Student Loans

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Federal Direct Loans

(Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

Subsidized loans are need-based and the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the borrower is in school at least half-time. For 2015-16, the interest rate was fixed at 4.29%. First-time borrowers may not receive this type of loan for more than 150% of the length of program of study; and the U.S. Department of Education may stop paying their interest if they exceed that limit. Unsubsidized loans do not require students to demonstrate financial need and the borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it’s paid in full. For 2015-16, the interest rate was fixed at 4.29%. Depending upon financial need, students may receive both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the same enrollment period, but the total amount of these loans may not exceed the annual loan limit shown below.

Annual Loan Limits Dependent Undergraduate Students (except students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS loans) Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS loans)
First Year Total (maximum $3,500 subsidized) $5,500 $9,500
Second Year Total (maximum $4,500 subsidized) $6,500 $10,500
Third Year and Beyond (each year) (maximum $5,500 subsidized) $7,500 $12,500

The lender will be the U.S. Department of Education and the repayment period will be between 10 and 25 years, depending on the amount owed and the type of repayment plan selected.

First-time Borrowers

Students who are first-time borrowers and accept a Federal Direct Loan as part of a financial aid package must go to https://studentloans.gov and complete two steps:

  1. Loan entrance counseling
  2. Sign a Master Promissory Note

When students’ enrollment ends at Cottey, loan exit counseling is required and can be completed at https://studentloans.gov.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are made to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for the cost of education. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus the amount of any other financial aid the student receives. Eligibility requires:

  • Biological or adoptive parents of the dependent undergraduate students or the spouse of the student’s parent report income and assets on the FAFSA.
  • Parents and students be U.S. citizens or nationals, a permanent resident of the U.S. or an otherwise eligible non-citizen
  • Parents and students not be in default on a federal education loan or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant nor been convicted of, or pled no contest or guilty to a crime involving fraud in obtaining funds under the Act.
  • Parents and students not have adverse credit history unless extenuating circumstances can be documented or an endorser without adverse credit history be obtained.

The lender will be the U.S. Department of Education. For 2015-16, the interest rate was a fixed rate of 6.84%, plus a fee of up to 4% of the loan amount. Repayment of a PLUS loan begins on the date of the last disbursement. However parent PLUS loan borrowers may request a deferment of repayment while the student on whose behalf the loan was obtained is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

Parents interested in applying for a Direct PLUS Loan should:

  1. Go to https://studentloans.gov
  2. Sign in with parent FSA ID
  3. Click on request a Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Select Parent PLUS
  5. Complete the required information

Private/Alternative Loans

Cottey College does not endorse or promote any lenders that offer private/alternative loans to students. The interest rate, repayment fees and terms are more favorable with federal loans. Students should thoroughly research lenders and their loan options and make sure you understand the terms and conditions of all loans. For domestic students these loans should only be sought after all other federal loan options have been exhausted; however, some international students may seek private or alternative loans in lieu of financial backing from family, home governments, scholarships and other sources. A lender must obtain a self-certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private education loan. The school is required on request to provide this form or the required information only for students admitted or enrolled at the school.

Below is an historic list of lenders from whom our students have borrowed during the last few years. This list is not meant as an endorsement and is not a preferred lender list. Borrowers are free to choose any lender that offers alternative loans. Some of these lenders may no longer offer alternative loans.

  • Campus Door
  • Discover Student Loans
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • M & I Bank
  • Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
  • Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan

Student Loan Code of Conduct

Cottey College will administer its student loan program with integrity and in a manner which provides the maximum benefit to its student borrowers. These guidelines are designed to avoid any potential for a conflict of interest between Cottey College, its students, or their parents in the student loan program. The College shall adhere to the following principles in the financial aid operations:

  • The College shall not engage in any revenue sharing arrangement with any student lending institution.
  • No employee of the College shall accept on his or her behalf, anything of more than nominal value from a student lending institution.
  • No employee or representative of a student lending institution shall be authorized by the College to be identified to the public as an employee or representative of the College.
  • No employee or representative of a student lending institution shall provide staffing services to the College financial aid office.
  • No employee of the College who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the College’s financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of a student loan advisory board of a lending institution.

If the College decides to offer a list of preferred or recommended lenders for student loans, the selection of lenders shall be based on the best interests of the College’s students and their parents, without regard to the financial interests of the College. Students and their parents have the right to select the lender of their choice and will suffer no penalty imposed by the College for choosing a lender that is not a preferred or recommended lender. The College shall review and update the contents of any lender list on an annual basis.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Federal Direct Stafford Loan records will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system. This is also where students can access Title IV and Higher Education Act (HEA) loan records.

Loan Entrance and Exit Counseling

All first-time federal student loan borrowers at Cottey must receive loan entrance counseling before the first loan disbursement is made and loan exit counseling before leaving school.