~ What you should know about your borrower rights and options ~
Where do I start? How do I compare my options? What are the best educational loans for my situation?
If you haven’t already asked yourself these questions, you should be thinking about them now. Once you have completed the financial aid application process, your award notification letter from St. Lawrence may contain one or more educational loan options. Provided below is some information on these educational loan options. Make sure you carefully read all of the details pertaining to the various loan options. We recommend that you review and compare all of your financing resources to ensure you are selecting the best choice for your needs.
You should always review your options for grants and scholarships as well as your own resources prior to borrowing to pay for your education. If you do need to secure an educational loan, you should always explore Federal educational loans first. Federal Parent PLUS Loans, for example, often have better rates than alternative loans.
St. Lawrence University recommends that our students and parents always exhaust all Federal student loan options before considering an alternative loan. The US Department of Education provides some additional information on the differences between Federal and private loan programs in their brochure: Federal Aid First
Loan Processing Information:
First Time Borrowers of a Federal Direct Stafford Loan
Federal Perkins Loans
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan
WHAT TO EXPECT AS A BORROWER:
Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Federal Perkins Loans
Alternative Student Loans
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program (GradPLUS)
Federal Stafford Student Loans (Top)
St. Lawrence University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program for all Federal educational loans. The interest rate on a Direct Stafford Loan is usually better than non-Federal alternative student loan rates. The 2015-2016 interest rate for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans for undergraduate students is a fixed rate of 4.29 percent. The origination fee for a Direct Stafford loan is 1.072 percent for loans disbursed on or before October 1, 2014.
A subsidized Direct Stafford Loan is awarded based on financial need. You will not be responsible for accrued interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. The Federal government “subsidizes” the interest during these periods.
An unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan can be awarded regardless of financial need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow that interest to accumulate, it will be added to the principal amount of your loan.
For students who are offered and accept, a Federal Direct Stafford Loan as part of their financial aid package, the application process is straight forward. You will be required to fill out a single Master Promissory Note (MPN) for your Stafford Loan(s). During the summer you will be sent information pertaining to the on-line application process, entrance interview, and completion of your MPN. It is your responsibility to review all terms and conditions of the loan, as well as to complete the MPN. Once the MPN is received and processed, and your loan funds are disbursed, the Direct Stafford Loan estimate indicated on your bill will be removed and become an actual credit (half of the loan will be disbursed each semester). You will be notified within 30 days of the date that the funds were credited to your account. You have 14 days from the date indicated in the letter to cancel all or a portion of your loan.
What to expect as a borrower: (Top)
First Time Borrowers:
St. Lawrence University in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education is pleased to offer you the ability to complete and sign your Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) electronically. Your electronic Master Promissory Note (e-MPN) is a multi-year promissory note. The e-MPN you will sign will be good for all Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds you borrow at St. Lawrence in subsequent semesters, and is good for up to 10 years. For more information, please visit our Federal Direct Stafford Loan page.
As a condition of receiving your first Federal Direct Stafford Loan, all first time borrowers must complete student loan "entrance counseling". Entrance counseling needs to be completed on-line at www.dl.ed.gov/. Per Federal regulations, Federal Stafford Loan proceeds will not disburse until this entrance counseling session is completed. This entrance counseling session will inform the borrower about the overall Federal Stafford Loan program and their rights and responsibilities. St. Lawrence University will receive the results of this completed session electronically.
Loan Disbursement Dates:Funds are disbursed to St. Lawrence University on the scheduled disbursement date(s) set by the Financial Aid Office in accordance with Federal regulations. Loan funds will be sent electronically to St. Lawrence University, and the borrower's student account will be credited with the proceeds. The Student Financial Services Office will send the borrower notification when the loan proceeds have been credited to their student account. If a student borrower should decide that they do not want these loan funds or a portion of them, the borrower must notify the Student Financial Services Office at email@example.com or 315-229-5581. Loan funds may disburse up to 10 days prior to the start of classes.
Quarterly and upon request: Interest statements will be sent to the borrower from the lender for unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
30-60 days prior to graduation date: The borrower will receive student loan exit counseling information from the St. Lawrence Student Financial Services Office. Exit counseling, like entrance counseling, is a Federal requirement for Federal Stafford Loan borrowers prior to their repayment and may be completed at www.dl.ed.gov/.
45 days before repayment begins: A repayment schedule and Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement will be sent to all Federal Stafford Loan borrowers from the lender. This will outline the amount of Federal Stafford Loan(s) borrowed, current interest rate, contact information, repayment schedule of the loan, and other pertinent information.
Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) (Top )
St. Lawrence University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program for all Federal educational loans, including the Federal Parent PLUS Loan. A Parent PLUS Loan is a Federal loan that is an option for parents of undergraduate students who are attending school at least half-time. The PLUS loan is in the parent's name. A credit check is required for a PLUS loan. The interest rate on a PLUS loan is usually better than many of the alternative student loans and currently has a fixed interest rate of 7.21 percent set by the Federal government. The interest rate will change to 6.84 effective July 1, 2015.
For parents who wish to apply for a PLUS Loan, the process is straight forward. During the summer or throughout the academic year, parents may complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan application, and return it to the St. Lawrence University Financial Aid Office. Parent(s) must then complete the application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have never completed a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for your student, you will need to go to dlenote.ed.gov and select “Complete a New MPN for Parent PLUS Loans”. A FAFSA must be filed by the student before this loan can be processed. Additional information can be found on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan page.
Students who are not recipients of need-based financial assistance are still required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if they wish to utilize the Federal PLUS Loan program due to compliance regulations. The FAFSA can be completed electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov . Please remember to include St. Lawrence University’s Federal school code, 002829, on your FAFSA application.
Federal Perkins Loans (Top )
IMPORTANT UPDATE - October 1, 2015:
The Department of Education is beginning a five year phase out of the Perkins loan program. The Federal Perkins loan program ceased to be available effective on October 1, 2015. New borrowers are eligible for the Federal Perkins Loan in the 2015-2016 academic year, if the loan was disbursed by September 30, 2015. Any loans that were not disbursed by September 30, 2015 were canceled.
The phase out plan allows certain students the ability to remain eligible for the Federal Perkins loan when all of the following apply:
- If the school made at least one Federal Perkins loan disbursement to the student on or before June 30, 2015;
- If the student is enrolled at the same college where the last Federal Perkins loan was disbursed;
- If the student is enrolled in the same academic program for which the student received his or her last Perkins loan disbursement; and
- if the student can demonstrate financial need for the Perkins loan after the Direct subsidized loan is awareded.
Note - if a student changes their program of study, he/she will be no longer eligible for the Federal Perkins loan. Example: if the student were an English major but changed to a History major, he/she would no longer be eligible for the Perkins loan.
Perkins Loans are Federal loan funds awarded to students through St. Lawrence University. The Federal Perkins Loan accrues no interest while the student is enrolled in college at least half time. Loan proceeds are applied directly to a student's billing account. Perkins Loans have a 9 month grace period. These loans are limited and are awarded to high need students. St. Lawrence University is the lender of the Federal Perkins Loan and University Accounting Service (UAS) is the loan service provider. The Federal Perkins Loan application process is e-mail interactive.
- The student borrower will receive an e-mail at their St. Lawrence University e-mail address from SignMyLoan@osioutsourcing.com requesting that they complete their loan counseling, review their rights and responsibilities, and electronically sign for their master promissory note.
- The student borrower must use their FAFSA PIN or obtain an authentication PIN from UAS in order to complete the e-signature process. To receive a UAS generated PIN, the borrower should follow the link and directions provided in the e-mail and wait for the response e-mail in order to complete the PIN generation and receipt process.
- After the borrower has received their PIN, or has their FAFSA PIN, he/she should follow the link provided in the initial e-mail to complete the loan counseling, review their rights and responsibilities, and electronically sign their master promissory note.
The direct link to complete the Federal Perkins Loan application process is www.signmyloan.com . Borrowers may contact UAS directly at 1-800-999-6227 for questions or problems with the loan application process. Additionally, Perkins Loan borrowers can contact Linda Peets in the Student Financial Services Office for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-229-5422.
Additional information about the Federal Perkins Loan program may be found at studentaid.ed.gov. Additional information about UAS may be found at www.uaservice.com .
Alternative Student Loans (Top )
Alternative Loans are non-Federal loans that are in the student's name, and in most cases, require a co-signer. St. Lawrence University encourages parents to first consider the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to cover any outstanding educational expenses prior to considering an alternative loan. In general, a Federal Direct PLUS Loan provides better interest rates and more flexible repayment options as well as options for loan cancellation that are not offered by most alternative loan products. If you wish to apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan please refer to our Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan page.
Should you decide that an alternative loan is the right option for you, it will be your responsibility to select a lender. Please keep in mind that it is your decision on what loan product you decide to use.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program (GradPLUS) (Top)
A Federal GradPLUS Loan is a Federal loan that is available to graduate and professional students only, and is a practical option to alternative loans. A credit check is required for a GradPLUS Loan. The interest rate on a GradPLUS loan is usually better than many of the alternative student loans and has a fixed interest rate of 6.41 percent set by the Federal government.
For students who wish to apply for a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan, the process is easy. During the summer or throughout the academic year, students may complete a GradPLUS Loan application by visiting St. Lawrence’s Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan page.
Students must then complete the application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have never completed a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), you will need to go to http://dlenote.ed.gov and select “Complete New MPN for Student Loans”, then click on Graduate PLUS.
As a condition of receiving your first Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan, all first time borrowers must complete GradPLUS student loan "entrance counseling". Entrance counseling needs to be completed on-line at www.dl.ed.gov/. Per Federal regulations, Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan proceeds will not disburse until this entrance counseling session is completed. This entrance counseling session will inform the borrower about the overall Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan program and their rights and responsibilities. St. Lawrence University will receive the results of this completed session electronically.