form BEFORE it is returned to MRRC. Your application cannot be processed without all of the required documentation and signatures.

Final determination of eligibility will be at the sole discretion of MRRC. Regulations at time of disbursement will remain in effect for the lifetime of individual loan disbursement. Additional loans may be affected by any regulation changes with written notification to the borrower.

© 2013 Michigan Rural Rehabilitation Corporation