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Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest. Only borrow what you need! You do not have to accept a loan or you may accept a lower amount than what is offered. And, you have the right to cancel all or a portion of the loan later.
You must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours to be eligible for loan assistance. All loan disbursements are made based on your enrollment. For example, if you will be attending fall and spring terms, you would receive one disbursement in the fall and one in the spring. If you only plan to attend the fall term due to anticipated graduation in December, you would receive one disbursement.
All first time borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling, as well as, a Master Promissory Note prior to disbursement of funds. You will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete both requirements. Entrance counseling ensures that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. After a brief tutorial, you are required to pass a quiz which will be forwarded to Shepherd University. You can also meet with a financial aid counselor to satisfy this requirement.
When a student gets ready to graduate, drops below half time, or leaves school, the Department of Education requires you to complete Exit Counseling to ensure, once again, that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. By using your PIN, you can determine which repayment plan is best for you. You can also meet with a financial aid counselor to satisfy this requirement.
Funds for this program are extremely limited. Students must have financial need as demonstrated by completion of the FAFSA by March 1. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours. Shepherd University is the holder of this loan; therefore, repayment will be made to the institution. The interest rate is 5%. Borrowers have to complete a master promissory note. Repayment begins 9 months after you graduate, drop below 6 credit hours, or leave school.
If you have a subsidized loan, the federal government does not charge you interest while you're in school at least half time (6 hours). You must show financial need by completing the FAFSA to receive this type of loan. Many regulatory changes have been initiated by Congress over the last couple of years that impact interest rates, grace period, length of subsidy, etc. on this type of loan. Changes are based on the disbursement of the loans. Please see below for details:
*Subject to Congressional changes
The federal government charges you interest on these loans while you're in school, in your grace period, or in deferment. You can get this type of loan regardless of financial need; however, you must still complete the FAFSA.
Annual Stafford Loan Limits
Aggregate Stafford Loan Limits
This loan is for parents of dependent students. Interest is charged during all periods. An applicant must be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom he/she is borrowing. Generally, a child is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married, a veteran, or a ward of the court. The applicant cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be done by the US Department of Education. Should the application be denied due to the credit check, the student will be eligible to borrow additional unsubsidized loan funds.
Parent loan funds can be used for tuition, supplies, housing, and more. Parents may complete the application and have credit results immediately at www.studentloans.gov. The parent must sign in with their federal student aid PIN, and then select "complete PLUS Request Process." The FAFSA and a Direct PLUS Request must be applied for each year.
Private loan programs are non-federal educational loans through a private lender that allow students to borrow additional funds for educational expenses. It is recommended that you apply for Federal Student Aid programs first by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov.
Each lender is unique. Be sure to review each lender carefully making comparisons of interest rates, eligibility criteria, repayment terms, etc. Choose the lender that best suits your needs, and always only borrow what you need!
You have the right to select the private lender of your choice; however, the following list of lenders has been utilized in the past by Shepherd University students. If you plan to apply for a private loan, contact the lender directly. The loans are listed in alphabetical order and do not indicate a ranking. You may choose a lender not listed below. Upon application, the lender will forward a certification request to the Office of Financial Aid.
Neither Shepherd University nor the Office of Financial Aid intends any specific endorsement, recommendation, or promotion of the products and/or services provided by the lenders on this list. The lenders inclusion on this page is strictly informational. A private loan is an agreement between the borrower and co-signer (if any) and the lender. Shepherd University cannot be held liable if the borrower is dissatisfied with the interest rates, other terms and/or service provided by the lender.
Some helpful tips:
Private Educational Loans and Direct PLUS Loans should be considered as a last resort, but may be necessary to finance a college education. To learn more about these options, please review the comparison chart below. If you have a good credit history, a private loan may cost less than a federal parent loan--be sure to consider all of your options and compare carefully!
Compare Federal Parent (PLUS) loans and Private Student loans:
What's the bottom line for students and families?
All consumers should make an informed decision before deciding on a loan. There is no down side to shopping around.
There may be advantages to consolidating (combining) your federal student loans into one loan, starting with the convenience of making a single monthly payment.
Consolidation generally extends the repayment period, resulting in a lower monthly payment. This may make it easier for you to repay your loans. You may pay more interest if you extend your repayment period through consolidation. Contact the Direct Loan Consolidation Center for more information about loan consolidation at 800-557-7392. TTY for the hearing-impaired: 1-800-557-7395.
Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, individuals who teach full time for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families and meet other qualifications may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on their FFEL and/or Direct Loan program loans. For additional details, go to Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers .
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers. For additional details, go to
Online Enrollment Verifications are available now!
Also available: check your loan deferment status online!
RAIL offers enrollment verification for loan companies. This free self-service option is based on an agreement between Shepherd University and the National Student Loan Clearinghouse (NSLC), which already provides enrollment and degree verification for Shepherd University as well as for most colleges and universities nationwide.
Log on to RAIL
View and/or print your enrollment verification certificate.
Office of Financial Aid