Important Information Regarding Government Changes in the Student Loan Program and Public Loan Forgiveness
The Budget and Control Act of 2011 was signed into law on August 2, 2011. Resulting from this Act are 2 changes to the student loan program which will impact the cost of student loans. First, loans for graduate students which have a first disbursement of 07/01/2012 or later will no longer be subsidized. Second, the 0.5% rebate of the origination fee on all student loans will no longer be available. In addition, the Department of Education has clarified information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Elimination of Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans for Graduate Students
Beginning 07/01/2012, your only Direct Stafford Student Loan option will be to borrow an unsubsidized loan. What does this mean for you? If you borrow the maximum allowed for graduate students, you will accrue thousands of dollars in interest during your years of study here. You can pay the interest while you are in school or let it capitalize and be added to the principal of your loan. You will also accrue interest during your 6 month grace period after graduation (or dropping below half-time attendance) and during any periods of deferment in the future.
Your loan eligibility will remain up to $20,500, the seminary will continue to recommend no more than $8,500 in your financial aid award letter. Please remember to take caution when borrowing a student loan especially now that your total loan amount will be accruing interest from the time you take the loan.
Also, please plan accordingly for the summer quarter. You must be enrolled at least half-time (4.5 credits) to be eligible for a loan during this term.
Elimination of Rebate on Origination Fees
Beginning with loans first disbursed on or after 07/01/2012, the 0.5% upfront rebate applied to your 1.0% origination fee (resulting in a net fee of 0.5%) will no longer be available. This means that you will be charged the full 1.0% fee. Please take this into account as you determine the amount you want to borrow.
The loan changes mentioned above will not affect loans that were first disbursed prior to 07/01/2012, i.e. loans which were issued as subsidized loans will remain subsidized.
The elimination of the subsidized loans for graduate students and the rebate on origination fees is projected to save about $21.6 billion with $17 billion of the savings going to pay for Pell grants and $4.6 billion for deficit reduction.
Clarification regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness
We also wanted to make you aware that the Department of Education has clarified their language regarding which jobs will qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. On their updated fact sheet, they state, “Your employment at a non-profit organization does not qualify if your job duties are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.” (See more details at www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.) This will, unfortunately, encompass most jobs which Concordia Seminary students will have at churches, mission organizations, etc. and means that Public Service Loan Forgiveness will not be an option for you. Again, this reinforces the need to borrow as little as you can while in school.
Scholarship information is available at http://www.csl.edu/admissions/financial/scholarships/.
If you have further questions about this information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at email@example.com or stop by to see us.