Students and their families may 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) using the school code 002853.
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.
ACCEPTING FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN(s)
Once a student has received and reviewed their award offer, they must accept (full or partial amount) or decline the loan(s) via Maritime Self-Service. For steps on how to accept your student loan(s) see our guide.
First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov before the loan can be credited to the student's account and disbursed. As with any type of loans, only borrow want is needed.
Upon graduation or when the student drops below half-time status, they are required to complete an online Exit Counseling. The Exit Counseling advises the student on how much they have borrowed to date, the loan service entity and repayment.
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.
FEDERAL SUBSIDIZED/UNSUBSIDIZED STUDENT LOANS
Available to meet the cost of attendance expenses, the subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans require students to 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 statue and may vary by year. For more information, 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 Loans
Awarded on the basis of need to undergraduate students, the federal government pays interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time. The repayment period begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time, but interest that accrues during those six months is the responsibility of the student.
Federal Unsubsidized Loans
These loans for both undergraduates and graduates are not based on need; the student is responsible for repaying both the principal and interest. No payments are required on any federal student loan until six months after graduation or the student is no longer attending at least half-time. Recipients of unsubsidized direct loans who are able to do so are encouraged to begin paying interests before they leave school.
Federal Repayment, Deferment and Enrollment
Generally, the repayment period for federal student loans is ten (10) years. Extended and/or income-contingent repayment plans are available to qualified borrowers. Students must begin repaying their loans upon graduation, withdrawal from school (formally or informally), or drop below half-time status.
If the student seeks to defer loan repayment for reasons other than ongoing in-school enrollment (e.g., due to economic hardship), the student must contact the lender or loan servicer for information about available options. Visit nslds.gov (link to site) to find Federal loan servicers.
Enrollment verification is necessary for deferral of loan repayment during a student’s ongoing course of study and may be requested through the National Student Clearinghouse (link to site) or by contacting the Office of the Registrar.
PARENT PLUS LOAN
The Parent Plus loan is a credit based loan available to parents and step parents 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.
The parent must submit a PLUS loan promissory note online at studentloans.gov indicating the amount requested. By submitting the application, the applicant is consenting to a financial credit check and permitting the Department of Education to inform Maritime College of the results.
FEDERAL GRADUATE PLUS LOAN
The Graduate PLULS loan 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.
Graduate students must submit a PLUS loan promissory note online at studentloans.gov indicating the amount requested. By submitting the application, the student is consenting to a financial credit check and permitting the Department of Education to inform Maritime College of the results.
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 contact them directly. Explore ELM Select (a research tool to compare lenders) to find a lender and to obtain a comprehensive list of lenders and their rates.
After selecting a loan product, students are recommended to contact the lender to ensure the rates and terms are current. Lenders will provide the application instructions and all necessary paperwork. Questions to ask a lender include:
-How long has the company been in the alternative loan lending business?
-Is this the company’s own loan product or does it service its own loans? If not, who does?
-What percentage of students are approved at the most favorable interest/loan fee tier?
-How long can the loan be deferred before the student is required to repay?
-Are there any repayment incentives? Are they guaranteed for the life of the loan or will they be changed in the future?
The Self-Certification form must be completed by the student and submitted to the lender before funds can be disbursed.