Understand Your Student Loan Options

You may apply for a range of student loans — borrowed funds that must be repaid, with interest —  to help finance your Mary education. You can learn more about the various types of loans on this page.

To apply for federal and some private loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

Federal Direct Student Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Direct Subsidized Loans

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • The University of Mary Financial Aid Office will determine how much you can borrow based on the results of your FAFSA application.
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
    • while you're in school at least half-time (6 credits);
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period); and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
  • Your lender is the U.S. Department of Education.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Borrowers are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during periods of grace, deferment, or forbearance, your interest will accumulate and be capitalized (interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Federal Direct Loan Resources 

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students and to graduate or professional students.

Federal PLUS Loan Resources

Parent PLUS Loans 

  • The parent is the borrower and responsible for the repayment of principal and Interest.
  • The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history. In cases where a Parent PLUS Loan is denied, the student may qualify for additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan Funds.
  • Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement.
  • The dependent student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits).
  • Financial need is not required.

 Grad PLUS Loans

  • Graduate students may apply for these loans when all other student loan eligibility has been exhausted.
  • The student must be enrolled at least half-time. 
  • Repayment will begin 60 days after the final disbursement.
  • The student must meet all loan requirements.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).  Funds cannot be released to your University of Mary student account until a promissory note is completed.

The University of Mary’s school code is 002992.

If you have not previously received a Federal Direct Loan, the Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure you understand the responsibilities and obligations of borrowing a loan. This online counseling session helps guide you through managing your student loans, both during and after your program.

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

Private education loans are non-federal loans offered by lending institutions to assist students in meeting their education expenses. Interest rates and fees are generally determined by the borrower and/or co-signer’s credit score. These loans have different terms, conditions, repayment options, and fees than federal loans do, and may charge higher rates.

The Mary Financial Aid Office offers a customized online comparison tool — FASTchoice to assist you in making the private loan choice that is best for you. You may select any lender of your choice even if they do not appear in FASTchoice.

The University of Mary Financial Aid Office and its staff do not endorse or accept any incentives, financial or otherwise, from any lender.

Consider the following when selecting a private 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?

If you received a federal loan, you are required to complete exit counseling before you graduate, leave school (for any reason), or drop below half-time enrollment. Exit counseling is a mandatory information session that explains your federal loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins.


Let Us Help

The Financial Aid Office is: 

  • Open Monday–Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm
  • Available for virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams: Monday–Friday 1-4 pm

Admitted and prospective students and their families are also welcome to attend the financial aid and costs orientation during our Visit Days.

Have Questions?

We're here to help. Call the Financial Aid Office at 701-355-8142, email us, or schedule a virtual meeting.