Borrowing money for school is a serious, long-term, financial obligation. We want to insure that all borrowers learn how to handle their finances so that they are in a position to repay their loan debts after they leave Loyola. The Department of Education mandates that all first time Federal Direct Student Loan and Federal Grad PLUS borrowers complete an "entrance counseling" session before receiving their first loan. Loan proceeds can not be credited to students' accounts until they fufill this requirement
Students can complete this requirement online:
Starting with the 2010-2011 academic year, all federal Direct Student, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans will be processed through the Federal Direct Loan Program .
- Students will have the option to complete the Entrance Counseling Process online OR in person at our office.
- Online Entrance Counseling Tutorial (it's really easy!)
Any questions should be addressed to us. We attempt to answer all e-mail queries received during the week within 24 hours. Students can also call our office between 8:30-4:45 p.m. during the week and ask to speak to the staff members responsible for their files if they have any questions or concerns about this information.
Enrollment and Academic Requirements
Students must be enrolled on "at least a half-time basis" each semester in order to participate in the Federal Stafford Loan Program. All courses must apply to your degree program.This means:
- Undergraduate Students - must enroll for a minimum of 6 credits each semester
- Graduate and Professional Students - must enroll for a minimum of 5 credits each semester . Undergraduate courses do not count in your enrolled hours for federal student loan purposes.
Students must also maintain "satisfactory academic progress" towards completing their degree requirements.
Effect of Accepting Loans on Eligibility for Other Financial Aid
We will automatically calculate your eligibility for Federal Stafford Loans and include them in your original financial aid award. You must officially "accept" your Stafford loan by completing a financial aid response form and submitting it to our office.
You can always choose to either reduce the amount of the Stafford loan in your package OR totally reject the loan. However, we will not be able to increase your institutional, federal or state grant eligibility to compensate for your choice not to borrow.
Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
For all unsubsidized Stafford loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, the interest rate is fixed at 6.8 percent. Unless Congress acts, the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates will rise back to 6.8%
Effective July1, 2012, graduate and professional students will no longer be eligible for subsidized Stafford loans.
The Project on Student Debt is an initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit independent research and policy organization dedicated to making college more available and affordable to people of all backgrounds.
Their student debt report for the class of 2010 found that that two-thirds of college seniors graduated with loans in 2010, and they carried an average of $25,250 in debt. These gradutes also faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history at 9.1% . Student debt levels vary enormously by state, with some Midwestern and New England states facing the highest debts.
Please carefully consider your finances as you begin your enrollment at Loyola University New Orleans. Try to borrow the minimum amount possible so that you do not face an excessive debt burden upon graduation. Check our pages on Money Management for Undergraduates and Financial Planning for Graduate School .
There are a number of online calculators that will help you understand how much you will ultimately have to pay when you borrow under these loan programs. Check these sites for more information:
- FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid's Loan Calculator
- CNNMoney.com's Student Loan Calculator
How Much Will You Save if You Utilize a Monthly Payment Plan in Combination with Borrowing?
Reasonable Educational Debt by Major
Based on academic major and repayment period, these calculators determine the average annual starting salary for the field and give the maximum manageable debt load and maximum manageable monthly payment.
Exit Counseling Requirements
Students who have borrowed under the Federal Stafford Loan Program must complete an "Exit Loan Counseling" session during their final semester. Effective July 1, 2008, students who have borrowed under the Federal Grad PLUS Loan must also complete an "Exit Counseling" session. The U.S. Department of Education wants to insure that students review the terms of their loan and understand their rights and responsibilities under this program as they enter repayment.
Students who plan to withdraw from Loyola University New Orleans before they complete their degree program should contact their assigned financial aid counselor as part of the process of officially withdrawing from the university. At that time, we will with the student their rights and responsibilities as they enter repayment and answer any questions about their obligation to repay any funds borrowed through the program.
Updated June 18, 2012