Federal Stafford Loans
Students attending at least half-time (six (6) credit hours per semester) are eligible to apply for Federal Student Aid.
Completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), on the Web (www.fafsa.ed.gov) starts the process for obtaining Federal Loans. Use the Institute’s school code G38724. Shortly after you file your application, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the government and the Institute will receive a similar report called an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which will begin the certification process.
The Department of Education flags some applications for a process called “Verification”. If ED selects you for verification, the Financial Aid Officer will send you a notice and tell you what documents you need to provide. You must provide the requested document(s) to the Financial Aid Office within ten days.
If you are not subject to verification, or when your verification is completed, the Institute certifies your application. You will receive an award letter outlining your complete award package (including institutional aid and/or other financial aid monies you receive). Upon receipt of this letter, you have ten days to contact the financial aid office should you wish to decline or modify an award; ten days from the date you accept your award letter, you must complete online entrance counseling and your on-line Master Promissory Note (MPN) if you have not already done so according to Department of Education records (based on the National Student Loan Data System [NSLDS] database).
The Institute will draw down your funds after the add/drop period of each semester. After a few days of processing time, you will get a notice that your loan balance check is ready for pick-up in the business office. Balance checks are generally available the week following the add/drop period of each semester.
When you graduate, withdraw from the Institute, take an extended (more than 180 days) leave of absence, or drop below half-time enrollment your student loans will enter repayment; it is therefore required that every student complete online exit counseling prior to all four of the above scenarios. Exit counseling explains the repayment process and a number of benefits available to federal financial aid borrowers while their loans are in repayment. Completing exit counseling is required of all federal student aid borrowers; your financial aid clearance is not complete until the Financial Aid Office receives confirmation from the guarantor that you have completed this process.
Participating in the Federal Student Loan program means that you are subject to certain policies that the Institute has in place to ensure compliance with federal regulations, thereby enabling the Institute to continue offering federally backed loans to future generations of the Institute students.
Grad-PLUS Loans (New Federal Loan Program starting in 2006)
The Federal Student Aid program has opened its PLUS loan program to graduate students. Grad-PLUS is a credit-based loan program which provides many of the same benefits to students as do the Stafford Loan programs. They may provide better long-term benefits than do alternative/private loans including: a fixed interest rate (8.5%) as opposed to the flexible rates offered by most other lenders; deferment and forbearance options as in the Stafford programs; and fixed rate consolidation option. Grad-PLUS loans will not be certified unless you request them. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you would like more information. Since the Grad-PLUS program covers your needs up to Cost of Attendance, it effectively replaces most of the alternative loan programs you may have used in the past.
The Institute has established relationships with three lenders (please see below) on the basis of their availability to students and the benefit packages they offer to borrowers. The lenders suggested by the Institute are meant to be a convenience to help facilitate your choice of lender, as there are hundreds that process student loans. However, please be well advised that you are under no obligation to choose the lenders suggested by the Institute; each student is free to choose any lender, and is encouraged to research the packages offered by each lender before choosing one. Every lender offers benefit packages to student borrowers, so it is to your advantage to choose wisely. Should you choose to apply for loans from lenders not on our list, please advise the Financial Aid Office so that we can establish a relationship with their representative and establish systems to interact with their lending operations.
Our suggested lenders are:
Sun Trust: Provides federal Stafford loans and private/alternative loan programs.
KeyBank: Provides federal Stafford loans and private/alternative loan programs.
Wachovia: Provides federal Stafford loans and private/alternative loan programs.
For a comparison of each of these lenders and the benefits they offer, please click here.
(NOTE: Please do not apply for loans from these websites, use them for research. You will choose your lender when you complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN).)
The Financial Aid Office has information and details on these and other lenders’ programs.
Please contact Financial Aid for further assistance.
Information and Answers
The Institute requires all applicants for federal loans (Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Grad-PLUS loans) to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the year they are applying for loan funds. Loan eligibility cannot be determined until the Financial Aid Office receives the needs analysis information and it has been reviewed.
The Institute participates in the Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL). The Subsidized Stafford and Unsubsidized Stafford loans are low-interest loans designed to provide students with additional funds for college. Grad-PLUS loans are credit-based loans offered by the Department of Education. These loan programs are available to students through private lending institutions. The Institute’s suggested lenders are Sun Trust, KeyBank and Wachovia Education Loans. This financial aid (Unsubsidized Stafford loans and Grad-PLUS loans) must be repaid.
Federal Unsubsidized Loans and Grad-PLUS loans are not based on financial need. The federal government does not pay the interest for these loans. Students may make interest payments while they are in school or they may choose to defer interest payments until repayment begins; however, the student is responsible for all interest that has accrued. The accrued interest automatically capitalizes to the loan principal.