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Federal Stafford Loans
• Loan Limits
• Entrance Loan Counseling
• Master Promissory Note
Federal Perkins Loans
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan)
• Federal Stafford Loan
• Federal Perkins Loan
• Wheelock College Loan
• TEACH Grant
Education Loan Code of Conduct
The U.S. Department of Education administers the Federal Direct Loan Program more commonly known as the Stafford loan program. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. This loan has a six-month grace period after graduation or after the student drops below half-time status. The repayment period on average is ten years. The aggregate undergraduate limit (total amount a student can borrow while an undergraduate) for a dependent student is capped at $31,000 (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized) and for an independent student at $57,500. The interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2015 is 3.86%. Loans disbursed after July 1, 2016 have a fixed interest rate of 4.29%. Students must file a FAFSA to be eligible for a Stafford loan. Most students are eligible for a Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loan for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Every Federal Stafford Loan has an origination fee, set by the U.S. Department of Education, subtracted from the amount borrowed. Loan fees vary based on the date of disbursement.
- First disbursed on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 1, 2016: Fees are 1.073% and they are subtracted from the amount borrowed. For example, a $5,500 loan will credit as $5,441 to the student's account ($5,500-1.073%= $5,441).
- First disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 and before October, 1 2017: Fees are 1.068% and they are subtracted from the amount borrowed. For example, a $5,500 loan will credit as $5,441 to the students account ($5,500-1.068%- $5,441).
If a student provides evidence of financial need through the FAFSA, he or she will be awarded the Subsidized Stafford loan. The term "subsidized" reflects that the government pays any interest that may accumulate on this type of Stafford loan while the student is in school at least half-time. Essentially, a Subsidized Stafford loan is interest-free until the student graduates, withdraws from school or drops below half-time. Loan amounts are divided and disbursed equally over the semesters in the academic period.
Students who receive a Subsidized Stafford Loans for the first time on or after July 1, 2013 may start incurring interest while in school. As of July 1, 2013 a new legislative law went into effect for any new Subsidized Stafford Loan Borrowers.
Congress passed a new bill "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act" which has established time limitations on Subsidized Stafford Loans. This new law will be effective for first time borrowers or borrowers who have paid off their loans and are borrowing again as of July 1, 2013.
This law allows you to receive Direct Stafford Subsidized Loans only within 150% of the length of your program of study. Once you have reached the end of this limit you are no longer able to receive Subsidized Stafford Subsidized Loans. For example; if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Subsidized Stafford Loans is six years (4 x 150% = 6 years).
In essence, students will no longer be able to receive Direct Stafford Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the length of your program. Once you reach the length of your program, you may continue to receive Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loans; however interest will start accruing on the outstanding Subsidized Stafford Loans.
Students who do NOT demonstrate financial need for the Federal Subsidized Stafford loan may still qualify for the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loan. This non-need-based loan program carries the same annual borrowing limits per year, fees, and repayment terms as the subsidized loan program. However, interest WILL accrue on the loan while the student is in-school, and during grace and deferment periods. Borrowers can choose to make interest payments by checking off the appropriate box on the Master Promissory Note. You may choose to capitalize the interest (add interest charges to the amount owed) but this will significantly increase the total amount of your debt burden at repayment. See loan limits below.
If the parent of an Undergraduate student is denied a federal PLUS loan, the student may borrow additional amounts (see below** for limits) in Unsubsidized loan.
The Department of Education sets annual and aggregate (i.e. lifetime) limits on the amount of debt a student can obtain from the federal government. The chart below summarizes the current limits for the Federal Stafford Loan.
Dependent Undergrad Student
Independent Undergrad Student **
$5,500-No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
$9,500-No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
$6,500-No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
$10,500-No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
$7,500-No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
$12,500-No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
Maximum lifetime Stafford borrowing
$31,000-No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
$57,500-No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in Subsidized loan.
** Also applies to dependent undergraduate students whose parent was denied a PLUS loan.
Instructions to Complete Your Federal Stafford Loan Online:
Students who borrow a Federal Stafford loan for the first time at Wheelock College must complete mandatory Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before receiving the first disbursement of any loan proceeds. Please see below for the instructions. If you do not complete this process, it is assumed that you will not plan to borrow with this loan and it will be canceled.
- Entrance Counseling: go to studentloans.gov. Click on the green “Log In” button. Once you have logged in click on the link to “Complete Counseling". Then click on the "Start Entrance Counseling" button, and proceed to follow the instructions.*** Please note your FAFSA FSA ID username and password is required. If you do not have a PIN you can go to studentaid.gov/fsaid
- Master Promissory Note (MPN): go to studentloans.gov. Click on the green “Log In” button. Once you have logged in click on the link to “Complete a Master Promissory Note". Then click on “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” and proceed to follow the instructions.*** Please note your FAFSA FSA ID username and password is required. If you do not have a PIN you can go to studentaid.gov/fsaid
The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest rate (5%) loan for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. No interest or fees are charged and no repayment is required while a student is enrolled at least half-time (six credits per quarter) or during the nine-month grace period following graduation or withdrawal from school. Funds are awarded by Wheelock College and are limited. Undergraduate award amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000 annually.
The Federal PLUS Loan is a federally guaranteed loan available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Eligibility is based on credit worthiness. To apply online please go to studentloans.gov. Click on the green "Log In" button. Once you have logged in, click on the "Start PLUS Application Process". Then click on "Parent PLUS".
Every Federal PLUS Loan has an origination fee, set by the U.S. Department of Education, subtracted from the amount borrowed. Loan fees vary based on the date of disbursement:
- First disbursed on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 1, 2016: Fees are 4.292% and they are subtracted from the amount borrowed. For example, a $10,000 loan will credit as $9,571 to the student's account ($10,000-4.292%= $9,571).
- First disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017: Fees are 4.272% and they are subtracted from the amount borrowed. For example, a $10,000 loan will credit as $9,571 to the student's account ($10,000-4.272%= $9,573).
When considering a PLUS loan, keep the following points in mind:
- The interest rate on a PLUS Loan disbursed prior to July 1, 2016 is fixed at 7.21%. The interest rate on a PLUS Loan disbursed after July 1, 2016 is fixed at 6.84%. This rate is determined by the federal government.
- Parent must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Student must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must be making satisfactory academic progress towards a degree.
- Borrower must be credit worthy, as determined by the absence of adverse credit on credit history, approval is not based on income or debt-to-income ratio as with many other loans.
- Applicants may borrow up to the cost of attendance (this includes tuition, room and board, books, and other miscellaneous fees) less other financial aid.
- Most PLUS loans are made to cover fall and spring semester costs. The loan funds are disbursed (minus fees) in two equal payments, 1/2 for the fall semester and 1/2 for the spring semester.
- The maximum repayment term is 10 years.
- Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed, but may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time. During the deferment period interest can be paid monthly, quarterly, or capitalized quarterly.
- If a PLUS is borrowed and the borrower is subsequently totally, permanently disabled, or deceased, the loan is forgiven.
- A PLUS Loan can also provide tax savings and incentives. Parents should check with a tax advisor to determine their eligibility.
Many banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions offer private (non-federal) student loans, sometimes called alternative loans. Private loan programs may offer interest rates and terms that are competitive with those of federal loans. However, as you consider your borrowing options, you should keep in mind that federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including income-based repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which private loans are not required to provide. Wheelock College recommends that students first explore all federal loan options before considering nonfederal private loans.
Private Lenders offer private loan programs with different rates, fees, repayment terms and approval requirements. We suggest that you carefully review each program to compare the terms and conditions before deciding which alternative loan may be appropriate for your needs. The lenders listed below are those most utilized at Wheelock. The application process is completed directly through the ELM Select Link below.
You are able to apply for a loan from any lender that offers private education loans. Private lenders do check your credit history to see if you qualify for a loan. In many cases a co-borrower may be required to qualify for a loan and may help lower your cost of borrowing. Interest rates, fees and qualifications vary, so be sure to review the details of information provided by the lender.
Wheelock College does not maintain a recommended lender list. However, we do provide a comprehensive list of lenders that Wheelock College students have used for the past three years.
Wheelock College has not reviewed the terms and conditions of the loans offered by these lenders and does not endorse any one of them.
Please go to ELM Select to review the comprehensive list of lenders and the terms and conditions of their loans.
Other private lenders exist that may not be on Wheelock College's comprehensive list.
You are able to choose any private lender that meets your needs.
Wheelock College and its employees do not receive any benefits from lenders listed on this comprehensive list.
Federal and State Regulations require borrowers of Federal Stafford loans, Perkins loans, Federal TEACH grants, and Wheelock College Loans who are no longer enrolled at least half-time to complete federally mandated exit counseling as soon as they cease enrollment. This is a federal regulation and applies to all students who have graduated, officially withdrawn, dropped below half-time enrollment, transferred to another institution, or simply ceased enrollment at Wheelock College. While you may have been required to complete exit counseling in the past, but federal regulations require that you complete exit counseling every time you meet one of the above conditions. The purpose of this counseling is to help you to understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower.
The Student Accounting office sends out notifications by email and by mail to describe the exit counseling requirements and procedures to graduating seniors, and students moving on to graduate school, leaving the College, and students who drop below half-time enrollment. Student borrowers must complete exit counseling to obtain an official transcript, participate in commencement or to obtain your diploma from the Wheelock College Registrar's office. The Financial Aid Office receives results of exit counseling weekly. Official transcripts may be released only after results are received.
Exit counseling takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. You will need your FSA ID to log in. If you have lost or forgotten your FSA ID, you may apply for another at studentaid.gov/fsaid
Once on the website click the green "Sign IN" button using your FSA ID, then select Complete Counseling, then click on the "Start" button under the Exit counseling section. Please note you MUST complete the entire session. You cannot save your session and return to it later.
If you have borrowed a Federal Perkins Loan or a Wheelock College Loan, Xerox Education Services is the loan servicer for Wheelock College. Loan Exit Counseling is performed on the Xerox website. Students who do not comply with this requirement will not be eligible to participate in Commencement, obtain their diploma, or receive a transcript until the exit interview has been completed.
Federal Perkins and/or WCL Exit Counseling takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
Once on the website select the link for "Exit Interview," and click the "Continue" button at the bottom of the page, and then login to your account with your social security number and date of birth. You must complete the entire session.
If you have received a Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, FedLoan Servicing is the loan servicer for the TEACH grant program. Loan Exit Counseling is performed on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website. Exit counseling is required because as a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, a student must agree to teach full-time for at least four years as a highly-qualified teacher in a high-need field, in a school or educational service agency (ESA) serving low-income students within eight years of completing or otherwise ceasing to be enrolled in the program of study for which the student received the grant. If you do not meet the terms of your TEACH Grant service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds that you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you must repay in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. Students who do not comply with this requirement will not be eligible to participate in Commencement, obtain their diploma, or receive a transcript until the exit interview has been completed.
Federal TEACH grant Exit Counseling takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. See the TEACH Exit Counseling Guide for more information.
Once on the website select the link for "Exit Counseling," and click the "Continue" button at the bottom of the page, and then login to your account with your social security number and date of birth. You must complete the entire session.
Contact Information: Federal Student Aid information center at 1-800-4-fed-aid. FedLoan Servicing website