Student Loan Information
Before You Get the Loan, Get the Facts
An education loan is a legally binding contract that must be repaid with interest even if you do not graduate or are unable to find a job. You are not obligated to accept loan funds if you don't need them, but don't be afraid to borrow if you really need the money.
Normally, funds are released in two installments to coincide with the academic terms. If you are a first time borrower there will be a 30 day hold placed on your account before we can release your loan. Loan funds will be issued directly to the school and distributed according to established procedures. Up to a 3 percent origination fee may be deducted from your loan proceeds prior to disbursement. Funds can only be used for education related expenses.
Please allow several weeks for your loan to be approved and processed. To avoid unnecessary delays, be sure your application is accurate and complete. If you require more information or assistance, feel free to call or stop by the Financial Aid Office at any campus.
Features and Benefits of Federal Direct Loans
Subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans allow you to borrow up to the maximum Direct Loan amount available for your grade level. The federal government pays interest on subsidized Direct Loans while you are actively enrolled in school and for a six-month grace period afterward.
If you aren't fully eligible for need-based, subsidized Direct Loan funding, you may get an unsubsidized Direct Loan for any remaining Direct Loan eligibility. However, on the unsubsidized portion, you will be responsible for all interest that accrues from the date of disbursement.
Please Note: To be eligible for Federal Direct loans, borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents enrolled in school at least half-time. In addition, male students must satisfy requirements under the Selective Service Act. If you are in default on a prior loan or owe a refund on grant money, you will not be able to borrow further. Loan awards cannot exceed the cost of education as determined by the school.
The Loan Process
To Receive Your Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan You Need to Complete the Following Steps:
- Accept your loan award on the FSW portal. You may also cancel or reduce the amount of your loan.
- Log into your portal
- Click on the Student Services tab
- Click on My Financial Aid Online
- Click on My Award Information
- Click Award by Aid Year and select appropriate year
- Click on the Accept Award Offer tab and accept award
- Complete Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
- Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.
The loan will be processed by the Financial Aid Office once you have completed these steps. You will be notified of the loan disbursement dates. Any refund to your FSW Higher One Card will be available within 14 days after the scheduled disbursement date. An email will be sent to your FSW email address once the funds are available on your card.
Federal PLUS (Parent) Loan Application
Note: Beginning May 1, 2012, application for 2012/13 Parent PLUS Loans will be available through the Department of Education's Website at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
Parent PLUS Loans are loans for parents of dependent undergraduate students that allow them to borrow up to the student's cost of attendance, minus other financial aid. Interest is charged during in-school deferment and grace periods. The borrower is responsible for the interest from the time the PLUS Loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. You can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you have to repay.
To Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan:
- Complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
- For 2012-13, complete an online Parent PLUS Application.
How Much Can I Borrow?
The following chart provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans.
Dependent Undergraduate Student (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
Independent Undergraduate Student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
$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.
$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 and Beyond (each year)
$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.
Maximum Total Debt from Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits)
$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$57,500—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Note: These annual loan limit amounts are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. You can have one type of loan or a combination of both. Because you can't borrow more than your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you'll get, you may receive less than the annual maximum amounts. Also, the annual loan limits assume that your program of study is at least a full academic year.
The maximum annual and total loan limits include any Stafford Loans you may have received under the FFEL Program.
To be Eligible You Must:
- be a parent of or eligible step-parent of a dependent undergraduate student;
- the student must be enrolled at least half-time;
- the borrower and student must not have defaulted or owe a refund to any previous aid program;
- the student must maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- the parent borrower and student must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and
- the parent borrower must have no adverse credit history.
To Receive Your Parent PLUS Loan:
- Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Parent PLUS Loans at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
The loan will be processed by the Financial Aid Office once you have completed the steps and your application record is sent to the office. You will be notified of the loan disbursement dates. Any refund will be available within 14 days after the scheduled disbursement date.
Exit Loan Counseling
Student borrowers who have graduated, withdrawn or dropped to less than 6 credits for a semester are required to complete a loan exit interview within 30 days after they leave the college or drop to less than half time enrollment.
The Exit Counseling link will guide you through the required process.
Private Student Loans
Private Loans for Credit Classes
If you are taking credit classes and pursuing an Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, or one of the financial aid eligible certificate programs at Florida SouthWestern State College, you must apply for and accept all federal aid before you borrow any private student loan. You must also be registered in a minimum of 6 credits. The Federal Direct Student Loan interest rates are significantly lower than even the best private student loan rates, and most credit students are eligible to borrow these loans regardless of high or low income. The first step in the loan process is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have already borrowed your maximum Federal Direct Student Loan amounts for the current award year and still need to borrow additional loan funds, then you may want to consider borrowing a private student loan.
Private Loans for Continuing Education Classes
Continuing Education students are not eligible to borrow Federal Direct Student Loans, but they are eligible to borrow many private student loans.
Private Loan Options
Private student loans are not part of the federal student loan program and they do require a credit check. You may borrow your private loan from any lender you choose. Some private loans are only open to students taking credit classes and other loans will also consider students taking Continuing Education classes. The borrowing costs vary between programs. Please investigate the costs and choose the program that’s right for you.
For more information www.finaid.org offers a loan analyzer at www.finaid.org/calculators/loananalyzer.phtml and an extensive list of private loan companies at www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml