Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
A non-need based federal loan program. Eligibility is determined based on your total cost of attendance and other financial assistance received or anticipated. You must also be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen.
The origination fee is 1% and the interest rate is 5.41% for loans with a first disbursement between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. The interest begins to accrue immediately and will continue through in-school deferment and your six month grace periods. You will have the option of making interest payments on the loan while in school or allowing the interest to accrue and capitalize to your student loan. It will capitalize at the end of your grace period.
Applying for a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
The following must be completed before you begin the process of applying for a Direct Stafford Loan:
- Must be accepted into one of the following residential programs at Concordia Seminary – MDiv, Alternate Route, MA, MA Deaconess, STM, or PhD
- Submitted a Concordia Seminary Financial Aid Application
- Filed a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Received an award letter from the Financial Aid Office
- Must be enrolled at least half-time
- MDiv/Alternate Route = 4.5 credits per quarter
- MA/MA Deac = 4 credits per quarter
- STM/PhD = 3 credits per quarter
(If you are borrowing a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for the first time at Concordia Seminary, you must complete all steps. If this is not your first time borrowing here, you only need to complete step one.)
- Complete the loan request form. This must be returned to the Financial Aid Office. You use this form to verify the amount that you need to borrow in a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. This form needs to be completed each time you borrow a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
- Complete the online entrance counseling. All students who need to borrow a student loan while at Concordia Seminary are required to complete an entrance with their first loan. Due to the regulations, the school is required to make you aware of your borrower rights and responsibilities before your first loan is disbursed. This online entrance counseling helps to fulfill that requirement.
- Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. If you have completed a Direct Stafford Loan Promissory note within the last 10 years, you may be able to skip this step.
To complete steps 2 and 3 above, go to https://studentloans.gov. You will need your 4 digit federal PIN to log in.
How much is Available
Concordia Seminary recommends borrowing up to $8,500 per academic year. Some students may need more than this. The federal aggregate amount of Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan in which a student may borrow per academic year is $20,500. The overall aggregate is $138,500. Concordia Seminary’s academic years run from September through August.
Before taking on additional student loan debt, think carefully of the effect of debt on your future ministry. You do not know where the Lord may call you to serve.
Direct Grad PLUS Loan
A non-need based federal loan program. If you have exhausted your Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan eligibility, you may be eligible for a Direct Grad PLUS Loan. This is in addition to your Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and for most; a student will not need this loan.
Initial eligibility is determined through a credit check performed by the US Department of Education. Once approved, you will need to complete the Direct Grad PLUS Loan worksheet obtained in the Financial Aid Office. We will then determine the dollar amount of your eligibility based on your total cost of attendance and other financial assistance received or anticipated.
The origination fee is 4% and the interest rate is 6.41% for loans with a first disbursement between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. The interest begins to accrue immediately and will continue through in-school, deferment, and grace periods. Repayment will begin 60 days after your Direct Grad PLUS loan is disbursed, however, you may defer payment until six months after graduation.
To complete the Direct Grad PLUS entrance counseling and Direct Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note, go to https://studentloans.gov. This is separate from the Direct Unsubsidized entrance and MPN.
Federal Perkins Loan
A need based federal loan program. Each academic year the seminary has a very limited amount of Perkins Loan funds available. These loans are first awarded to students with exceptionally high need and no outstanding Stafford loans. The interest rate is 5% and will not accrue while you continue to be enrolled at least half-time in your degree program. A nine-month grace period is given with this loan. If offered a Perkins Loan, you may borrow up to $8000 per academic year.
Typically, your student loans will be divided into three equal disbursements, once at the beginning of each quarter. If you would like it to be disbursed into four equal disbursements and include the following summer, you must indicate that on your loan request form. Each quarter you must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for your student loan disbursement, this includes the summer quarter.
If you would like to cancel or reduce a future disbursement, please notify us in writing. Include the date, your name, the type of loan, and which disbursement you would like cancelled or reduced. Be sure to sign your note also.
***Please Note: Each year, Concordia Seminary students continue to be blessed with monetary gifts and donations from various outside organizations, congregations, and individuals across the country. In most instances, students will be notified by letter of individual gifts they receive and will be asked to write a letter of thanks to the individual or organization. Sometimes, the amount of other financial assistance may change your eligibility for student loans. We must reduce your student loans accordingly if an over-award exists.
Clarification regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness
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.
Go to http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans for additional information pertaining to repaying your student loans.
Go to http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ to keep track of your student loans. You will need your 4 digit federal PIN to login.