Loans

Loans are a form of self help aid and must be repaid.

Attention New Students

In order for your Federal student aid (Title IV aid which includes Parent PLUS loans) to pay for non-institutional charges, an authorization must be provided by you. A separate authorization is needed to allow Title IV aid to pay for prior-year non-institutional charges.

For more information, visit the Bursar Office. 

Provide authorization via FlashLine 

Tip: Click on Student Tools, in My Account box, click on Authorization to use Title IV Aid.

 

Federal Direct Loan Updates

The following briefly outlines some changes in the Federal Direct Loan Program as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011.

  • Impact of Sequestration on Federal Direct Loan Program
    On August 2, 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which put into place automatic federal budget cuts, known as a "sequester," to take effect if Congress failed to enact legislation to reduce the federal deficit by March 1, 2013. Because Congress did not act, these budget cuts are now in effect. Below is a summary of the impact of these budget cuts on the Federal Direct Loan Program.

    While this law does not otherwise change the amount or terms or conditions of Direct Loans, it does raise the loan fee paid by borrowers for Direct Loans.  

Loans first disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 and before October 1, 2014 are impacted as follows:

  • For a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the loan fee will increase from 1.051 percent of the principal amount of a loan to 1.072 percent. For example, the fee on a loan for $5,500 will be increased by $1.16 from $57.80 to $58.96.
  • For Direct PLUS Loans for both parent and graduate student borrowers, the loan fee will increase from 4.204 percent to 4.288 percent. For example, the fee on a $10,000 Direct PLUS Loan will be increased by $8.40 from $420.40 to $428.80.

Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2014 and before October 1, 2015 are impacted as follows:

  • For a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the loan fee will increase from 1.072 percent of the principal amount of a loan to 1.073 percent. For example, the fee on a loan for $5,500 will be increased by $.05 from $58.96 to $59.01.
  • For Direct PLUS Loans for both parent and graduate student borrowers, the loan fee will increase from 4.288 percent to 4.292 percent. For example, the fee on a $10,000 Direct PLUS Loan will be increased by $.40 from $428.80 to $429.20.

The Department of Education will be notifying borrowers individually of these fee increases and providing them with additional information.

  • Loss of Subsidized Loan Eligibility for Graduate and Professional Students
    Effective for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate or professional students will no longer be eligible to receive Subsidized Federal Direct Loan funds. Graduate and professional students will only be eligible to borrow Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan funds for loan periods on or after July 1, 2012. The annual loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500. The aggregate loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $138,500 of which only $65,500 may be in subsidized loans.
  • Termination of Direct Loan Borrower Repayment Incentives
    Effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, the Department of Education can no longer offer repayment incentives to Direct Loan borrowers to encourage on-time repayment of loans. The up-front interest rebate that has been provided to Direct Loan borrowers at the time of the loan disbursement will no longer be offered on any Direct Loan Program.

    The new regulation does allow the Department of Education to offer interest rate reductions to Direct Loan borrowers who agree to have payments automatically electronically debited from a bank account.

  • Elimination of interest subsidy during grace period
    Effective for loans made on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2014, the interest subsidy during the six-month grace period has been eliminated. The repayment period still begins 6 month after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time, however, the interest that accrues will be payable by the student rather than the federal government.

Federal Direct Loans

All Kent State University students who complete the FAFSA will be awarded the Federal Direct Loan based on the grade level. The Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is awarded to students who do not demonstrate financial need. Interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans and will capitalize unless you choose to pay the interest while in school.

In order for the loan funds to apply to your student account, you must go Online to accept the Direct Loan award. Access your FlashLine account.

  • Click on the My Account tab, in the Financial Aid box, click on "Financial Aid Awards - view, accept, or decline" link. Select Aid Year and submit.
  • Under the Accept Award Offer tab, you have the option to reduce, decline, or accept your Direct Loan award.
  • Once you submit your option and would like to change, you must contact Student Financial Aid Office.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be signed and on file with Direct Loans in order for you to receive the loan funds. If you have a valid MPN on file with Direct Loans, you are not required to sign again.

Access more information on the electronic signature process

If you are a first-time borrower, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling. Students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours undergraduate; and 4 credit hours graduate) and meet all other compliance requirements in order for the loan funds to be credited to the student account. If the funds cause a credit on the student account, the Bursar’s Office will issue a refund.

Repayment of the loan begins six months after you have graduated or ceased to be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours undergraduate; and 4 credit hours graduate). Several repayment plans are available.


Loan Comparison

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Program

Loan Limits:

Annual Loan Limits - $5,500 for freshmen*, $6,500 for sophomores*, $7,500 for juniors/seniors* (*Includes $2,000 unsubsidized)

$20,500 for graduate level non-medical (graduate level eligible for unsubsidized only)

Who is Eligible:

U.S. Citizens or permanent residents; must be half-time (ugrad:6 credit hours grad:4 credit hours)

How to Apply:

Submit FAFSA in early January each and every year

Interest Rates:
  • Undergraduate Students:

    7/1/14-6/30/15
    Fixed Interest Rates
    4.66% Subsidized
    4.66% Unsubsidized

  • Graduate Students
    7/1/14-6/30/15
    Fixed Interest Rates
    6.21% Unsubsidized

Visit www.studentloans.gov for rates on loans disbursed prior to 7/1/14


Federal Perkins Loan

Loan Limits:

Varies. Average award $2,000

Who is Eligible:

U.S. Citizens or permanent residents; must be half-time (ugrad:6 credit hours)

How to Apply:

Submit FAFSA by Kent State's priority processing date of March 1

Interest Rates:

5% interest rate; Based on financial need according to federal formula, class level, GPA, residency, enrollment status; Repayment begins 9 months after student ceases half-time enrollment


Federal Nursing Loan

Loan Limits:

Varies. Average award $3,000

Who is Eligible:

Students admitted to undergraduate Nursing program at Kent, Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Stark and Tuscarawas campuses. Must be 6 credit hours

How to Apply:

Submit FAFSA in early January each and every year

Interest Rates:

5% interest rate; Based on financial need according to federal formula, class level; enrollment status. Repayment begins 9 months after student ceases half-time enrollment


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (see more below)

Loan Limits:

Up to the cost of education less any aid received

Who is Eligible:

Parents of dependent students. Must be half-time (ugrad:6 credit hours)

How to Apply:

Submit FAFSA in early January each and submit electronic PLUS request on StudentLoans.gov

Interest Rates:

7/1/14-6/30/15 Fixed interest rate of 7.21%

Visit www.studentloans.gov to apply and for rates on loans disbursed prior to 7/1/14


Federal Direct PLUS for Graduate Students (see more below)

Loan Limits:

Cost of attendance minus other aid

Who is Eligible:

Graduate students, must be half-time (4 credit hours)

How to Apply:

Submit FAFSA in early January and submit electronic Graduate PLUS request on StudentLoans.gov

Interest Rates:

7/1/14-6/30/15 Fixed interest rate of 7.21%

Visit www.studentloans.gov to apply and for rates on loans disbursed prior to 7/1/14


Entrance Loan Counseling

Entrance Loan Counseling for Federal Direct Loan borrowers
Entrance Loan Counseling is required for first-time borrowers (undergraduate and graduate) of a Federal Direct Loan. Entrance Loan Counseling provides information to help you make the right choices. The Department of Education has developed a quick and easy interactive counseling session that provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and help you to understand your loan responsibilities.

Find out more about Entrance Loan Counseling.

Note: If you satisfied the entrance counseling in a previous year, you do not need to complete entrance counseling again.

Entrance Loan Counseling for Graduate PLUS Borrowers

This information applies to Graduate students who have borrowed from the Graduate PLUS Loan Program.

The Graduate PLUS is a loan designed for graduate students who have reached their annual maximum eligibility for the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Entrance Loan Counseling is required for all Graduate PLUS loan borrowers. Entrance counseling will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling designed especially for graduate PLUS borrowers. 

Find out more about Entrance Loan Counseling.

Loan Proration Policy (Federal Direct Loans)

View Kent State's loan proration policy.

Federal regulations require that the annual maximum loan amount an undergraduate student may borrow must be prorated in certain situations:

  • When the student is enrolled in a program that is shorter than a full academic year. This regulation would apply to certain certificate programs that are shorter than a full academic year. The maximum loan amount would be determined by the number of weeks in the program.
  • When the student is enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more in length, but the remaining period of study is shorter than a full academic year. This regulation would apply to all students that will graduate in Summer or Fall semester. The maximum loan amount would be determined by the number of credit hours enrolled for the final semester.

Direct Loan Helpful Hints

  • Loan Proration
  • Complete the FAFSA early
  • Watch for and review your Student Aid Report (you will get either a paper copy or email notification from the Department of Education)
  • Follow directions on the award letter if you choose to adjust or cancel the loan
  • Accept/Decline your loan award(s) through FlashLine
  • Complete Entrance Loan Counseling
  • Sign the Electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) online. 
  • Learn more about electronically signing your Direct Loan MPN.
  • Authorize Title IV aid to allow Bursar Office to credit your student account

Know Your Responsibilities as a Borrower of a Federal Direct Loan

  • Contact the servicer of your Direct Loan if you transfer from Kent State, drop below half time status, or there is a change in your name, permanent address, telephone, or email information. To find you serivcer, visit www.NSLDS.ed.gov, log in using your FAFSA pin
  • Maintain copies (either electronic or paper) of all documents related to your Direct Loan.
  • Borrow only what you need. Begin a budget and stick to it. 
  • Calculate your costs.
  • REPAY YOUR LOANS.

 

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent students are eligible to borrow funds under the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program. The parent borrower may be the biological parent, adoptive parent, or the step-parent whose information is on the current year FAFSA. At Kent State University, all dependent students will receive an estimated Parent PLUS award amount listed on the Financial Aid Award Notification. If the parent desires to borrow the Parent PLUS, the PLUS Application must be completed as described below.

The PLUS loan requires a credit worthy parent borrower and allows the parent to borrow the cost of attendance minus financial aid. The eligible parent borrower must be the student’s mother, father, or the step parent whose information is listed on the FAFSA during the year of the loan. Parents who are interested in borrowing the Federal Direct Parent PLUS must complete the electronic PLUS request and PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov. The Department of Education PIN is required to Sign In and request the PLUS. Check here for more information.

Repayment for the PLUS generally begins 30 to 60 days after the funds are credited to the student account. Effective July 1, 2008, for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, parents can request an in-school deferment for their dependent child. Parents who desire the in-school deferment must contact the Direct Loan Servicer at 1-800-848-0979.

Additional Unsubsidized Based on Parent PLUS Denial

If the parent is denied the Parent PLUS Loan due to credit, and the parent does not appeal the credit decision or seek a credit-worthy endorser, their dependent student may be eligible for an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  Freshman and sophomore students may borrow up to an additional $4,000 and junior and senior students may borrow up to an additional $5,000 in unsubsidized loans. 

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students

Graduate PLUS is a federal student loan designed for Graduate students who have reached their annual maximum for the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

To be eligible to receive a Grad PLUS loan the borrower must:

  • File the current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Exhaust all eligibility for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans ($20,500/yr or $138,500 lifetime limit)
  • Complete the Graduate PLUS electronic request at StudentLoans.gov
  • Pass a credit evaluation performed by the Department of Education
  • Have a signed MPN on file with the Department of Education.
  • Complete Entrance Loan Counseling for Graduate PLUS borrowers at StudentLoans.gov.
  • Be registered at least half-time (4 credit hours) during the loan period
  • Not be in default or have an overpayment on any Federal Title IV financial aid program

Alternative Loans

Financing a college education is a concern for many families. Most financial aid packages will include student loans; however, federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans may not cover the total cost of college expenses. Consequently, families are faced with the challenge of meeting the cost of their expenses.

Alternative loans are private loans that provide students with additional funding for unmet college expenses. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to exhaust all eligibility for federal funds before applying for alternative loans. 

You can fill out the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.

View a comparison of federal direct loan versus private loans.

Alternative loans are not federally guaranteed and require a good credit rating and/or credit worthy co-signer. The annual amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.

Kent State University does not endorse any lender or lending institution. We will process a private education loan from ANY lending institution. To assist you in your search, we do recommend using FASTChoice. FASTChoice is a private loan selection tool that helps students make a wise choice regarding borrowing an alternative loan. FASTChoice allows you to compare lender rates, terms, and benefits.

Kent State University selected the FASTChoice lender options for the following reasons:

  • History of providing excellent customer service to Kent State students
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Offer multiple loan products and incentive programs
  • Extended repayment terms are available
  • In-school deferment options
  • Six month grace period before repayment
  • Fast and easy online application
  • Funds are sent via Electronic Funds Transfer

*Not all lenders offer all features

If the funds cause a credit on the student's account, the Bursar’s office will send a refund check or electronic deposit.

Review the Bursar's refund policy.

Compare and Apply for Private Loans on FASTChoice lender options.

Loan Periods for the Academic Year

Semester BEGIN AND END MONTHS
Summer Semester May - August
Fall Semester August - December
Spring Semester January - May
Fall and Spring Semesters August - May

Note. Summer is a separate application and cannot be included on the loan application with the academic year.

Processing Time & Information

  • Please allow 6-7 weeks for processing, certification, and funds to be received.
  • Funds will disburse no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of each semester.

Canceling or Reducing your Alternative Loan

  • The eligibility for a loan to be canceled or reduced depends on the timing of the request in conjunction with the stage of the private loan. We cannot guarantee that a loan can be canceled or reduced upon request.
  • You must provide a written request to the Financial Aid Office to cancel or reduce an alternative loan. Email finaid@kent.edu to request cancellation.
  • Once a loan is reduced or canceled, Kent State University cannot increase or reinstate the loan. You MUST apply for a new loan.

Important Reminders

  • Individual disbursement dates will be set by each lender in conjunction with Kent State University's disbursement schedule and the completion of all necessary requirements of the borrower.
  • Alternative loan amounts may be reduced by Kent State University to comply with federal regulations.

Some alternative loan lenders require satisfactory academic progress. This means that you must meet the academic progress requirements as outlined by the Student Financial Aid Office. See more information on academic progress.