A part of your financial aid award may be a loan from the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. A loan must be repaid. Therefore, when deciding whether to borrow, you should examine your need for assistance and your future ability to repay. Generally, you will have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan you choose. Your monthly payment amount will be based on how much you borrowed and how long you take to repay. Direct Loans have a fixed interest rate that differs depending on the loan type. The terms and conditions of all loans are explained in the Master Promissory Note which all borrowers must complete and sign. Instructions for completing the Master Promissory Note are included in the Financial Aid Award Guide.
Federal Direct Student Loans for Undergraduate Students
There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans for undergraduates. Both loans require a student be enrolled at least half-time (at least 6 credits per semester). Direct Subsidized Student Loans are for students with financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period)*, and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments). Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods.
For more complete information on the Direct Loan Program, visit the federal web site, https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa. According to federal regulations, the maximum you can borrow each year is based on your grade level and dependency status as indicated on the chart below
||Undergraduate Dependent Student
||Undergraduate Independent Student
|Freshman Undergraduate (0 to 26.5 credit hours)
||$5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)
||$9,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)
|Sophomore Undergraduate (27 to 54.5 credit hours)
||$6,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)
||$10,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)
|Junior/Senior undergraduate (55+ credit hours)
||$7,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)
||$12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)
|Maximum Total Debt from Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans when you graduate
||$31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)
||$57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)
150 Percent SUBSIDIZED Loan Time Limitation
If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2014, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans.
If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your "maximum eligibility period." Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program.
For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor's degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years).
Loan Origination Fees
The Federal Direct Loan Program is authorized to charge an origination fee for each loan. The fee is a percentage of your total amount borrowed and is deducted from your loan before the loan disbursement is sent to Stevenson University.
The loan fee for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018 is 1.066 percent. The loan fee for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019 is 1.062 percent. Loan origination fees are changed on October 1 of each year.
Interest Rates for Undergraduate Borrowers
Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act interest rates will be determined each spring for new loans being made for the next award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.
The 2018-2019 interest rate for the Undergraduate Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan is 3.76 percent. The interest rate for 2017-2018 is 5.05 percent.
Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling
First-time borrowers at Stevenson University of Federal Direct Loans are required to complete entrance counseling and Master promissory Note (MPN) before the Financial Aid Office can process their loan. The purpose of the entrance counseling is to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a new loan borrower and that you understand the regulations governing each loan program, such as interest rates, grace, deferment/ forbearance options, prepayment, consolidation, and other general repayment obligations. You are also informed of the consequences of not repaying your student loans (default) and of various repayment strategies.
All student loan borrowers are required to complete exit counseling before graduating or withdrawing from Stevenson University or ceasing to enroll at least half-time.
The online session covers all subjects that were covered in the entrance counseling, with an emphasis on repayment strategies.
For more complete information on the Direct Loan Program, visit the federal web site, https://studentloans.gov.
Financial Aid Census Date
Funds will post to your student account after the financial aid census date. The census date typically marks the end of the add/drop period for the semester. This is the date we take a “snapshot” of all students’ enrollment to establish the “official enrollment” for reporting purposes and financial aid eligibility. The classes for which you are registered as of the census date determine the amount of financial aid you will receive.
Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loans for Undergraduates
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program is authorized to charge an origination fee for each loan. The fee is a percentage of your total amount borrowed and is deducted from your loan before the loan disbursement is sent to Stevenson University. The loan fee for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018 is 4.264 percent. The loan fee for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019 is 4.248 percent. Loan origination fees are changed on October 1 of each year.
The student must be enrolled at least half-time status (6 credits or more per semester).
- The borrower and the student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- The borrower and the student must not be in default on a prior education loan.
- The borrower must meet federally defined credit worthiness standards.
- The student must be making satisfactory academic progress.
Credit Worthiness Standards
Beginning March 29, 2015, a Direct PLUS Loan applicant is considered to have an adverse credit history if:
- The applicant has one or more debts that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the applicant’s credit report, or that have been placed in collection or charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the applicant’s credit report, and the total combined outstanding balance of those debts is greater than $2,085; or
- The applicant has been subject to any of the following conditions during the five years preceding the date of the credit report:
- Default Determination
- Bankruptcy Discharge
- Tax Lien
- Wage Garnishment
- Write-Off of a Title IV Debt
All applicants determined to have an adverse credit history will be notified by the Department of Education that they may be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan if they:
- Obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history
- Document to the satisfaction of the Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information
- Complete the new PLUS Counseling on the StudentLoans.gov Website
A Direct PLUS Loan Applicant who is determined to have an adverse credit history may begin the process of documenting extenuating circumstances (or a request for reconsideration, if eligible) by using the “Document Extenuating Circumstances” link on the StudentLoans.gov web site or by contacting the Student Loan Support Center at 800-557-7394.
If the parent is denied the PLUS loan due to an adverse credit history and does not reapply with a cosigner, the student may borrow additional Direct Unsubsidized loan money. Freshmen and sophomores are eligible to borrow an additional $4,000 and juniors and seniors are eligible to borrow an additional $5,000.
Annual Loan Limits
Cost of attendance less other aid.
Loan Origination Fees
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program is authorized to charge an origination fee for each loan. The fee is a percentage of your total amount borrowed and is deducted from your loan before the loan disbursement is sent to Stevenson University. The loan fee for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017 is 4.276 percent. Loan origination fees are changed on October 1 of each year.
Interest Rate (Direct PLUS Loans)
Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act interest rates will be determined each spring for new loans being made for the next award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. The 2018-2019 interest rate for the Direct PLUS loan is 7.60 percent.
For more information you are encouraged to visit: studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates
- Payment of principal and interest begins 60 days after the final disbursement.
- For loans first disbursed after July 1, 2008, your parent borrower can apply for an in-school deferment as long as you are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits or more per semester).
- Application instructions are included in the Financial Aid Award Guide 2013-2014.
FSA Student Loan Ombudsman
Students or Parents receiving Direct Student Loans or Plus Loans should be aware that if they are in a dispute about a federal student loan, they can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group as a last resort.
If you've completed the steps to resolve your loan dispute and you still are not satisfied, you may need to contact the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.
Contact the Ombudsman Group as a last resort. Make every effort to resolve your student loan problems before contacting the Ombudsman Group.
The FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group may be contacted via their website, or one of the following alternate ways:
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
Alternative/Private Education Loan
Alternative Student Loans, also commonly referred to as Private Education Loans, are consumer loans offered by banks, credit unions and other private lenders to cover the cost of college not covered by financial aid.
Before applying for an Alternative Student Loan, the student and parent of a dependent student should compare the terms of the loan with loan assistance available through the Federal Direct Student Loan and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Programs. Most Alternative Student Loan Programs are not competitive with the Federal Loan Programs and are only intended to provide supplemental education financing after all federal options are exhausted.
If you live in the following states, you should also review information about your state's Private Education Loan Programs: Alaska, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Stevenson University does not provide a Preferred Alternative Student Loan Lender List, but we are able to provide you with a list of banks and credit unions that have made loans to our students in the past. Please be advised that Stevenson University does not recommend, promote, or endorse the loan products of the lenders on these lists. You are free to borrow from any lender of your choice.
For a list of lenders see Stevenson University 5 year Alternative Loan Lender List.
(Please check the lender's web site for up to date contact information regarding an alternative/private student loan.)
Stevenson University provides Alternative Student Loan Counseling through the FASTChoice website. The FASTChoice website is powered by Great Lakes Student Loan Services and will provide you with general information about loan types, loan terms, and conditions and borrower responsibilities.
For our larger volume lenders, you will be able to use the FASTChoice comparison tool to view individual bank loan details, including eligibility requirements, interest rates, loan limits, and borrower benefits. Since most credit unions have specific membership requirements, we would suggest that you contact them individually to determine their membership requirements.
It is very important that you pay close attention to the information you receive about a private loan and the repayment of the loan and that you retain the information you receive. It will apply when you have to begin repayment of your loans. Private loans may not have the same flexibility and options available with Direct Loans. You do not want unwelcome surprises and issues when you begin repayment.
If you are planning to use an Alternative Student Loan to pay your charges, please allow sufficient processing time. Most lenders will agree that using a credit-worthy cosigner may speed up the application process, help lower the interest rate, and increase the chance of approval. When applying for this loan, please be sure to request the funds you need for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Your requested amount will be divided equally between the two semesters.
When the lender has determined whether the student meets the approval criteria, the lender will contact Stevenson for the school certification. After the certification has been provided, the lender will issue a disclosure statement detailing the loan agreement. If you request to borrow an amount that exceeds eligibility, Stevenson will reduce the requested amount to comply with federal guidelines.
Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification
The Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law on August 18, 2008. The Act requires all colleges to adopt a College Loan Code of Conduct. Stevenson University has adopted the College Loan Code of Conduct proposed by the Attorney General of the State of Maryland.