Entrance Counseling is required before you can receive your first Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan as an undergraduate, or your first Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate/professional student.
Exit Counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Exit counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal student loan(s). You'll need to provide the name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number for your closest living relative, two references who live in the U.S., and current or expected employer (if known).
The federal government has a variety of federal loan options available for student’s and parents, and we encourage you to review the following information carefully before making any decisions about your loans. If you have previously borrowed federal student loans at the Upper Iowa University or another postsecondary institution, you should begin by reviewing your borrowing history at www.nslds.ed.gov using your FSA ID. This will give you a better idea of how much you have borrowed to date and what your repayments might look like after graduation. Most importantly, remember that these are loans and they must be repaid, so borrow only what you need. Please refer to the following links to help you better understand your loan options. You do not have to make payments on Direct Stafford Loans while you are enrolled at least half-time (deferment). You also have a six-month grace period after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment before you begin repayment.
If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.
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Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, are low-interest loans for eligible undergraduate and graduate students to help cover the cost of higher education. These federal loans are borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. These loans do not require a credit check. A small origination fee is withheld from the loan when it is disbursed to you.
There are borrowing limits on the maximum amount you are eligible to borrow each academic year (annual loan limit) and in total (aggregate loan limit). A student may qualify to borrow both subsidized and unsubsidized loans based upon his/her demonstrated financial need and the maximum loan limit per grade level. The actual amount that you can borrow depends on your grade classification, whether you are a dependent or independent student, and other factors, and may be less than the maximum amounts shown in the loan limit chart.
There are two types of Federal Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
Borrowing a Direct Loan: Master Promissory Note & Entrance Counseling
Parents of dependent students may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to help pay for their student’s education as long as certain eligibility requirements are met. To be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan for parents:
Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. The interest rate is fixed at 7% (for all PLUS Loans disbursed from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018) and is charged from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full. Interest rates will be determined on an annual basis, however rates for the specific academic year borrowed will be fixed for the life of the loan. An origination fee is deducted proportionately each time a disbursement is made.
Borrowing a Direct Parent PLUS Loan: Master Promissory Note & PLUS Request Process
The parent must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at studentloans.gov using the parent borrower’s FSA ID. The MPN is a legal document in which the parent borrower promises to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. The MPN explains the terms and conditions of the loan and can be used for loans that a parent receives over a period of multiple academic years.
The Direct PLUS Loan Request must also be completed online at studentloans.gov using the parent borrower’s FSA ID. Once logged parents may click on the "Request Direct PLUS Loan" link. This online process must be completed each year that a parent borrows a PLUS Loan.
Previous borrowers of a Direct PLUS Loan (for the same student) only need to "Request Direct PLUS Loan" at studentloans.gov since there is already an MPN on file for that parent.
If the credit is initially denied and the parent chooses to appeal or endorse the loan, the parent will be required to complete PLUS Loan Counseling at studentloans.gov.
A graduate student may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students. The amount available is the cost of attendance (COA) minus all other financial aid awarded, including Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must not have an adverse credit history. If you do not pass the credit check, you may still be able to borrow the loan if someone agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the borrower fails to do so.
The interest rate for the Direct PLUS Loan for graduate students is fixed at 7% for loans disbursed July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, and interest is charged from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full. Interest rates will be determined on an annual basis, however, rates for the specific academic year borrowed will be fixed for the life of the loan. An origination fee is deducted proportionately each time a disbursement is made. The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins at the time the PLUS Loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement. However, you may defer repayment while you are enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
Credit-based loan options offered by private banks and lenders. These loans are only processed after all federal, state, and institutional eligibility has been exhausted. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Information regarding these types of loan programs for both student and parent borrowers, as well as a comparison tool for the most frequently used credit-based lenders by UIU students, can be found at FastChoice. Upper Iowa University does not endorse any credit-based loan programs. Borrowers may choose to pursue a credit-based loan with any lender that they wish, this is only a starting point and only provides a reference point for researching these types of loan programs. Students who wish to borrow in a credit-based loan program must also complete the GamePlan, an online credit counseling program before the loan can be certified by the Financial Aid Office.
Perkins Loans provide fixed low interest rates (5%) and are available to students who demonstrate high financial need based on the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A credit check is not required to receive these loans and there is no origination fee. You are not charged interest on these loans while you are in school at least half-time and during grace and deferment periods. Perkins Loan funding at UIU is limited, so not all qualifying students will receive a Perkins Loan. Students who have been awarded a Perkins Loan must complete Entrance/Rights and Responsibilities and a Perkins Promissory Note online each year.
Beginning with the 2015-16 academic year: Students receiving their first Perkins Loan cannot receive a Perkins Loan in subsequent years. Students that have accepted a Perkins Loan in a prior academic year may still be considered for Perkins Loans in the future provided they meet specific conditions set forth by the Department of Education. Please contact our office with any questions.
NOTE: When completing the Perkins promissory note you will be asked for a "National ID Number." This field should be completed using your Social Security Number.