Federal Student Loans, Private Loans, and Other Financial Options
There are a variety of financing options available to attend Elms College. Students and their families may make use of federal loans, private loans, and payment plans. Federal student loans offer a comparatively low, fixed interest rate when borrowing to help pay a student’s cost of attendance. To receive any kind of federal student loan, students must first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal student loans include the Subsidized/Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan, as well as the Parent PLUS Loan. Information concerning these loans and their repayment can be found StudentAid.ed.gov.
As an alternative to federal student loans, families may choose to borrow from private lenders. Information concerning federal student loans, private student loans, and other financing options can be found below.
Federal Direct Student Loans (FDSL)
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
All federal direct student loans are subject to an origination fee equal to a percentage of the amount borrowed. The fee is withheld from the total amount borrowed when the loan is disbursed to the school.
For example, if a student were to borrow $100 from a loan program with a 1% origination fee, then $100 would be borrowed and owed back as the loan principal but only $99 would be paid on the students behalf.
Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans disbursed before October 1, 2016 have an origination fee of 1.068%; loans disbursed before October 1, 2017 have an origination fee of 1.069%. Direct PLUS Loans borrowed before October 1, 2016 have an origination fee of 4.272%; PLUS Loans borrowed before October 1, 2017 have an origination fee of 4.276%.
The following chart shows the annual and aggregate loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans:
Annual Borrowing Limits on Federal Direct Loans for Dependent Students
|Base Eligibility||Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility||Total Student Loan Eligibility||Additional Unsubsidized Loan*|
*Additional unsubsidized loan eligibility is only available if a parent has been denied the PLUS loan for dependent students.
Aggregate (Lifetime) Borrowing Limits
|Maximum Subsidized||Maximum Subsidized and Unsubsidized (Combined)|
In order to receive federal financial aid, students must meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, as defined by the college. For information regarding SAP please review the Student Handbook.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students enrolled with at least half-time student status (6 credits or more) in a degree seeking program. Eligibility is determined by a student’s demonstrated financial need as calculated through the FAFSA. While enrolled with half-time student status or greater or during periods of deferment, subsidized student loans will not accrue interest. Subsidized loans disbursed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 have a fixed interest rate of 3.76%.
Additional required documentation: Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling
Similar to Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to students enrolled with at least half-time student status (6 credits or more) in a degree seeking program. Although a FAFSA is required to determine a student’s eligibility for the loan, eligibility is not need-based. Interest will accrue on any amount borrowed while a student is enrolled with half-time student status or greater, and during periods of deferment. However, students are not required to begin paying the loan until six months after graduating or dropping below half-time student status. Students are encouraged to pay the loan’s interest as it accrues if capable. Unsubsidized loans disbursed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 have a fixed interest rate of 3.76%.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent students who are enrolled with at least half-time student status (6 credits or more) in a degree seeking program. Parents may borrow up to the student’s full cost of attendance less any other financial aid received. Parent PLUS Loans disbursed between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 have a fixed interest rate of 6.84%. Interest paid may be tax deductible. To receive the loan parents must complete a loan application online at www.studentloans.gov and eligibility is subject to credit approval. When selecting the school on the application, please select Elms College.
Apply online at www.studentloans.gov
If you are denied the PLUS loan, and then the decision is reversed and you are approved because of obtaining an endorser (co-signer) or satisfactorily meeting the “extenuating circumstances” provision, then you must complete PLUS loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
Please note: Each time you apply for a PLUS loan and are denied then approved, you will need to complete this PLUS entrance counseling and a new PLUS master promissory note (MPN).
Please note: The Federal Perkins Loan will no longer be available after September 30, 2017.
Federal Perkins Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5%. Interest will not accrue on the loan while a student is enrolled with at least half-time student status (6 credits or more). Borrowers begin monthly payments nine months after graduating or dropping below half-time student status. Eligibility for the loan is determined by financial need, and funding is limited such that not all students will be able to receive funding through the loan program. At Elms College, the Federal Perkins Loan is considered a supplemental loan such that a student’s Perkins loan will be cancelled if the student declines their federal direct student loan.
After being awarded the Federal Perkins Loan, students are required to complete additional loan documents that are available at the Financial Aid Office.
Private student loans are available to students prior to matriculation into a degree seeking program. Further, students are not required to have at least half-time student status to receive private student loans. To be approved, a student needs to apply to the lender directly, and may require a creditworthy cosigner. Private student loans are typically unsubsidized and are regarded as an alternative to federal student loan options. A compiled list of private lenders and their products can be found online at www.elmselect.com. Students are welcome to work with any educational lender of their choosing, even if they are not found on www.elmselect.com. However, please notify the Financial Aid Office if you are receiving a loan from a source not listed.
Administered by Tuition Management Systems (TMS), this method of payment allows tuition costs to be divided equally into 8 to 10 installments for the academic year. Enrollment is completed directly with TMS for a fee of $65 for the academic year. TMS can be contacted at 1-888-722-4867 or by visiting www.afford.com. For assistance calculating your tuition budget families are welcome to contact the Office of Student Accounts at (413) 265-2208, (413) 265-2432, or (413) 265-2412.