A student's status affects which loans and funding he or she may be eligible to receive. Independent students include any of the following: 24 years or older by December 31 of the award year; married; graduate or professional student; students with legal dependents other than a spouse for whom half support is provided; orphan or ward of the court; veteran of the U.S. military; homelessness. Dependent students: rely on their parent(s) for support and who do not meet the federal criteria of a self-supporting student.
An online session that first time Federal Direct Loan borrowers must fulfill before the loan proceeds can be disbursed. Parents who are required to use an endorser for the Parent PLUS Loan are also required to complete the online PLUS Credit Counseling. The session provides information about the rights, responsbilities and obligations that are part of the loan.
The amount that a student and family can be expected to contribute towards educational expenses for the academic year. The EFC is calculated when the student submits a financial aid application (FAFSA). The calculation uses a Congressionaly-mandated forumla to determine the student's eligibility for financial assistance programs. The family contribution may be towards transportation, personal expenses as well as tuition and fees.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the official application form for all federal financial aid programs. It is completed online at https://fafsa.ed.gov It should NEVER cost money to complete and file the FAFSA. Students need to reapply each year. Income and tax information from 2016 is used on the 2018-19 FAFSA.
A federally guaranteed loan program that allows students to borrow funds from the U.S. Government. Direct loans allow the student to defer payments while he/she is in school. The interest rate for new Direct Loans is fixed at 4.45% for subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduates and 6.00% for unsubsidized loans for graduate students during 2017-18. The rates are reset each July 1.
A fee the borrower pays to the lender for originating a student loan. Origination fees are most often associated with Federal Stafford and PLUS loans. The maximum fee is 1.068% for Federal Stafford and 4.272% of the PLUS loan's principal balance in 2016-17. The origination fees were updated for new loans disbursed after October 1, 2016.
This is a need-based federal student loan. While the student is in school, interest is paid by the federal government on the student's behalf. There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a new student borrower can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their program. For more information regarding this 150% limitation on Direct Subsidized Loans please click here.