Students and their families can apply for federal or private loans to pay for costs that are not covered by scholarships, grants, or other types of financial aid. Students applying for federal student loans must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The U.S. Department of Education offers low-interest student loan programs for U.S. citizens and legal residents. Student loans are also available from private lenders for those who are not eligible for federal loan programs or whose federal loans do not cover all their costs.
Accept your Federal Student Loan(s)
Once you have received and reviewed your award offer you must accept (full or partial amount) or decline your loan(s) via Maritime Self-Service, Financial Aid tab. Select "Award" and appropriate aid year. Select the tab that says Accept Award Offer on the right of your screen. First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov before the loan can credit the student's account and disburse.
As with any type of loans, you should borrow only want you need.
Federal student loans are not carried over automatically from year to year. They must be renewed annually by refiling the FAFSA. The amount of a student's financial aid package, including loans, can vary from year to year and must be accepted every year via Maritime Self-Service.
Available to meet the cost of attendance expenses, these loans require you be matriculated and enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits for undergraduates (and 5 credits for graduates). Loan terms and current interest rates are determined by federal statute and may vary by year. For more info visit Federal Student Aid.
Repayment for federal student loans are deferred until a student graduates, withdraws from school (formally or informally), or drops below half-time status.
Federal Subsidized Student Loans
Awarded on the basis of need to undergraduate students, the federal government pays interest on the loan while you are enrolled at least half time. The repayment period begins six months after you are no longer enrolled at least half time, but interest that accrues during those six months will be your responsibility.
Federal Unsubsidized Student Loans
These loans for both undergraduates and graduates are not based on need so you are responsible for repaying both the principal and interest. No payments are required on any federal student loan until six months after graduation or you’re no longer at least half time.
Recipients of unsubsidized direct loans who are able to do so are encouraged to begin paying interest even before they leave school.
Federal Parent PLUS Loan
This is a credit based loan available to parents and stepparents of dependent undergraduate students attending school at least half time. Often lower in cost than a private loan, approval is subject to credit criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. A PLUS loan must be repaid and it is the responsibility of parents to make these payments.
Both the student and parent must complete the FAFSA using school code 002853.
The parent must submit a PLUS loan promissory note (MPN) online at studentloans.gov, indicating the amount requested. By submitting the application, you are consenting to a financial credit check and permitting the Department of Education to inform Maritime of the results.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
This is a credit based loan available to graduate students who are enrolled at least half time (5 credits per semester) are eligible up to their cost of attendance, minus other estimated financial assistance. Students are required to have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Direct Student Loan Program before applying for a graduate/professional PLUS loan.
The student must complete the FAFSA using school code 002853.
Graduate students must submit a PLUS loan promissory note (MPN) online at studentloans.gov, indicating the amount requested. By submitting the application, you are consenting to a financial credit check and permitting the Department of Education to inform Maritime of the results.
Borrowing to pay for your education is an important decision. Maritime students who borrow under any federal loan program are required to receive online Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov as a condition of borrowing.
Upon graduation or when the student drops below half-time status, you are also required to complete online Exit Counseling at studentloans.gov . The exit counseling advises you of how much you have borrowed to date, who your loan services are, and when you can expect to begin repayment.
Generally, the repayment period for federal student loans is ten (10) years. Extended and/or income-contingent repayment plans are available to qualified borrowers. You must begin repaying your loan once you graduate, withdraw from school (formally or informally), or drop below half-time status.
You can find important information about repayment rights and responsibilities, grace periods, managing your debt, and tracking your loan at studentloans.gov.
If you are seeking to defer loan repayment for reasons other than ongoing in-school enrollment (due to economic hardship, for example), you must contact the lender or loan servicer for information about available options. To find your federal loan servicer, visit nslds.gov and login using the borrower’s FSA account information.
Enrollment verification is necessary for deferral of loan repayment during a student’s ongoing course of study. You may request enrollment verification online through the National Student Clearinghouse or contact the Office of the Registrar.
Many lenders offer private alternative loans to help student’s bridge the gap between financial aid and college costs. Students must either meet the credit criteria of the loan for which they are applying or have a credit-eligible co-borrower.
Select a lender and then contact them directly. For suggestions on how to find a lender, explore the FinAid! site for a comprehensive list of lenders and their rates.
After selecting a loan product, it is strongly recommended that the student contacted the lender to be sure the rates and terms are still current.
What to ask when you call:
- How long have you been in the alternative loan lending business?
- Is this your own loan product and do you service your own loans? If not, who does?
- What percentage of students are approved at the top (most favorable) interest/loan fee tier?
- How long can the loan be deferred before I have to start repaying it?
- Do you have any repayment incentives? Are they guaranteed for the life of the loan or might they be changed later?
The lender will provide you with application instructions and all necessary paperwork.
Download and complete the Student Self-Certification Form. These forms are to be completed by the student and submitted to the lender before funds can be disbursed.