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Financial Aid

Federal Loans FAQ

This page answers commonly-asked questions about federal loan programs. Click on the links below to view the questions and answers for other financial-aid-related topics.

Aims participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, which includes the Subsidized Stafford Loan, the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

For more information about specific loans, visit the Office of Financial Aid  Types of Financial Aid page. 
 

No. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for all loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Subsidized Stafford Loans are for students who have financial need. The Office of Financial Aid determines this based upon the results of your FAFSA and other required information. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on the loan as long as you are enrolled at least half-time (six or more credits per semester) and during your six-month grace period.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are for students who do not demonstrate financial need. The Office of Financial Aid determines this based upon the results of your FAFSA and other required information. You, the borrower, are responsible for the payment of the interest that accrues from the time the loan is paid to the school, on your behalf, until the loan is paid in full.

A PLUS loan is a credit-based program where parents can borrow funds to help pay for the educational costs of their dependent undergraduate children. In addition, graduate and professional-degree (these programs are not applicable at Aims) students may obtain PLUS Loans to help pay for their own education.

The interest rate for student loans depends on when the loan was borrowed. Please visit the Student Aid website for current loan rates.

Other than interest, are there any fees or charges required to get these loans?
Yes;

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans have an origination fee of up to 2.5 percent of the loan amount borrowed.
  • PLUS loans have an origination fee of up to 4 percent of the loan amount borrowed.

The fee will be deducted proportionally from each payment of the loan to the school. This means the amount paid to school will be slightly less than the amount you have borrowed and must repay.
 

Yes. Please request an Federal Loan Request form from the Office of Financial Aid via email or at any campus. An Office of Financial Aid staff member will counsel you on the loan funds available to you. Students may inquire at any Aims' location.

If you are a first-time borrower from the Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan programs or both, you must:

  • Complete entrance counseling at studentaid.gov. Aims Office of Financial Aid will receive confirmation of your completed entrance counseling electronically.
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentaid.gov. Aims Office of Financial Aid will receive confirmation of your completed entrance counseling electronically.

Your borrowing parent must complete a PLUS loan application at studentaid.gov. Once the Aims Office of  Financial Aid has received the approved loan application, we will begin to process this form of student loan. Please keep in mind that this is a loan based on your parent’s credit.

For Subsidized/Unsubsidized borrowers who have completed Entrance Counseling and signed their Master Promissory Note (MPN):

  • If you are a first-time borrower, due to federal regulations the payment of your loan funds to your student tuition account cannot happen until 30-calendar days after the start of the semester.
  • If you are a continuing student, payment of your loan funds to your student tuition account will occur on the disbursement date indicated on your Direct Loan disclosure statement (Item 14). This statement is mailed to you directly from the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
     

Students who qualify for financial aid in excess of their tuition and fees will receive a refund. When you first enroll in classes you will be asked to choose a method of refund through the Refund Select program.