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 have not 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 University 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.
St. Lawrence University recommends that our students and parents always consider 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 website: Federal Student Aid
Federal Direct Student Loans
St. Lawrence University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program for all Federal educational loans. The interest rate on a Federal Direct Loan is usually better than non-federal alternative student loan rates. The 2021-2022 interest rate for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans for undergraduate students is a fixed rate of 3.73%. The origination fee for a Direct loan is 1.057% for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2022.
A subsidized Federal Direct 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 Federal Direct 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 Loan as part of their financial aid package, the application process is straightforward. You will be required to fill out a single Master Promissory Note (MPN) for your loan(s). During the summer, you will be sent information pertaining to the online application process, entrance counseling, 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 Federal Direct 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:
First Time Borrowers:
St. Lawrence University in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education is pleased to offer you the ability to complete your Federal Direct 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 Loan funds you borrow at St. Lawrence University in subsequent semesters, and is good for up to 10 years. For more information, please visit our Federal Direct Loan page.
As a condition of receiving your first Federal Direct Loan, all first-time borrowers must complete student loan "entrance counseling". Entrance counseling needs to be completed online at Studentaid.gov. Per Federal regulations, Federal Direct 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Federal Direct Loans.
30-60 days prior to graduation date: The borrower will receive student loan exit counseling information from the Student Financial Services Office. Exit counseling, like entrance counseling, is a Federal requirement for Federal Direct Loan borrowers prior to their repayment and is completed at Studentaid.gov.
45 days before repayment begins: A repayment schedule and Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement will be sent to all Federal Direct Loan borrowers from the lender. This will outline the amount of Federal Direct Loan(s) borrowed, current interest rate, contact information, repayment schedule of the loan, and other pertinent information.
Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
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. The 2021-2022 interest rate set by the Federal government is 6.28%.
For parents who wish to apply for a PLUS Loan, the process is straightforward. During the summer or throughout the academic year, parents may complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan application. Parent(s) must then complete entrance counseling and the 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 Studentaid.gov and select “Complete a Master Promissory Note for Parent PLUS Loan”. The student must file a FAFSA 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.
Alternative Student Loans
Alternative Loans are non-Federal loans that are in the student's name, and in most cases, require a co-signer. 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. It is important to carefully consider all of your options and loan features.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program (GradPLUS)
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. The 2021-2022 interest rate set by the Federal Government is 6.28%.
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 Studentaid.gov and select “Complete a loan agreement (Master Promissory Note”, and 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 online at Studentaid.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.
Student Loan Simulator
The federal student aid loan simulator is a tool to assist students in making decisions about their student loan. It includes repayment plan options to best fit a student's needs.