Financial Aid is now available. Learn more

Financial Aid: Student Loans

Student loans, available at favorable interest rates, offer a repayment plan over a long period. Your eligibility for these loans will be determined by the Financial Aid Office, based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—your initial step towards securing any form of financial aid.

It’s important to understand that student loans are a significant financial commitment that requires repayment. We advise exploring other financial aid options, such as grants or scholarships, which do not require repayment, before considering a loan. We encourage you to thoroughly review all loan information and to borrow only the amount necessary for your educational expenses.

Loan Availability:

Federal Direct Loans:

Federal Direct Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans:

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are offered to students with financial need.

  • You are not charged interest while you’re in school at least half-time, during grace periods, or deferment periods
  • If you receive a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period
  • If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans:
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are NOT based on financial need.
  • Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full
  • You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (added to the principal amount of your loan)
  • If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you must repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount


Loan eligibility is determined by completing the FAFSA. Loan limits are determined by grade level and prior borrowed amounts. There is a small loan fee charged prior to funds being received at the academy. Interest is charged on Direct loans.

Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time. After your loan is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of the loan within 14 days of receiving the loan.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan:

Parent PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) Loans are available that enable birth, adoptive, or step-parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow. There is a federal origination fee of 4% deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement.

Eligibility to be considered for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan:

  • The student must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Assistance)
  • The parent must obtain an FSA ID
  • Students and parents must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Students and parents must not be in default on a federal education loan or owe an overpayment on an educational grant
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum of six credits)
  • Student must attend classes and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Applicant cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check is required for approval.
  • Applicant must complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Certification Form
  • Applicant must complete the Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note
Private Loans:

A private loan is a last resort and is not recommended. Be sure all other federal loan options have been exhausted before taking out a private loan for school.

The academy requires that U.S. Citizens and/or permanent residents first complete a FAFSA and apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan before applying for private loans. Federal Direct Stafford Loans have lower interest rates and offer borrowers better benefits than private loans. Students are urged to speak with a Financial Assistance Counselor for guidance when considering their loan options.

Private student loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, require a credit check and often a co-signer. Loan terms and conditions vary significantly by lender. Carefully consider your financial needs and then select the loan product that best meets both your individual situation and your financial need.

When researching private loans, you should pay close attention to the borrower benefits, fees, interest rates and repayment options. To calculate the interest, lenders typically use the LIBOR Rate average, Prime Rate, or the 91-Day T-bill. Reasons to consider a private loan:

  • You have reached your Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowing limit.
  • You have expenses that your financial assistance does not cover.
  • You have a balance due from a previous term.

Applying for a Loan:

Federal Direct Loans:

The first step in applying for any financial aid at the academy, including grants, loans, scholarships and student employment, is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Information for First-Time Loan Borrowers:

If you are a first-time borrower at the academy, you will be required to:

  1. Accept, reduce or decline the loans offered to you based on your eligibility. If your enrollment drops below half-time before loans are disbursed to your student account, you may not receive payment. After the funds are disbursed to your student account, the award will not change.

  2. Complete Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling at, which explains your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower and is required for all first-time borrowers at the academy.

  3. Complete your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at, using your FSA ID. The MPN is the 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 also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated and what deferment and cancellation provision are available to you.

These steps must be completed before you can receive your first loan disbursement.

First-time, first-year loan borrowers will not receive their first loan disbursement until 30 calendar days after the first day of classes, per federal regulations. However, at the academy we do not disburse loans until 30 calendar days after the first day of classes for all students who attend the school.

Your loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

How to Apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan:
  • The Federal PLUS Loan is not based on financial need; however, the academy requires completion of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Complete the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) form, which is available from the Financial Aid Office.
  • Complete the Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note on This only needs to be completed once while your student attends the academy.
  • If your student attends less than full-time during any term, the Cost of Attendance and financial aid award amounts will be adjusted. This could result in reduction or removal of loans or other financial aid.

There is a loan fee charged prior to funds being received at the academy. Interest is charged on PLUS Loans.

Entrance Counseling:

If you have not previously received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling at to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming.

If you complete your entrance counseling to borrow a loan as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling fulfills counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Click Entrance Counseling for more instructions on how to complete this requirement.

Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note):

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 also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). Unless your school does not allow more than one loan to be made under the same MPN, you can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years. Your school will tell you what loans, if any, you are eligible to receive.

Click Master Promissory Note for more instructions on how to complete this requirement.

Exit Counseling:

If you are graduating, withdrawing, or dropping below half-time, you must complete Student Loan Exit Counseling at Exit counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal student loan(s).

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave School

Note: The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program after that date.

At the end of the exit counseling session, you will be asked for information that will be included as part of your loan records. You must provide the following:

  • Names, addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers for:
    • Your next of kin
    • Two references who live in the U.S.
    • Your future employer (if known)

To Complete Exit Counseling as an Undergrad, You Will Need:

  1. Approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
    • Exit Counseling must be completed in a single session.
  2. Your FSA ID:
    • If you are a new user or have forgotten your FSA ID, go to
    • Students must log in using their own FSA ID to complete Exit Counseling. Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.
  3. Name(s) of the school(s) you wish to notify of counseling completion.

Loan Repayment:

You begin repaying Federal Direct Stafford loans six months after graduation, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment. You must complete federally required Exit Counseling before you graduate from the academy, if you drop below half-time attendance, or withdraw from classes completely. Your academic records will be on hold until this is completed.


The Department of Education offers Loan Repayment Plans and Calculators and information on loan forgiveness and cancellation.

You must repay the full amount of your loan regardless of whether you complete the program or complete within the regular time for completion, are unable to obtain employment upon completion, or are otherwise dissatisfied with or do not receive the educational or other services you purchase from the school. There is no penalty for prepayment.

Sample Loan Repayment Amounts:

Here’s a clearer breakdown of the repayment plans for a loan scenario involving $2,880 in subsidized loans and $5,762 in unsubsidized loans, both at a 4% interest rate. This example assumes the borrower is married, filing jointly, with an adjusted gross income of $30,000, a family size of 3, and residing in Florida.

  • Standard Repayment Plan:

    • Duration: 120 months
    • Monthly Payment: $88
    • Total Interest Paid: $1,858
    • Total Amount Paid: $10,500

  • Graduated Repayment Plan

    • Duration: 120 months
    • Monthly Payment Range: $49 to $147
    • Total Interest Paid: $2,319
    • Total Amount Paid: $10,961

  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR)

    • Duration: 197 months
    • Monthly Payment Range: $0 to $87
    • Total Interest Paid: $4,052
    • Total Amount Paid: $12,694

  • IBR for New Borrowers

    • Duration: 224 months
    • Monthly Payment Range: $0 to $87
    • Total Interest Paid: $4,828
    • Total Amount Paid: $13,470

  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

    • Duration: 224 months
    • Monthly Payment Range: $0 to $87
    • Total Interest Paid: $4,828
    • Total Amount Paid: $13,470

  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)

    • Duration: 199 months
    • Monthly Payment Range: $54 to $68
    • Total Interest Paid: $3,366
    • Total Amount Paid: $12,008

Student Loan Servicers:

Understanding Your Loan Repayment:

When your federal student loan is due, your loan servicer will send you a payment schedule. This schedule will detail your monthly payments, including principal and interest, along with the remaining balance for each month until the total debt is repaid.

If you do not receive this information, you are still responsible for making your payments on time. To find your federal loan servicer and manage your payments, log in to Federal Student Aid.

Federal Loan Servicers Contact Information:

  • Aspire Resources, Inc.: 855-475-3335
  • Cornerstone: 800-663-1662
  • ESA/Ed Financial: 855-337-6884
  • FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA): 800-699-2908
  • Granite State – GSMR: 888-556-0022
  • Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.: 800-236-4300
  • MOHELA: 888-866-4352
  • Nelnet: 888-486-4722
  • OSLA Servicing: 866-264-9762
  • Sallie Mae: 800-722-1300
  • VSAC Federal Loans: 888-932-5626

Ensure you have the correct contact information for your loan servicer to stay informed about your loan repayment status and obligations.

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group:

If you’re in a dispute about your federal student loan, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group as a last resort. The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans. You may also call 877-557-2575, fax 606-396-4821, or write to:

FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS):

With your FSA ID, you can access NSLDS, a national database that contains your financial aid grant and loan history from any school, including the academy. This includes grants, federal Stafford and PLUS loans, whether borrowed directly from the Federal government or a private lender. Private loans are not listed on NSLDS. NSLDS is accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Visit:


The Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program allows you to combine one or more certain federal student loans and to make one monthly payment to the federal government. There is no charge for consolidation, and repayment plans are offered. The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan and cannot exceed 8.25 percent. The pros and cons of loan consolidation:


  • Locks in the interest rate
  • Allows the borrower to combine loans from multiple lenders into a single repayment schedule (i.e., one monthly payment)
  • Allows the borrower a longer repayment period, which will reduce the amount of the borrower’s monthly payment
  • Allows a borrower to clear an over-award of Stafford loans or clear a defaulted student loan


  • Locks in the interest rate, for older Stafford loans that have a variable interest rate
  • May increase the total cost of the borrower’s loan, the longer the repayment, the more interest you will pay
  • Borrower may have to forfeit all or a portion of the grace period
  • Borrower may lose certain borrower benefits related to their current loans
  • Certain deferments may be lost; however, borrowers retain their ability to request most major deferments
  • Borrowers who consolidate Perkins Loans lose the deferment subsidy and cancellation eligibility options related to Perkins loans

Loans that Can Be Consolidated:

Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan(s) that are eligible for loan consolidation include:

  • Stafford
  • PLUS
  • SLS
  • Previous Consolidation Loans
  • Perkins Loans
  • Health Professional Student Loans
  • Nursing Student Loans
  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
  • Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL)

*Alternative loans are not eligible to be included in a Federal Consolidation Loan


Skip to content