As you and your family discuss how to pay for college, the amount that will be financed (i.e., paid over an extended period of time) is a very important issue. No single option is the right one for everyone; each family's financial circumstances will determine which financing strategy is best for their individual needs.
As you research your options, please keep in mind that financing typically occurs on a yearly basis (to cover both Fall and Spring semesters) and whatever option you choose this year can be changed in future years. Listed below are several options you may want to consider when researching which option is best for you:
Payment plan options
Private educational loans
Federal William D. Ford Direct PLUS Loan
Parents of dependent, undergraduate students (enrolled at least half-time) may borrow up to the total cost of education minus other financial aid assistance through the PLUS loan program. Some highlights of the loan include:
Application Process: Parents that would like to apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan must complete the following:
- The interest rate is fixed at 7.9 percent, as of July 1, 2006.
- Interest begins to accumulate on the date of the first loan disbursement.
- A 4 percent origination fee is deducted from each disbursement.
- Repayment begins after the loan is fully disbursed, with the first payment due within 60 days after the final loan disbursement.
- As of July 1, 2008, parent borrowers may choose to defer payments on a Parent PLUS loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Accruing interest can either be paid monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. To request this deferment, complete a “PLUS Loan, Student in School Deferment” form online at www.dl.ed.gov.
PLUS Loan application: The PLUS loan application can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov. When determining the loan amount needed, consider the amount needed for the academic year. The loan will then be equally disbursed between fall and spring semesters. Note: Application process for the 2012-2013 is not available until May 1, 2012.
Master Promissory Note (MPN): 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 department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). The MPN can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
The Master Promissory Note must be completed for first-time PLUS loan borrowers. If you have a PLUS loan for more than one student, a separate MPN must be completed for each student.
Private educational student loans
Private educational loan programs have grown in popularity in recent years. However, we firmly believe that families should exhaust their eligibility for federal loan programs before turning to this resource. Federal Student Loans may provide the consumer more beneficial terms and conditions, including a lower annual percentage rate charged on the principal and lower fees.
Choosing a lender: Families are free to choose any lender which best serves their needs. St. Norbert College does not endorse or promote any specific educational loan lender or lending program.
St. Norbert College adheres to a Student Loan Code of Conduct as required by the Higher Educational Opportunity Act.
As a guide for comparing loans, we have provided a list on FASTChoice, a loan comparison tool that assists borrowers in selecting a loan that best serves their needs. You may see our lender list at FASTChoice.
St. Norbert College selected these lenders to be on the FASTChoice lender list for the following reasons:
Please remember, the Office of Financial Aid will process a private educational loan from any lender you choose. There may be lenders not on our list who offer different benefits that are better suited to your particular circumstances.
- Competitive borrower rates, terms and incentives.
- History of exceptional customer service for the borrowers and staff of the college.
- Timely processing of loans.
- Online loan application process for students.
- Funds are sent electronically (EFT) when possible.
- Overall approval rating.
- We highly recommend borrowing a private loan to cover all semesters of enrollment (for the academic year) rather than borrowing individually each semester. Interest begins to accrue once the loan is disbursed to the school. Therefore, if you apply for a loan for the full year, you will not start accruing interest on the portion of your loan that is not yet disbursed to the school. Applying for one loan will avoid multiple inquiries into your credit.
- Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing, loan certification and receipt of funds. Please plan accordingly to avoid late fees being charged to your student bill.