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The Office of Financial Aid offers entrance counseling to highlight the loan process and student responsibilities as well as exit counseling to explain the repayment process. A student can complete both Entrance and Exit Counseling from this web site. Student loans can be a useful tool in funding your education, but use them wisely. Borrow only what you need. A student must be enrolled at least 6 hours (half-time) to be eligible for Federal Loans. First-time borrowers at EIU will also need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers on or after July 1, 2013

Loan Types Available



 

Federal Loans 

 

Federal Perkins Loan Program 

 

The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan to help students pay for their education after high school. It is available for both undergraduate and graduate students. The Perkins Loan Program is a very popular source of student aid due to the very low interest rate. Many students participate in the Perkins Loan Program, but due to its limited funds, the awards go to those students who apply early and demonstrate need.  Awards are subject to the availability of federal funds.

The interest rate on all Perkins Loans is 5%.

If you accept a Federal Perkins Loan, you will need to complete a Promissory Note, Confidential Information Sheet, and a Rights and Responsibilities Sheet. These forms will be sent after the Award Letter has been returned to the Office of Financial Aid. Fall and spring promissory notes are mailed starting mid-July. Summer promissory notes are mailed starting mid-May.

The loan goes into repayment once the student is no longer enrolled or enrolled less than six hours for a period of nine months. Once in repayment, loan payments are made to the Student Accounts Office at Eastern Illinois University. Before leaving Eastern, students are required to attend exit counseling conducted by the Student Accounts Office at 217/581-3715.

Student loan limit for the Federal Perkins Loans at EIU: Undergraduate = $2,000 (regular academic year) plus $1,500 (summer) for an annual total of $3,500; $15,000 maximum. 


William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs

 

These loans are low-interest loans made to you to help you pay for your education after high school. There are two kinds of federal direct loans: 

 

1. Subsidized:  The subsidized loan is based on need, and the government pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time.

2. Unsubsidized:  The unsubsidized loan is not need based, so it is available to students regardless of financial need. While the student is still in school the interest is capitalized, or added to the principal balance, if the recipient chooses not to make payments upon the interest. However, students may request to make interest payments while still in school.

Subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans are low-interest loans that do not require a cosigner. Interest rates are fixed. The money for these loan programs comes from the government. Most students will begin repayment six months after leaving EIU or dropping below half-time. 

The federal government determines the interest rate for new loans each school year. The interest rate will not exceed 8.25%. Students must be enrolled at least six credit hours per semester to qualify for a subsidized and/or unsubsidized loan. Repayment begins six months after graduation, or after the student ceases to be enrolled in at least six credit hours.

To apply for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, complete the FAFSA at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Dependent Student

Grade LevelCredit HoursBase Loan AmountAdditional UnsubsidizedTotal
Freshman 0-29 $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore 30-59 $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior 60-89 $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Senior 90+ $5,500 $2,000 $7,500


Independent Student

Grade LevelCredit HoursBase Loan AmountAdditional UnsubsidizedTotal
Freshman 0-29 $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore 30-59 $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior 60-89 $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Senior 90+ $5,500 $7,000 $12,500


Graduate Student

Grade LevelCredit HoursBase Loan AmountAdditional UnsubsidizedTotal
Graduate   $8,500 $12,000 $20,500

  

* If attending only one semester as a senior, your total available loans funds will be reduced.

Maximum total loan amounts:
Undergraduate Dependent = $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Undergraduate Independent = $57,500 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Graduate = $138,500 - No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.  The graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied a parent PLUS loan are eligible for additional unsubsidized loan amount; freshmen and sophomores $4,000, juniors and seniors $5,000. 


Federal PLUS Loan Program

 

The 2013-2014 PLUS Loan application can be submitted after June 1, 2013.

The 2014-2015 PLUS Loan application can be submitted after June 1, 2014.

 

Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent students with a good credit history may receive Federal PLUS Loans if the student is enrolled at least half-time. PLUS Loans are not based on need, so these loans are made regardless of income level. Federal Direct PLUS Loans have a 7.9% fixed interest rate effective 7-1-06 that is adjusted each year on July 1.  The interest rate may change each year, but it will never be higher than 9%.  Effective 7-1-08, Parent PLUS borrowers have the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS Loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or beginning repaymentsix months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled at least on a half-time basis.  

In addition to interest, you must pay a loan origination fee.  This fee is a percentage of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan that you receive. The current origination fee is 4%, however is subject to change according to any Dept. of Education regulation changes. This fee helps to reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The fee is deducted before the loan is paid to the student bill, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.

Avoid Over-Borrowing - Loan limits for Federal PLUS Loans are listed in the student’s financial aid award notification; this will equal the entire cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. Please note this is the maximum for which a parent can apply, not necessarily the amount needed to pay the student’s bill. Any excess funds once the student’s account is paidwill be sent to the student as a refund check.

Example:

Applying for the maximum amount for the PLUS loan, combined with the student’s other financial aid, would provide funding upto the estimated cost of attendance.

Total Direct + Indirect Cost = Estimated Cost of Attendance     $24,676

Where does the money go?  See example below:

Paid to EIU:

Fall 2014       Spring 2015          Total

Tuition & Fees (est.)   $5,572            $5,572             $11,144

Housing/Meal Plan       $4,498            $4,498             $ 8,896

Total Direct Cost        $10,070            $10,070             $20,140 - amount needed to pay bill

Other Expenses Financial Aid Can Cover:

Supplies, Transportation, Misc.

Total Indirect Cost     $2,268             $2,268               $  4,536  - possible refund to student

To avoid over-borrowing, the parents may consider assisting the student with these indirect costs for their personal needs and other miscellaneous expenses.

To apply for a Federal Parent PLUS loan, the parent will need to go to www.studentloans.gov.  Sign in as the parent, choose “Request a PLUS Loan,” and then choose the Parent PLUS application.  The information will be transmitted to EIU usually within 24 hours.  After your application is approved, you will be instructed to complete a master promissory note if you have not previously done so.  If you are denied a Parent PLUS loan, your student may request the Federal Direct Additional Unsubsidized Loan by submitting their request in writing to the Financial Aid Office.

Click here to view basic PLUS loan application instructions (pdf)

Click here to view Direct Loan Basics for Parents

 

Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan program.  The terms and conditions applicable to Parent PLUS Loans also apply to Graduate PLUS Loans.

To apply for a Graduate PLUS loan, go to www.studentloans.gov.  Sign in as the student and choose “Request a PLUS Loan.” The information will be transmitted to EIU usually within 24 hours.  After your application is approved, you will be instructed to complete a master promissory note if you have not previously done so.

Click here to view Direct PLUS Loan basics for Graduate and Professional Degree Students

 

Private/Alternative Educational Loans

The Office of Financial Aid strongly recommends that all students apply for Federal Direct Loans prior to submitting private loan applications. Federal Direct Loans have the lowest guaranteed interest rate of all educational programs. You can begin this process simply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There is no application fee, and our office staff is available to assist you with this process. Alternative educational loans are available from private lenders and should only be considered as a resource after a student has exhausted all other state and federal sources for funding.

If you still choose not to fill out a FAFSA, your private/alternative loan will not be processed by the Office of Financial Aid until an opt-out form is completed, explaining your decision not to file for federal aid.

Any correspondence regarding your private loan will be sent to your campus e-mail.

A list of many private lenders and useful information to help you choose a lender can be found at http://www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml.

For more information on applying for a private loan, click here for FAQs and tips

 

Short-Term (Emergency) Loans

Short-term or "emergency" loans are available to currently enrolled students through the Office of Financial Aid. The Loan Officer determines a student's eligibility and maximum loan amount. Any loan amount exceeding $200 requires a co-signer.

Loan interviews are conducted on Mondays and Thursdays in the Office of Financial Aid. Applications are available in the office or on-line.

Applications are only accepted while school is in session.

Aggregate loan amounts cannot exceed: 

 

Grade LevelAmount
First semester EIU student $100
Second semester freshman $300
Sophomore $500
Junior $700
Senior $800
Graduate $1,000