There are several types of loans that will help finance your education, including low-interest federal government loans and loans from private foundations or banks. Loans must be repaid.
Federal Direct Loan
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay the cost of a student’s education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, rather than a bank or other financial institution. Most students who file a FAFSA will be offered a Federal Direct Loan. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, attends less than half time, or stops attending college.
Qualifications for a Direct Loan
Most students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be awarded a student federal direct loan. Federal direct loans taken out by the student are the responsibility of the student and not the parent.
Parent Federal Direct Loan (PLUS Loan)
The PLUS Loan may be available to parents of dependent students to help cover the cost of education. This fixed-interest loan is based on credit approval. Repayment starts immediately after the final disbursement. Parents have the option to defer the loan up to six months after the student graduates, attends less than half time, or stops attending college. To apply for this loan, a parent will need to log in to studentaid.gov and click on “Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan”.
Note: The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for both the student and parent direct loans.
Application Requirements for Direct Loans
- File your FAFSA
- Federal regulations require that all first-time borrowers complete a direct loan entrance counseling and a direct loan master promissory note online at studentaid.gov before receiving funds.
- Current students who have previously borrowed through the Federal Family Education Loan Program will only have to complete a master promissory note.
- Upon graduation or dropping below half-time status (6 hours), borrowers are to complete a direct loan exit counseling online at studentaid.gov to review the terms and total indebtedness of their loans before repayment is scheduled to begin.
Entrance Loan Counseling
If you are a first-time borrower of Direct Loans, it is a requirement that you complete Entrance Loan Counseling before any Direct loans can be disbursed.
Loan counseling is designed to educate you, the student loan borrower, of your rights and responsibilities to federal student loans.
Visit studentaid.gov to complete loan entrance counseling for your Direct Loans
Master Promissory Note – Federal regulations require that all first-time borrowers complete a direct loan master promissory note online at studentaid.gov before receiving funds.
Exit Loan Counseling
As a condition of borrowing Federal Direct Student Loans, borrowers are required to complete Exit Counseling when they leave the College for any amount of time (including taking a term off) or graduate (including moving from one degree program to the next). The purpose of Exit Counseling for students to:
- Review their borrowing history and loan servicer
- Forecast monthly payments based on a variety of payment plans
- Identify strategies to successfully manage repayment
As a Federal Direct Student Loan borrower, we are required to remind you of your responsibility to complete Exit Counseling. Complete this counseling requirement online by signing into your studentaid.gov student borrower account.