The Federal Direct Loan Program offers the following types of federal student loans:
- Federal Direct Subsidized (Stafford) Loan
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loan
Federal Direct Subsidized (Stafford) Loan
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan through the Department of Education is available to help meet your financial need. The interest rate for the subsidized direct loan disbursed on or after Dec. 1, 2013, is fixed at 4.66 percent with a 1.072 percent origination fee. The federal government pays interest on the loan until you begin repayment.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loan
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on financial need. The interest rate for the unsubsidized direct loan disbursed on or after Dec. 1, 2013, is fixed at 4.66 percent with a 1.072 percent origination fee. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If the interest is allowed to accumulate, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and will increase the total amount to be repaid.
If your financial-aid package includes either the subsidized or unsubsidized (Stafford) Direct Loan and you wish to take advantage of this student loan, you are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling before the loan funds can be disbursed. Loan counseling is completed online at the Direct Lending website; the counseling session provides you with information that will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower, as well as information to assist you with managing your loans.
Learn more, including instructions on how to complete your loan application.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to help pay for educational expenses as long as their student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. The yearly borrowing limit for a Parent PLUS Loan is equal to your student's cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal and travel) minus other financial aid your student receives. You may want to review your student's award notice or Statement of Account prior to applying for a Parent PLUS loan to determine the loan amount you will need to borrow. Please note that you must first submit a FAFSA to be eligible for a PLUS loan, even if your student receives no federal aid. For 2014-15 the interest rate is fixed at 7.21 percent; interest begins to accrue after the first disbursement of the loan. A 4.288 percent origination fee is deducted from the proceeds. PLUS loan repayment begins approximately 30-60 days after the second disbursement. Learn more, including instructions on how to complete your application.
Tuition Payment Plan
More and more families are making college costs affordable by arranging for monthly payments. The Dickinson College Payment Plan is administered through Tuition Management Systems (TMS) to help you budget payment of your educational expenses and limit your debt.
The Dickinson College Payment Plan allows your to spread out your balance over 10 months for a small fee of $65 for 2014-15. With this option, you have the freedom to use your money to earn interest or investment income while you pay in small installments over the course of the year. A semester option is available for those graduating in December or beginning their enrollment in the spring semester. Visit the TMS Web or call 888-216-4269. A TMS counselor will help you determine the strategy best suited to keep your monthly payments reasonable.
Private Educational Loans
Families may wish to consider a private, credit-based educational loan to help fund remaining costs. Submission of a FAFSA is not required to apply for a private loan, but the student usually must obtain a credit-worthy U.S. co-signer for the loan to be approved. Dickinson recommends that families first consider other options, including the federal Direct student and Parent PLUS loans listed above, before taking out a private loan. Learn more about private educational loans.
Financial Awareness Counseling Tool
The Department of Education has made available a Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT). It is an online interactive resource that provides students with basic financial literacy and information about the student's federal student loan debt (and total loan debt if the student enters information about his or her private student loans). The tool estimates what the student's loan debt and repayment amounts are likely to be when the student leaves school. It also provides financial planning tips.