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There are only two steps to apply for financial aid as a postbaccalaureate student at Elms College:

  1. Apply for Enrollment to Elms College
  2. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Completing the FAFSA requires both time and access to income tax returns. The FAFSA application can be completed online at: https://fafsa.gov/

As a postbaccalaureate student at Elms College, here are a few tips when completing your FAFSA application…

  • Our Postbac Certificate program is considered a 5th year undergrad program. When asked on your FAFSA, “What will your college grade level be when you begin the school year?” Please select “5th year.”
  • Our Postbac Certificate program is considered an undergraduate program. When asked on your FAFSA, “At the beginning of the school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program? Please select “No.”
  • If by answering these questions, and several others, you are deemed to be a dependent student, please continue completing the FAFSA application with parental information.

Completing the FAFSA application accurately the first time around will ensure your award letter is not delayed.

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, 2017 have an origination fee of 1.069%; loans disbursed after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018 will have an origination fee of 1.066%.  Direct PLUS Loans disbursed before October 1, 2017 have an origination fee of 4.276%; loans disbursed after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018 will have an origination fee of 4.264%

Annual Borrowing Limits on Federal Direct Loans

The following chart shows the annual and aggregate loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans:

 Grade Level Dependent Annual Limit Independent Annual Limit
0-29 credits $5,500
(max $3,500 subsidized)
 $9,500
(max $3,500 subsidized)
30-59 credits $6,500
(max $4,500 subsidized)
$10,500
(max $4,500 subsidized)
60-90 credits $7,500
(max $5,500 subsidized)
$12,500
(max $5,500 subsidized)
91+ credits $7,500
(max $5,500 subsidized)
$12,500
(max $5,500 subsidized)

 Aggregate (Lifetime) Borrowing Limits

Maximum Subsidized Maximum Subsidized and Unsubsidized (combined)
Dependent Student $23,000 $31,000
Independent Student $23,000 $57,500

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 Undergraduate Course Catalog.

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 or certificate 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, 2017 and June 30, 2018 have a fixed interest rate of 4.45%.

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, 2017 and June 30, 2018 have a fixed interest rate of 4.45%.

Additional required documentation: Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling

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 or certificate 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, 2017 and June 30, 2018 have a fixed interest rate of 7.00%. 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).

Private student loans are available to students prior to matriculation into a degree seeking or certificate 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 the elmselect site.  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.