Undergraduate students and parents may choose to borrow to help meet their educational costs. Education loans are available through the federal government as well as through private companies.
Federal Student Loan
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is available to students who are US citizens/permanent residents who meet basic requirements for federal aid eligibility. This loan does not require a credit check for approval.
The interest rate for the 2018-19 academic year is fixed at 5.05%
- The loan has an origination fee, charged by the government and collected from the loan before the finds are sent to Simmons. Loans disbursed between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 will have an origination fee of 1.062%
- Standard repayment begins six months after graduation (or dropping below half time enrollment) and continues for up to 10 years, although there are extended repayment options (up to 25 years) available.
Students may be eligible for a portion of their loan to be subsidized as defined below
Students who demonstrate financial need, as determined by filing the Federal FAFSA form, will be eligible for this loan. The interest is subsidized (paid by the federal government) while the student is in school (at least half time), during the grace period and during periods of deferment.
Students who are not eligible for need based federal aid will be eligible to borrow an unsubsidized loan. The interest begins to accrue after the first disbursement and can either be paid quarterly or can be capitalized, meaning the interest would be added to the loan amount borrowed.
|Total Loan Limit||$5,500*||$6,500||$7,500||$7,500|
*The subsidized limit is lower by $2000/year. For example, a freshman who is eligible for a subsidized loan could receive $3500 subsidized and $2000 unsubsidized.
Before you can receive your loan funds, you will be required to
- Complete entrance counseling, a tool to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan; and
- Sign a Master Promissory Note, agreeing to the terms of the loan.
Canceling your Federal Student Loan
Direct Loan funds that are returned within 120 days of the disbursement by the school or the borrower, for any reason, are treated as a partial or full cancellation, with the appropriate adjustment of the loan fee and interest.
If the loan has not yet disbursed to your student account:
- Fill out the Loan Adjustment Request Form
If the loan has already disbursed to your student account and it is within 120 days since your loan disbursed:
- If you did not receive a refund from the disbursement, fill out the Loan Adjustment Request Form
- If you did receive a refund from the disbursement, then you are responsible for returning the money directly to your loan servicer.
- Contact the Federal Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979
- Always use the term "cancellation" or "cancel." to ensure that the interest and fees are removed as well.
After 120 days
If you miss the 120-day deadline you cannot cancel your student loan. If you received a refund from the loan, you can pay it back.
Direct loan funds that a borrower returns 120 days or more after disbursement are processed as a payment, and there is no adjustment of the loan fees or interest. Returning money you really don’t need could save you hundreds of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.
Simply send payment to your student loan servicer the same way you would any other student loan payment. You can contact Simmons Student Financial Services or the above referenced Direct Loan Servicing Center to find contact information for your servicer.
Federal Parent Loan
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who are US citizens/permanent residents and who meet basic requirements for federal aid eligibility. Parents can borrow up to the full cost of attendance less any financial aid received.
- The interest rate for the 2018-19 academic year is fixed at 7.60% and interest begins to accrue after the first disbursement.
- The loan has an origination fee, charged by the government and collected from the loan before the finds are sent to Simmons. Loans disbursed between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 will have an origination fee of 4.248%
- Standard repayment begins 60 days after the loan fully disburses and continues for up to 10 years, although there are extended repayment options (up to 25 years) available.
- Payments can be deferred, by requesting a deferment from your lender, while the student is enrolled (at least ½ time). Interest will accrue during deferment and can either be paid or capitalize (added to your loan principal balance).
- There is a standard credit check required to be approved for this loan. If you are denied because of adverse credit history, there are three options:
- Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the parent PLUS loan if you do not repay it.
- Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.
- The student may be able to receive an additional unsubsidized loan if a parent has been denied a PLUS loan.
Determining how much to borrow:
A parent wants to cover the remaining billed costs with a PLUS loan. Their remaining billed costs are $2500/semester or $5000 for the year. To net $5,000 to their bill they will need to borrow to account for the origination fee. See below
|Multiply the origination fee by the amount you want to net:|
|Origination fee: $ 212|
|Add the origination fee to the amount you want to net:|
|Amount to borrow: $5,212|
To apply for the PLUS Loan a parent should:
- Complete the FAFSA form for the current year
- Complete the PLUS application on the Federal Direct Loan website
- Complete the “Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note” (MPN)
Private Education Loans
Private education loans are available to students and parents through lending agencies such as banks, credit unions, state authorities and other lenders.
It is important to understand that each private loan provider has its own set of terms, rates and eligibility requirements that vary, unlike a federal loan. It is very important that you take the time to research your options prior to making a decision on borrowing a private education loan.
Before you decide which education Loan that is right for you:
- Check your credit history at annualcreditreport.com. This will give you the opportunity to check for errors, fix mistakes, or catch up on any past due payments you may not have been aware of. All of these things will impact your credit score which is used to determine the interest rate offered on a private education loan.
- Research. Simmons has compiled a historical list of private loan lenders through which our students have borrowed from over the past 10 years. You can access this list by visiting ElmSelect. Additionally, your state education agency may offer education loans for their residents. We will process a private loan from any lender you choose, even if it is not included on our historical list.
- Compare. Here are some tools you can utilize:
- Ask Questions. Don’t be afraid to contact a lender directly. They will be able to answer questions you may have on the terms and conditions of their loans.
When you have decided which loan you would like to use, please submit your application directly to your chosen lender. After you are approved, the lending agency will electronically notify Simmons of your approval and request the loan's certification. It generally takes about a week, but once Simmons has certified the loan you will be able to see it pending on your next award letter and bill.