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Loans2018-11-14T15:00:57+00:00

Before You Borrow:

Consider all your options before pursuing loans:

  • scholarships and grants
  • work study and other job opportunities
  • payment plans

Financial aid is awarded yearly based on FAFSA application results and academic progress. Borrowing is one of the choices that you should re-evaluate each year. Watch for new scholarship opportunities..

If you are considering loans, we recommend you will review them in this order:

  1. Federal Student and Parent Loans
  2. State of Texas Student Loans
  3. Private Loans for Students

The amount a student is eligible to borrow is determined by grade level and cost of attendance. There is no credit check. Additional eligibility requires enrollment in at least 6 credit hours per semester (half-time).

Loan Level Dependent Student Loan Amount Independent Student/Dependent with PLUS Denial (Must Apply Yearly)
Freshman $5,500 $9,500
Sophomore $6,500 $10,500
Junior $7,500 $12,500
Senior $7,500 $12,500
Graduate up to $20,500 annually
Vocational Nurses $5,500 $9,500

Federal student loans go into repayment six months after the student has graduated, dropped below half-time enrollment, or withdrawn from the university.

2018-2019: Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student loans for Undergraduates have a 5.05% interest rate during repayment.

Interest rates are set every July 1st for the following year. An origination fee is deducted from the amount borrowed before the money is sent to the school.

Vocational Nursing students are awarded as a certificate/first year programs at freshmen loan levels.

Upon receipt of the appropriate application materials, the Financial Aid Office will determine your eligibility and originate your loan. If you have previously borrowed a Direct Loan and signed a Master Promissory Note, then you will not need to sign another Note. You will use your FAFSA PIN to sign into studentloans.gov

New borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note. First time borrowers must also complete Loan Entrance Counseling. Both may be completed at studentloans.gov

Beginning July 1, 2013, a new borrower may receive Federal Direct Subsidized loans for up to 150 percent of the published length of the borrower’s educational program. Should a borrower exceed this period, he or she is no longer eligible for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. The borrower also becomes responsible for accruing interest during all periods as of the date the borrower exceeds the 150 percent limit.

The Standard Repayment Plan allows for a repayment period of 10 years. Alternative repayment plans allowing for a longer repayment period are available.

Federal Parent PLUS Loans are available to families who submit a FAFSA. Parents may apply for federal loans to help pay their child’s educational expenses but, unlike the federal direct student loan, credit approval is required.

If for any reason the parent is declined on the Federal Parent PLUS loan, the student is then eligible for an additional unsubsidized direct student loan in a specific amount listed for independent students.

The PLUS loan is in the parent’s name and there is a 10-year repayment period that begins after the loan has been disbursed in full. There is a process to defer payments. However, we ask families to consider this option carefully and discuss the ramifications with a PLUS loan representative/loan servicer prior to borrowing.

Interest rates are set every July 1st for the following year. An origination fee is deducted from the amount borrowed before the money is sent to the school.

For Parents to apply for the Parent PLUS loan:

  • Go to studentloans.gov and sign in using your own FSA PIN (you may have to create one)
  • In the left menu, click on Request PLUS loan
  • Click on Parent PLUS loan
  • The application process takes about 10 minutes and at the end you will be told if you are approved or not.
  • If approved and wanting the loan, Complete the Parent PLUS MPN
  • We will be notified within 24-48 hours of the outcome and will process it accordingly

All federal borrowers are urged to sign in at NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) to track their individual loans.

Parents must sign a master promissory note (MPN) with the federal government before the loan will be processed. This is done at studentloans.gov and you need your FSA I.D.  and password to sign in. The MPN is your agreement with the federal government acknowledging that you are aware that this is a loan that you will pay back. Be sure to sign the appropriate PLUS loan MPN (parents sign the PLUS MPN and not the Graduate PLUS MPN).

Loan money is money for the student’s educational expenses that must be paid back to the lender.

For 2018–2019, the Federal Graduate PLUS loan has a 6.6% interest rate. As the name implies, it is similar to the Parent PLUS loan, and requires credit approval and GradPLUS entrance loan counseling before the loan will be funded.

Interest rates are set every July 1st for the following year. An origination fee is deducted from the amount borrowed before the money is sent to the school.

To apply:

  • Go to studentloans.gov and sign in
  • In the left menu, click on Request PLUS loan
  • Then pick Graduate PLUS loan
  • Applying takes about 10 minutes and you will have a decision at the end of the application process.
  • If approved, do the Graduate PLUS MPN
  • Notify the Financial Aid office of your approval and wish to get the loan.

Be sure to sign the appropriate type of MPN for the loan you are receiving (Graduate students would sign the Graduate PLUS MPN and not the PLUS MPN).

The state of Texas offers the College Access Loan (CAL) program for undergraduate, Texas residents who are seeking additional loan funds.

There is a credit check required and almost always a co-signer is necessary.

The state offers a fixed rate loan with no origination fee, if the applicant qualifies via credit score or with a co-signer.

The student starts their 10-year repayment after they have completed their education or ceased to attend, like federal direct student loans.

Students and families interested in utilizing this program are encouraged to begin the process early. Each school has limited loan allocations and processing time can take up to 4 weeks.

Note: You cannot consolidate federal and state loan debt. You will need to make these loan payments separately.

To apply for the College Access Loan:

Students should consider private student loans as a last resort, after submitting the FAFSA and obtaining federal loans. Private student education loans are funded by many banks or credit unions.

For your convenience, we’ve provided a list of several lenders who offer private loans to students.

ELM SELECT assists students in finding a lender that best suits their individual circumstances. Interest rates vary by lender, a credit-worthy cosigner will most likely be required, and some programs may require repayment before a student is out of school.

Make sure to know and understand your interest rate, repayment options, and all loan details before obtaining a private loan.

We would be happy to answer any of your questions!

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