The Federal Direct Loan Program provides low-interest loans to students enrolled in at least 6 credits each term, regardless of income or financial need. Undergraduate students with unmet financial need (as per the FAFSA) qualify for a subsidized Federal Direct Loan, meaning that there is no interest on the loan while the student is in college. Students with no financial need may still borrow an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Unsubsidized means that interest is charged on the loan while the student is in college. Graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized loans.
The interest rates on Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) vary from year to year. Current interest rates can be viewed on the Federal Student Aid website. Students have the option of paying only the interest on the unsubsidized loan while they are in college; or they can allow the interest to accumulate along with the principal (the amount borrowed) and begin repayment when they graduate.
Applying for a Federal Direct Loan
1. Have a valid FAFSA on file each year.
2. Incoming students must apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan by going to https://studentloans.gov and completing both a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Interview Counseling. First-time borrowers should be aware of time limitations on Federal Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility.
3. Clarion will automatically certify the maximum loan amount each year for full-time students.
(except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans)
(and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans)
First- Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit (0-29 credits)
|$5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$9,500- No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit (30-59 credits)||$6,500- No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$10,500- No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit (60 credits- Graduation)||$7,500- No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$12,500- No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit||Not applicable, as all graduate and professional students are considered independent.||$20,500 (unsubsidized only)|
|Preparatory Graduate/Professional Coursework Annual Loan Limit||$7,500- No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$12,500- No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|State-Required Teacher Certification Coursework Annual Loan Limit||$7,500- No more than 5,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||$12,500- No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.|
|Aggregate Loan Limits|
|Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit||$31,000 for undergraduates- No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.||
$57,500 for undergraduates- No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$138,500 for graduate or professional students- No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans serviced for undergraduate study.
Note: The term independent is in accordance to the federal government's definition, relative to financial aid. Dependent students whose parents have been denied a PLUS loan may also borrow this amount.
These amounts are for the academic year, or two semesters. Please note: Federal regulations require us to award students enrolled less than full-time, but at least half-time, a full-time maximum amount Direct Stafford Loan. Part-time students may want to reduce their student loan indebtedness and conserve their eligibility for future student loans, by reducing the amount of their loan award.
Before you can receive your federal direct loans, you must accept them. You can also decline these awards or reduce the amount that is disbursed to you. Instructions for viewing, accepting, and/or declining loans can be found here.
If you would like us to reduce your loan award before it is disbursed to your student account, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org using your Eagle email account, as soon as possible.
If you decide to return a portion of your loan funds after it has been disbursed to your account, you must return any loan refund money you received (up to the dollar amount you want us to return to your lender) within 30 days of disbursement before we can reduce and return the loan funds to your lender. The Federal Direct Loan Return Request Form must be completed when returning a portion or all of your direct loan monies.
The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow up to the cost of attendance if additional funds are needed after receiving the annual limit on Federal Direct Student Loans. Apply here for a Graduate PLUS loan. The interest rate on these loans varies each year; the current interest rate can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
Parents may borrow for their child's education through the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program. They may borrow up to the entire cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, meals, books, transportation, and personal expenses) minus any other aid that their son or daughter is receiving. PLUS loans are not based on financial need, but they are based on the credit-worthiness of the borrower(s).
The interest rate on these loans varies each year; the current interest rate can be found on the Federal Student Aid website. Parents approved for PLUS loans may choose to defer the repayment of these loans until their student has graduated from college or dropped below half-time status. Please apply for this loan after May 15th. Our computerized system will not "pick up" loans submitted before this date. Apply for the PLUS Loan here.
If parents are denied a PLUS loan...
When a parent is denied a PLUS loan, federal regulations permit Clarion to let the student borrow up to the amounts indicated under the "independent student" column of the Federal Direct Loan borrowing chart.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan is a federal loan for students with significant financial need. Its interest rate is set at 5 percent (subsidized while the student is in college). In addition to having a current FAFSA on file, students must complete a Perkins Loan application in the Student Financial Services Office located on the first floor of Becht Hall. The maximum a student can borrow is usually $2,000 per year. Perkins Loans are certified on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those who have been awarded a Perkins Loan must sign an online promissory note and complete entrance counseling. These required items are emailed to the student with instructions on how to complete them. Questions should be directed to the Student Financial Services Office at 800 672 7171 (menu option 2) or 814 393 2315.
Clarion University Revolving Book Voucher Fund
This voucher fund, for educational purposes only, is available to students in good standing with excess financial aid. It is primarily used for book purchases. Vouchers may be granted up to a maximum of $500, and are interest-free. Application forms are available at the University Book Store located at the Suites on Main/South. For online students, please refer to the directions listed on the Clarion Online Student Book Voucher Information sheet.
Direct and PLUS Loans Disbursement
Loan funds may be credited to a registered student's account up to, but not prior to, 10 days before the start of a semester. Loans that have been certified but not received by the university will show as "anticipated aid" on the student invoice. When loans have caused an overpayment to their account, students may receive refunds for the overpayments.
Students must ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed for loan disbursement. The student is responsible for following up until the loan funds are received by the University. Failure to follow up could result in an unpaid account. Questions should be directed to the Student Financial Services Office at 800 672 7171 (menu option 2) or 814 393 2315.