Types of Student Loans
Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Loans are available for eligible students who are enrolled at least half-time. Half-time enrollment for undergraduate students is defined as of a minimum of 6 credit hours per payment period. Half-time enrollment for graduate students is defined as a minimum of 3 credit hours per payment period. The credits must count toward students’ Programs of Study. Students who complete the academic requirements for Programs of Study but do not yet have degrees or certificates are not eligible for additional FSA funds for those Programs of Study. Loan repayment begins after the grace period ends or when students drop below half-time enrollment.
Subsidized Student Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The U.S. Department of Education subsidizes interest while students are enrolled at least half-time or during the grace periods, or deferment periods.
Unsubsidized Student Loans
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students and are not based on financial need. Loan limits are higher for independent undergraduate students than for dependent students. Graduate students are only eligible to receive unsubsidized student loans. Students are responsible for interest charges over the course of the loan(s).
Dependent students have lower unsubsidized annual loan limits than independent students. If a dependent student’s parent(s) cannot borrow Direct PLUS Loans; the students become eligible for additional unsubsidized annual loan amounts that apply to independent students.
Parent Plus and Graduate Plus Loans
Direct PLUS Loans are loans for eligible graduate or professional students and eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for the cost of the students’ educations. Graduate or professional students should exhaust unsubsidized loans before taking out Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
Private Student Loans
Students applying for aid may consider a variety of resources. Post University encourages students to utilize Federal Student Aid options prior to seeking private loan resources. To learn more about applying for aid please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.
Students who need additional funding after all other sources of aid have been exhausted may consider private student loans. Many financial institutions such as banks and credit unions and other third party lenders offer private or alternative student loans options. Unlike Federal Student Loans, private loans are subject to a credit review and individual lender terms and conditions. These loan programs may offer competitive interest rates and terms. To understand the differences between federal and private student loan options, please visit Federal Versus Private Loans provided by U.S. Department of Education. Students should explore and compare interest rates, fees and repayment options before accepting any private student loan.
Students may choose to use any eligible lender that offers private loans. The University does not recommend a particular lender nor does it maintain a list of preferred lenders.
Several resources are available to assist students in searching for a private student loan. An historical listing of private student loan products utilized by Post University students may be found by visiting Elmselect.com. Students may also visit Finaid.org.
If you have concerns about your private student loan, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s private student loan ombudsman may be able to assist you. When considering any type of student loan as a source of funding, Post University encourages students to borrow responsibly and request only what is needed to minimize future debt.
Other Federal Loan Information
Loan Counseling - Entrance and Exit
Loan Counseling is required to help students understand their rights, responsibilities and obligations of borrowing from the federal loan programs. During loan counseling, students will receive information on loan interest rates, repayment periods and minimizing the risk of defaulting on a federal student loan.
Entrance Counseling — First-time borrowers must complete an Entrance Loan Counseling session prior to receiving the first disbursement of their loan. The session will provide useful tips and tools to help develop a budget for managing educational expenses as well as educate students on loan responsibilities. Entrance counseling can be accessed at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/entranceCounseling.action?execution=e2s1
Exit Counseling — Students are expected to complete Exit Loan Counseling before leaving school to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Students will be provided information about repayment, and the loan servicer will notify students of the date of loan repayment, which usually begins six months after graduation, leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment. Exit counseling can be accessed at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/exitCounseling.action?execution=e3s1
Federal Student Loan Limits
Federal Direct Loans have both annual and aggregate limits. Annual loan limits apply to the academic year whereas aggregate limits apply to the students’ entire borrowing histories. Annual loan limits may be increased as students progress to higher grade levels. Loans are subject to proration for undergraduate students whose remaining length of the Program of Study is less than one academic year. Additional information on loan limits can be found at https://studentloans.gov.
Maximum Eligibility Period for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that students can receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are limited to 150% of the published length of the Program of Study. This is considered the maximum eligibility period. For example, if a student is enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which the student can receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). If a student is enrolled in a two-year associate’s degree program, the maximum period for which the student can receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). The maximum eligibility period can change if students change programs to other programs with different lengths of study. Also, if students receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program.
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
Students are responsible for monitoring all Federal Student Loans received and outstanding balances to be repaid. This information can be obtained through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for all student aid. The information on the Student Access Website is available 24/7. It provides information on the amounts of Pell or loan funds received, loan statuses, outstanding balances and disbursements. Students can access their financial aid history on the NSLDS website by logging in with their FSA ID.
Financial Literacy and Responsible Borrowing
Post University’s Financial Literacy and Repayment Advising is here to help all students with the repayment of their federal student loans. You can reach out to them while attending Post or anytime after you’ve completed your enrollment.
Making smart financial decisions when it comes to attending college will make for a less stressful process. To learn more about how Post University can make education more affordable and more valuable, visit Scholarships and Other Aid.
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