Financial Aid FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What do I do once I take out a student loan?
Before taking out your first loan, you must complete an entrance counseling online that explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Once you take out a loan, it is important that you keep your college informed of any changes in your address or enrollment plans. Before you leave college (including withdrawing, transferring or graduating), you should complete an exit interview online which will cover your payment obligations and the number of options available to you as a borrower. If at any time you have questions regarding the repayment of your loans, contact your lender or the Financial Aid Office.
Q. I was offered a loan, but I'm not sure I should take it; how do I decide?
Because of the limited gift aid available, students are usually offered one or more educational loans. Although loans are helpful in meeting the cost of education, they must be repaid with interest. Therefore, carefully consider the amount you are borrowing. Remember, the amount you borrow this year will be added to other loans you have or will be taking out in the future. You may want to look at your budget and see if there are ways you can minimize your borrowing. Also, consider the differences in loans, such as the interest rate, when that rate is assessed, the amount you'll be borrowing and repayment options.
Q. Can my parents and I both apply for loans?
Yes. Loans are available for both parents and students. Parents may borrow for their undergraduate students through the PLUS loan program. However, the total amount borrowed (by both you and your parents), cannot exceed the cost of your education.
Q. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?
No. However, parents are responsible for the Federal PLUS loans. Parents will only be responsible for your educational loans if you are under 18 and they co-sign your loan. In general you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans.
Q. If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?
Not immediately. The subsidized Stafford loan has a grace period of 6 months before the student must begin repaying the loan. When you drop below half-time enrollment you will not have to repay your loan until the grace period is used up. If you use up the grace period, however, when you graduate you will have to begin repaying your loan immediately. It is possible to request an extension to the grace period, but this must be done before the grace period is used up. If your grace period has run out in the middle of your leave of absence, you will have to start making payments on your student loans.