Financial Aid: Student Loans

Student loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest. They are legal obligations. All Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, and Parent PLUS Loans are funded through the U.S. Department of Education, with the exception of Federal Nursing Student Loans, which are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

How to Apply for Loans Complete the FAFSA application at www.fafsa.gov.

Directloans are for undergraduate and graduate students. You must be enrolled as at least a half-time student to be eligible for them. There are two types of loans, subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized Loans

  • You must have financial need to receive a subsidized loan.
  • The U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest on subsidized loans while you are enrolled at least as a half-time student and during certain other periods such as in school status, grace periods, and deferments.
  • The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
  • First time borrowers may not receive this loan for more than 150 percent of the length of their program of study.  The U.S. Department of Education may stop paying interest if a student who receives subsidized direct loans for the maximum eligibility period continues enrollment after the student has been enrolled for the maximum eligibility period.
  • You must be an undergraduate student to receive this loan.

Unsubsidized Loans

  • Financial need is not a requirement to obtain a unsubsidized loan.
  • You will be required to pay interest on these loans from the time of disbursement.
  • Graduate students are eligible for Unsubsidized Direct Loans only.
  • Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for unsubsidized direct loans.
  • The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
  • These loans are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Perkins loans have a fixed interest rate at 5 percent, and have cancellation benefits for graduates who work in many different professions, or who volunteer for organizations such as the Peace Corps.
  • Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible to receive a Perkins Loan.
  • The lender is the University of Mary.
  • These loans are awarded to junior and senior nursing students.
  • These loans are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need. Students must be enrolled half-time to qualify.
  • The lender is the University of Mary.
  • These are loans that parents can obtain to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate student.
  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time for the parents to qualify for this loan.
  • The parent is the borrower of this loan.
  • The parents must qualify for the loan and repayment will begin 60 days after final disbursement.
  • The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Graduate students may apply for these loans when all other student loan eligibility has been exhausted.
  • The student must be enrolled at least as a half-time student and repayment will begin 60 days after final disbursement.
  • The student must qualify for this type of loan.
  • The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.

As you pursue your educational goals, we understand that meeting the cost of your education can be a major concern. It is important to first consider your lowest cost options which include scholarships, state grants, and federal aid. The terms and conditions of federal loans may be more favorable than the provisions of private education loans. We encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal and state aid. Prior to applying for an alternative loan, you should be aware that the terms and conditions of private alternative loans are different than your federal student loans.

Below is a link to our preferred lenders, chosen because they offer excellent terms, benefits, and customer service. The University of Mary financial assistance office and its staff do not endorse, or accept any incentives, financial or otherwise, from any lender. Lender information is provided as a courtesy and in now way should it be interpreted as a requirement to use one of the lenders listed below. The University of Mary will process loans from any lender that participates in any educational loan programs.

Effective February 2010, the Federal Reserve and the Department of Education implemented new rules and regulations that impact students who borrow private educational loans. All lenders must be in compliance with the new regulations and each lender may handle the process differently. We encourage you to contact your lender regarding processing and disbursement time frames.

Remember, alternative education loans are private student loans that help supplement federal financing. Alternative borrowing sources should be a last resort for students. These are private loans that students must apply for and qualify for based on the lender's requirements. Since these are private loans, they have different terms, conditions, repayment options and fees than federal loans do. Alternative education loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans. Federal funding sources should be pursued first by completing the FAFSA application.

Here is a link to our preferred lenders.

Consider the following when selecting a private alternative loan lender:

Value and Benefits

  • What fees does the lender charge?
  • Does the lender offer competitive rates and pricing?
  • Does the lender offer interest rate reductions and rebates?
  • How easy is it for you to earn and keep rate reductions and rebates?

Customer Service

  • Does the lender recommend that students maximize their use of free aid and federal loans prior to considering a private loan?
  • Can you apply online and do you have 24/7 access?

Repayment Options

  • When will you have to start repaying your loan?
  • Does the lender offer a variety of repayment options & solutions?
  • Does the lender educate borrowers about effective debt management?

Experience and Longevity

Is the lender a steady and responsible lender with a track record that demonstrates its commitment to students?

Before we can apply for your Federal Direct Student Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized), Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Nursing Loan, regulations require that you complete an entrance counseling session. The counseling session provides information about how to manage your student loans, both during and after college. Even if you have completed loan entrance counseling at another institution, this step is required as a first time borrower at the University of Mary.

You may need to complete more than one session depending on the type of loan you are awarded.

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: Complete loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Graduate PLUS Loans: Complete loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Perkins Loan and Nursing Student Loan Entrance Counseling will be completed through ECSI, a loan servicer.
  • Perkins Loan and Nursing Student Loan disclosure statements will be provided by ECSI.

A promissory note is a binding legal document you sign when you get a student loan. It lists the conditions under which you're borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan. You will complete your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov.

If you were awarded a Federal Perkins Loan or a Federal Nursing Loan, your promissory note will be completed through ECSI. Funds cannot be released to your University of Mary student account to pay your tuition and fees until you complete a promissory note.

Learn more about your financial aid options at www.finaid.org