Federal Direct Loan Programs (DL)
This loan assists students in paying their educational expenses. The loan is made to the student, and the student is directly responsible for repayment of this debt. Eligibility is contingent upon completion and submission of appropriate application documents. The Stafford Loan carries a fixed interest rate and repayment of principal begins six months after you cease to be a student enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 credits for an undergraduate student).
There are two types of Stafford Loans. If you demonstrate sufficient financial need, you will qualify for the Subsidized Stafford Loan. The federal government pays the interest on this loan while you maintain at least half-time status. If you do not qualify for the full Subsidized Stafford Loan, you may borrow an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan; however, you must pay the interest on this loan while you are in school or opt to capitalize the interest and pay it, along with the principal, upon leaving school.
Stafford Loan funds are borrowed directly from the Department of Education (DOE). Repayment is made directly to the DOE at the end of the six-month grace period. The amount of your student loan depends on the number of credits you have successfully completed. If you are a new student or have completed fewer than 28 credits, you are eligible for an annual maximum of up to $3,500. If you have completed or transferred in with between 28 and 59 credits, you are eligible for an annual maximum of up to $4,500. Once you have completed or transferred in with at least 60 credits, you are eligible for an annual maximum of up to $5,500. Graduate Students may borrow up to a maximum of $20,500.
Stafford Loan eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office. To apply for and receive such a loan, you must complete an Entrance Interview online at studentloans.gov and a Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note online at studentloans.gov. If you are an incoming or a continuing student whose file is complete, you will also need to complete these items online before the Stafford Loan can be processed.
In either case, you will need to complete an e-MPN for loan processing. After your e-MPN has been received, your loan will be electronically certified by the College and the Student Accounts Office will receive the loan and credit it to your account, half in each semester. The FAFSA is the annual application for a Federal Stafford Loan.
Federal Perkins Loans
Funded by the federal government and administered by the College, Federal Perkins Loans are awarded based on financial need and availability of funds. Eligibility is re-evaluated each year. Repayment begins nine months after the student ceases at least half-time enrollment (6 credits for an undergraduate). The interest rate on this loan is 5%. Eligible students must sign a promissory note with the Student Accounts Office before Perkins Loan funds can be credited to a student's account.
Federal Parent Loans (PLUS)
If you are a dependent student, your parent may borrow up to the cost of your education, less any financial aid received. Approval is contingent upon a successful credit check. Loan proceeds (minus a 4% origination fee) are disbursed directly to your account, half in each semester. Your parent will need to go to studentloans.gov to complete your electronic PLUS Master Promissory Note (e-MPN).
Upon approval, the college will electronically certify the loan and schedule the disbursements. To use PLUS loan proceeds for the Fall bill, this process must be completed no later than June 1st. The PLUS loan carries a fixed interest rate. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office directly.
Alternative loans are private loans made through lending institutions and are not part of federal government loan programs. Alternative loans are more expensive than federal government guaranteed loans and should only be used when all other options have been exhausted. Research all possibilities for scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal loan programs before borrowing from an alternative loan program. Choose the loan that best suits your needs and remember to borrow only what you need!
Remember that loans must be repaid after you leave school. Live conservatively during college because it will make your life easier after you graduate or leave school. After college there may be additional expenses (i.e., cars, homes, etc.), therefore, it is wise to shop around for the best rate on your alternative loan. Look for a loan that can offer you terms that fit your needs and the service you deserve. Not all loans are the same, so do your homework!