In order to be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan, a student must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the FAFSA has been completed, Student Enrollment and Financial Services will send a financial aid award to the student. If the award includes a Federal Stafford Loan, the student needs to accept or decline the loan through BannerWeb within 14 days from the date on their award letter or by May 1, whichever is later.
Direct Subsidized Loans
Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you’re in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive. You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
Undergraduate Interest Rates and Origination Fees for both the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan
Loan Origination Fees for October 1, 2018 to September 30th, 2019 1.062%
Loan Origination Fees for October 1, 2019 to September 30th, 2020 1.059%
Interest Rates for Subsidized and Unsubsidized July 1, 2019 through July 1, 2020 4.529%
- Interest Rates for Subsidized and Unsubsidized July 1, 2020 through July 1, 2021 2.75%
Interest will not accrue on the Subsidized Stafford Loan until the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. Once the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment status, there is a six-month grace period before repayment begins.
Graduate Interest Rates and Origination Fees
Loan Origination Fees for October 1, 2018 to September 30th, 2019 1.062%
Interest Rates for the Graduate Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for July 1, 2019 through July 1, 2020 6.079%
Interest Rates for the Graduate Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for July 1, 2020 through July 1, 2021 4.30%
Effective July 1, 2013, all NEW borrowers will be subject to a maximum time period that they can receive SUBSIDIZED loans. Students will only be eligible to borrow subsidized loans for 150% of the published length of their program.
New borrowers are any student without an outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan) as of July 1, 2013. This can include new students entering college for the first time as well as non-traditional students returning to college who have paid off their previous student loans.
Additional information on the new time limitation is available here.
For more information about Stafford loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Parents of undergraduate students may borrow a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) to help cover educational expenses their student may incur while attending college.
- For PLUS loans that disburse October 1, 2019-September 30, 2020, the origination fee will be 4.236 percent
- The interest rate for PLUS loans disbursed on or after 7/1/2019 and 7/1/2020 is fixed at 7.079%.
- The interest rate for PLUS loans disbursed on or after 7/1/2020 and 7/1/2021 is fixed at 5.30%.
The origination fee is deducted from the disbursed amount. Parents can borrow up to the Cost of Attendance less any other financial aid (the total of all grants, scholarships, and other loans) awarded to the student. Parents may continue to borrow each year but must reapply and complete a new credit check annually.
Who is Eligible to Borrow a Parent PLUS Loan?
In order to borrow a PLUS loan, a parent must be:
- A US citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizens.
- Be the biological or adoptive parent of the students. Step-parents can be eligible to borrow a plus loan only if their income is reported on the FAFSA.
- Not in default on a federal student loan.
Determining a Loan Amount
You will be given three options to indicate how much you would like to borrow when completing the PLUS application:
- I want to borrow the maximum PLUS loan amount for which I am eligible.
- Choosing this option, JCU will process your PLUS loan for the maximum amount possible (Cost of attendance less other financial aid) for the academic year.
- I would like to specify an amount.
- By selecting this option, you will enter in the dollar amount you would like to borrow. JCU will process your PLUS loan for this amount.
- I do not know the amount.
- By selecting this option, JCU will hold your PLUS application until you contact us, in writing, to tell us the amount you wish to borrow.
If you decide at any point you need to increase your PLUS loan, you can contact JCU, in writing, to request an increase. As long as your credit check is still valid, a second PLUS application is not needed.
You can send all requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aid Year and Loan Period
|Term For||Aid Year||Loan Period|
|2020 Summer||2019-2020||May 2020-August 2020|
|2020-2021 Academic Year||2020-2021||August 2020-May 2021|
|2020 Fall||2020-2021||August 2020-December 2020|
|2021 Spring||2020-2021||January 2021-May 2021|
PLUS loan funds automatically pay any charges on your student’s account. If there are any funds remaining, the credit balance will be issued as a refund. The parent borrower decides who will receive the refund during the application process. You have two options:
Me – This option allows the parent borrower to receive the refund.
Student – This option allows the student to receive the refund.
In addition to this selection, JCU will also send each parent borrower a Title IV authorization form once the PLUS loan funds disburse. Please make sure to complete this form as soon as possible.
If your credit check is denied, there are several options which can be pursued:
- Parents can choose “I want to appeal the decision.” This allows a parent to appeal the credit decision with the Department of Education.
- Parents can choose “I want to obtain an Endorser (cosigner).” The Department of Education will provide you with information for reapplying with an Endorser (cosigner).
- Parents can choose “I do not wish to pursue a PLUS loan at this time.” If selecting this option, the Office of Financial Aid will automatically process an additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan in the student’s name based on their grade level:
- Freshmen (0-29 credit hours) and Sophomores (30-59 credit hours) will receive an additional $4,000.
- Juniors (60-89 credit hours) and Seniors (90-120 credit hours) will receive an additional $5,000.
If the student does not want to borrow the additional unsubsidized loan or only wishes to accept a partial amount of the additional unsubsidized loan, please contact a Student Services Counselor at email@example.com
Approved Plus Applications
If the credit check is approved, the parent completing the application must complete a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN).
Parent PLUS loans go into repayment 60 days after the loan fully disburses; however, parents may also opt to defer payments for up to four years while their student is enrolled at least half-time. Please note that interest will accrue and capitalize if you choose to defer payments. Parents can choose to defer payments as part of the application process. If you choose to defer repayment after the application process, please contact the loan servicer for more information.
For more information about the Parent PLUS loan, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Graduate and professional degree students enrolled at least half-time, are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance.
Applicants for the Grad PLUS loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied for their maximum annual loan eligibility under the Federal Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan. Note: Even though it is called the Graduate PLUS Loan program, the loan is in the graduate student’s name (not their parents’ name). This loan is credit-based; therefore, borrowers must not have an adverse credit history in order to be approved for the Graduate PLUS loan. The interest rate on the Graduate PLUS loan is 7.00 percent for loans disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018.
Note: Even though it is called the Graduate PLUS Loan program, the loan is in the graduate student’s name (not their parents’ name). This loan is credit-based; therefore, borrowers must not have an adverse credit history in order to be approved for the Graduate PLUS loan.
For PLUS loans that disburse October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019, the origination fee will be 4.248 percent
The interest rate for PLUS loans disbursed on or after 7/1/2019 and 7/1/2020 is fixed at 7.079%.
The interest rate for PLUS loans disbursed on or after 7/1/2020 and 7/1/2021 is fixed at 5.30%.
Students have the option to borrow private loans directly from lenders (banks) to help finance the cost of their education. There are many options available so it is important to do some preliminary research and to know that all loans are not equal. Pay special attention to interest rates, fees, credit scoring, and co-signing requirements. But first, before you look at private loans, make sure that you have exhausted all possibilities for federal and state financial aid programs. Exploring your options now may save you time and money in the future.
JCU's Office of Student Enrollment and Financial Services has partnered with a third-party company to provide students with resources to assist in the private loan search. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding private loan terms or conditions, we suggest you contact the lender directly.
Fastchoice, powered by Great Lakes Higher Education, is an online lender list that provides basic information on private loans. We hope you find this website to be a great resource which allows you to compare interest rates, borrower benefits, fees, and repayment options, prior to applying for a loan and having your credit information pulled. All the lenders on this list work closely with the JCU Student Enrollment and Financial Services office and work to ensure timely processing of your loan and electronically transfer funds to your student account.
- Fastchoice Lenders (in alphabetical order): Citizens Bank, Discover, Ohio Catholic Credit Union, PNC, Sallie Mae, SoFi, SunTrust, Wells Fargo.
- The following criteria were used to evaluate these lenders: quality of customer service (for both students and schools), student satisfaction, ease of application process, competitive interest rates, low fees, flexible repayment options, and borrower benefits. For more information on why JCU chose these lenders, please contact SEFS at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Fastchoice here.
Please note students have the right to borrow through any lender and are not limited to only those lenders included on our list. We only offer these lists to help simplify the search process for students and their families. We do ask that you notify Student Enrollment and Financial Services if you choose not to utilize a lender from these lists so that we are made aware of your loan application.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) mandated a number of changes to provide a significant amount of additional information to families who choose to utilize private educational loans. Title X of the HEOA changes the disclosure requirements for the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) for private education loans made expressly for post-secondary education expenses. These requirements could delay the receipt of Alternative Loan approvals and disbursements. Please plan accordingly.