Types of loans:
- Federal Stafford Loans are long-term, low interest loans
awarded to students by the Westminster College financial aid office and are
funded through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
Eligibility for these loans are not based on credit history or
- PLUS Loans are federally-funded loans awarded to parents of dependent undergraduate students to meet the costs of higher education.
- Alternative Education Loans are loans offered by private
Applying for Federal Loans
- Complete the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Westminster's federal school
code is 003681
- Log on to your Self Service account to accept/reject the loans you are offered. You may borrow the amount of your choosing up to the full amount offered in your financial aid award.
First-time Loan Borrowers
If you have never previously borrowed a Federal Perkins or Stafford Loan,
you will be required to complete what is called Loan Entrance Counseling. Loan
Entrance Counseling will provide you with useful information regarding what
your loan terms are and how loan repayment will work. You can complete Stafford
Loan Entrance Counseling online.
Federal Stafford Loans
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
There are two types of Federal Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
Loans must be repaid but students are not required to make payments on either
type of loan while enrolled at least half-time in an eligible educational
institution. However, students may choose to make regular or interest-only
payments while enrolled.
- Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded to students who demonstrate
financial need. These loans are interest free while the student is enrolled
at least half-time at an eligible educational institution or during
authorized deferment periods. Interest is charged when the loan is in a
repayment or forbearance status.
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are awarded regardless of a student's
demonstrated financial need. These loans generate interest charges as soon as
they are disbursed. The interest charges may be deferred during enrollment
(at least half-time) and deferment periods, but they will be capitalized
(added to the outstanding loan balance).
Stafford Loan Amounts
The amounts awarded on the Federal Stafford Loans are based on a student's
academic level and status as either a dependent or independent of their parents
as determined on the FAFSA. To
determine your maximum loan eligibility see the dependent undergraduate and
independent undergraduate tables below. Dependent undergraduate students may
borrow up to a total of $31,000 (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized).
Independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduate students whose
parents are unable to borrow through the Federal PLUS Program may borrow up to
a total of $57,500 (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized).
Dependent Undergraduate Students:
|Cumulative College Credit Hours||Academic Level||Stafford Loan Amount|
Independent Undergraduate Students:
|Cumulative College Credit Hours||Academic Level||Stafford Loan Amount|
Please note that these amounts indicate the federal maximums. Individual
student loans are based on the student's need level, expected costs, other
financial aid, and additional factors.
Students awarded a Stafford Loan will be required to sign a Master
Promissory Note during the first academic year that the funds are borrowed. The
loan amount will be applied directly to the student's account once a Master Promissory Note has
been signed and the student has completed Stafford
Loan Entrance Counseling. Your information will be submitted to NSLDS and
other authorized parties will have access.
Terms and Conditions of Stafford Loans
The interest rates for federal student loans are determined by federal
law. If there are future changes to federal law that affect federal student
loan interest rates, we will update this page to reflect those
changes. Interest rates will generally update every July.
Interest Rates for Loans First Disbursed Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019
|Loan Type||Interest Rate|
|Direct Subsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students)||Fixed at 5.05%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students)||Fixed at 5.05%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate or Professional Students)||Fixed at 6.6%|
|Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional
Students)||Fixed at 7.6%|
As of July 1, 2012, graduate of professional students are no longer
eligible to receive subsidized loans. In addition, no new FEEL Program loans
have been made since July 1, 2010.
Federal Stafford Loans have an origination fee of 1.062% taken from the value of the loan when disbursed. The loan amounts listed above and on the Financial Aid Award Letter represent the gross amount of the loan (amount before fees have been paid).
Time Limit of Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility—Effective July 1,
There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years)
that a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, students may
not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length
of their program.
Loan repayment usually begins 6 months after the student graduates, leaves
school, or drops below half-time enrollment. Repayment will initially be
scheduled for fixed monthly payments over a 10 year period. Other repayment
options are also available. Find your loan information and servicer.
Parents of dependent undergraduate students may choose to apply for a
PLUS loan to
assist in meeting the cost of education. The student must be attending school
at least a half-time (6 credit hours for undergraduate students) in an approved
program. Approval for a PLUS loan is based on a credit check. However, this
credit check is more modest as it is not usually debt-to-income or credit score
driven. Rather, it determines whether the parent has an adverse credit history.
An adverse credit history is defined as being 90 or more days late on any debt
or having Title IV debt (including a grant overpayment) within the past five
years subjected to default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure,
repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off.
Students whose parents are unable to obtain a credit approval for a PLUS
loan may qualify for additional funding through the Federal Stafford loan
program. Parents who wish to apply for a PLUS loan must first complete a
PLUS Interest Rates and Fees
For Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019, the interest rate is 7.6%. These are a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.
Each Federal PLUS loan disbursement is subject to a 4.248% origination fee which is taken from the value of the loan. The loan amounts listed on a
Financial Aid Award Notice represent the gross amount of the loan (amount
before the fees have been paid).
Applying for a Federal PLUS Loan
Complete the following steps to apply
for a Federal PLUS Loan:
Alternative Educational Loans
Alternative student loans are private loans offered to students to assist
with educational expenses. Since the loans are privately funded, the terms and
conditions will vary based on the lender. This also means that interest rates
and fees are not federally regulated and are therefore set by the individual
lenders. Students are highly encouraged to carefully review the details of
private loans before applying. Whenever possible, students considering
alternative loans are encouraged to first consider federal student loans as the
terms and conditions of federal loans may be more favorable than the provisions
of alternative loans.
Eligibility for an alternative student loan is determined by the lender. In
most cases, a student will need a co-signer in order to be approved. The lender
will provide the student with an applicant self-certification form. Once the
loan has been approved by the lender, the Westminster College Financial Aid
Office will need to certify the loan amount.
Westminster College adheres to a
Code of Conduct for Private Education Loans.
Alternative Loan Amounts
The amount available to be borrowed in alternative loan funding will vary by
student. The certified loan amount cannot exceed the student's Cost of
Attendance less any other financial aid received. If the amount approved by the
lender is higher than the allowable maximum, it will be reduced by the
Applying for an Alternative Loan
Students should contact the lender of their choice for application instructions. Additional information about alternative loans and a historical list of lenders that Westminster has worked with in the past can be found on FASTChoice.
Loan options for students
Loan options for parents
Most lenders have online applications. We advise students to pursue all other source of funding before applying for an alternative loan. Please be sure to carefully review all terms and conditions before completing an application.