Undergraduate students are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive full consideration for loan options. In most cases, federal loan programs offered to students or their parents have the most beneficial terms and conditions. It is in a student's best interest to apply for these loans before exploring other options. Eligibility for the Federal Direct, College and Parent Plus Loan programs all require the student to complete a FAFSA.
While the Federal Direct and College loan programs are included in a student's financial aid package if the student is eligible, the Parent Plus loan and alternative loans are not. Rather, these options are available to students and their families if they need assistance covering the gap between costs and the financial aid package. Students must submit a separate application for the Parent Plus Loan (to the Student Financial Services Office) or an alternative loan program (to the lender the student chooses).
When choosing a loan program, undergraduate students should pay close attention to the specific details of the loan. Factors to consider include interest rates, origination fees, and terms of repayment. In addition, students should keep these considerations in mind when determining the amount of a Parent Plus or alternative loan:
Loans are available to undergraduate students enrolled at least half time in a degree or certificate program. The Federal Direct Loan program enables students to borrow from, and repay loans directly to, the U.S. Department of Education through its servicing centers.
There are two types of Federal Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loan amounts are based on federal financial need, grade level, and cost of attendance. The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized student loan during: in-school status, authorized deferment periods, and, the grace period. The student is responsible for paying the interest on an unsubsidized student loan during all periods. During this time, students may either pay the accumulating interest or capitalize the interest. Capitalization means the unpaid interest is added to the principal balance of the loan.
Interest rates for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduates during 2018-2019 is a fixed 5.05%. For loans with a first disbursement between 10/01/18-09/30/19, there is a 1.062% origination fee deducted from the proceeds of the loan. Loan funds are disbursed directly to Suffolk University in equal amounts over each term of enrollment for the academic year. First time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order for the loan to be disbursed. There is a six-month grace period prior to repayment following graduation, withdrawal, or a drop below half-time status.
|Grade Level||Dependent Student||Independent Student|
|Sub* + Unsub = Total||Sub* + Unsub = Total|
|Freshman||$3500 + $2000 = $5500||$3500 + $6000 = $9500|
|Sophomore||$4500 + $2000 = $6500||$4500 + $6000 = $10500|
|Junior||$5500 + $2000 = $7500||$5500 + $7000 = $12500|
|Senior||$5500 + $2000 = $7500||$5500 + $7000 = $12500|
*The subsidized amounts listed above are awarded based on financial need. If the student does not have financial need, this amount will be replaced with an unsubsidized loan. The minimum amount we will process in a Direct Subsidized Loan is $200.
|Dependent Undergraduate||$31,000 - with a subsidized maximum of $23,000|
|Independent Undergraduate||$57,5000 - with a subsidized maximum of $23,000|
Federal Direct Loan borrowers can visit the Department of Education’s Direct Loans Online site for general account information, repayment options, and monthly payment calculators, as well as downloadable deferment forms. This site also links to the Direct Loan Consolidation and National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) websites.
To access most of the above features, you will need to use your Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number). PIN’s are distributed to students when they file the FAFSA. If you did not receive a PIN or can’t remember yours, you can obtain a new one at the same site.
Remember, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain all deferment information and file the required forms with the appropriate office or agency.
The Office of Financial Aid is required by law to provide Entrance and Exit Loan Counseling for Federal Direct Loan borrowers. If you are a new borrower, entrance counseling must be completed before loan proceeds can be credited to your tuition account. If you withdraw from the University, take a leave of absence, or graduate, you must complete exit counseling. Entrance and exit counseling are conducted at the Office of Financial Aid. You may also complete either your entrance or exit counseling online.
This federally funded loan program offers a low interest rate (5%) to undergraduate students enrolled at least half time in a degree program. Funding is limited and recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Repayment begins nine months after the student graduates, withdraws from the University, or drops to less than half-time attendance. Recipients must sign a promissory note with the Bursar's Office before the loan will be posted to the student’s tuition account. Federal Perkins Loan limits are as follows:
|Per Year Aggregate||Total Aggregate|
$11,000 first two years of a bachelor's degree program or
$27,500 after two years of a bachelor's degree program is completed
This institutionally funded loan program is available to full- and part-time undergraduate students. The maximum award is typically $2,500 per academic year and awards are renewable. A promissory note must be completed with the Bursar's Office before the loan proceeds will be applied to the student’s tuition account.
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan program enables parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow from, and repay loans directly to the U.S. Department of Education through its servicing centers. PLUS Loans offer a fixed interest rate, which for 2018-2019 is 7.60%. There is a 4.248% origination fee automatically deducted from the loan amount prior to disbursement. This fee changes every Oct 1st. Parents may borrow up to the cost of education less financial aid received. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.
Parents can choose to defer payments on a PLUS loan until 6 months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. The interest that accrues on the loan while it is in deferment can either be paid by the parent borrower monthly or quarterly, or can be capitalized quarterly. A deferment can be requested as part of the online application process.
If a parent is denied a Federal PLUS loan due to credit reasons, the parent may appeal the denial or have a credit worthy person cosign/endorse the loan. If a parent is approved by appeal or with an endorser, he/she is required to complete on-line credit counseling through StudentLoans.gov. However, on-line credit counseling is encouraged for all PLUS borrowers.
If the parent is denied and does not wish to appeal or seek and endorser, the dependent student may receive additional unsubsidized loan funding. The maximum eligibility is $4,000 for freshman/sophomore class levels, and $5,000 for junior/senior class levels.
At Suffolk University we understand that financing a college education is likely to be one of the most significant investments you and your family will make. Students who wish to borrow funds through an alternative loan program are able to borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid. While Suffolk University does not recommend a particular alternative loan program and will certify any loan for which a student meets the eligibility criteria, we encourage you to consider the information below to assist you in choosing the best program for your individual needs.
Once you have successfully exhausted all other funding options, such as federal loans, and are still in need of additional financing, you may want to consider a private student loan. Alternative loans are to be used as supplements to cover the remaining balance AFTER financial aid awards and federal loans.
Alternative student loans are credit-based loans offered through private lenders or banks. These loans have certain eligibility criteria, primarily, a credit-worthy borrower with verified income is necessary. However, some loans carry additional eligibility requirements, so be sure to check all requirements thoroughly with your lender before choosing a loan product that’s right for you.
There are many alternative loan options available and selecting the best one for you can be overwhelming. First, review the information below before submitting an application to a private lender.
1. Exhaust all other forms of aid prior to borrowing an alternative loan.
2. Determine the amount of your alternative loan.
3. When choosing a lender:
As of February 14, 2010, federal regulations were implemented which require lenders to provide more in-depth information on alternative student loans, interest rates, and repayment options. As part of “the Higher Education Opportunity Act,” Title X is specifically aimed at private lenders and established new regulations that affect the way you receive, and are approved for, private student loans. Listed below are some of these new requirements:
Self Certification Form: As part of the loan application process, student borrowers are now required to complete and return to their lender a self-certification form for each loan application submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services. An approved borrower must fill out a self-certification form (usually provided by the lender) and will be required to provide information on “cost of attendance” and “estimated financial aid.” Obtain a self-certification form here. To avoid unnecessary delays, be sure to return this form to your lender and not to the Office of Student Financial Services.
Loan Approval Disclosure: Once your loan is approved, your lender will provide you with a statement that includes your interest rate, loan details and repayment options. Student borrowers are now required to “actively accept” the terms of their loan within 30 calendar days before their school will be notified that school certification is available. The lender’s terms for how to “accept” the loan terms can be found on this disclosure statement.
Right to Cancel: Borrowers and/or cosigners have the right to cancel or rescind a loan offer within three business days after receipt of the Final Disclosure. During this time, the lender cannot disburse loan funds. Be aware the cancellation period cannot be waived in order for funds to disburse more quickly. This may delay the disbursement of loan funds to your student account, so be sure to take it into consideration when estimating the timeline for bill deadlines.
The Office of Student Financial Services will not certify a student’s alternative loan until all required lender documentation is complete. If you have questions regarding the status of your loan applications, please contact your lender.
Suffolk University is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behavior. Ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process and programs is critical to providing equity and access to higher education. With the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress required that all colleges post a Code of Conduct relating to financial aid, private lending and student choice. Hence, the staff in the Office of Student Financial Services herein confirms that we adhere to the following sound practices:
I. University employees do not receive any personal benefits from Lending Institutions. No member of the Student Financial Services staff will accept anything of more than a nominal value on his or her behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution. For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, etc, will never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual will never accept payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars.
II. The University does not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution. The Staff in the Student Financial Services does not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including, but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software. Likewise, the university does not allow any Lending Institution to staff the Student Financial Services Office or the Student Services calling center at any time.
III. The University makes appropriate use of any “Suggested Lender Lists”. The selection of the Lending Institutions for inclusion on the private/alternative loans Suggested Lender List is based solely on the best interests of the university students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of the university. We abide by the following: