Applying for Student Loans
Applying for Direct and Parent PLUS Loans
Federal Direct and Parent PLUS loans are financed by the United States Department of Education (your lender). While the Department of Education is your lender, the Dept assigns a Servicer to handle your loan servicing needs; for more information, go to StudentAid.ed.gov.
Direct Loans are:
- Simple – You have a single contact – the Direct Loan Servicing Center – for everything related to the repayment of your loans, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools
- Convenient – You’ll have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24/7 at Direct Loan Servicing Online at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
- Flexible – You can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.
To obtain a Parent PLUS loan, a completed FAFSA must be on file for the student in addition to the receipt of a Parent Borrower Form in the Financial Aid Office.Complete your FAFSA on the Web and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) after October 1 as soon as possible (CMC school code: 00450600). The priority date for applying for financial assistance for each academic year is March 31. An FSA ID will be issued to you before you begin the FAFSA; if you are a dependent, your parent will also receive an FSA ID. Within 5 to 7 days the Department of Education will send to you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If you provide your email address, you’ll receive an email with a link to your online SAR. The financial aid office will use the information received from the processing agent to construct your Financial Aid Package. This package will be explained in the Award Notification you receive via email to your CMC issued email address (go to Basecamp to access student email). Now would also be a good time to set-up your username and password and “access” your CMC WebAdvisor. Online instructions are located at the top of the WebAdvisor page. Check with CMC by signing in to your WebAdvisor account to determine whether there is any missing information, or any other forms you need to complete. You must respond to the Award Notification immediately to notify CMC (through WebAdvisor) that you accept all, part, or none of the Financial Aid Package offered. If scholarships and grants are not sufficient to cover your expenses, a loan may fill your remaining financial need. If you indicated on the FAFSA that you would accept a loan, the Direct Loan amount for which you are eligible will be included as part of your Financial Aid Package. In addition, you may use Federal Unsubsidized or PLUS Loans for part or all of your Expected Family Contribution. Complete Entrance Counseling Except for Direct PLUS Loan borrowers, if you haven’t previously received a Direct Loan at Colorado Mountain College, you must complete CMC specific ENTRANCE COUNSELING before we can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan. Complete this counseling online at StudentLoans.gov. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) To take out a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN). Complete the MPN on the StudentLoans.gov website. CMC offers the option of completing the MPN electronically. The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN site. A parent borrower must also request a PIN number from the PIN site to use when completing a PLUS MPN. Go to StudentLoans.gov for information on the interest rate, fees and repayment requirements for your Direct Loan and your Direct Parent Loan and to complete your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling (for student loans only).
For some students, alternative loans provide that additional funding needed to meet educational costs. While federal student loans should always be offered to students first, there are times when students may either need to pursue alternative loans due to exhausting their federal loan eligibility or costs exceed what federal and/or other aid can cover. A good resource to learn more about private loans is available at: Studentaid.ed.gov/federal-vs-private
Students must meet the following requirements before a private/alternative loan can be certified prior to disbursement:
- A student must be enrolled in a Title IV-eligible degree or certificate program
- Certification of private/alternative loans cannot exceed a student’s cost of attendance
- A student must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress- (not in termination status- i.e. Max Time Frame, cum GPA below 2.0, completion rate under 67% or any combination thereof)
- A student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in coursework directly applicable to their aid-eligible program
- If, due to extenuating circumstances a student cannot meet all of the above requirements, the student can submit a written appeal to the Director of Financial Aid explaining why they believe an exception to the above requirements should be made. The Director will make a decision and forward that information to the student and the FA representative responsible for processing private loan certifications.
Be advised that you, the student, are responsible for any additional requirements set forth by the alternative/private loan company such as signing a promissory note to repay the loan or any other possible co-signer requirements.
Preferred Lender List
CMC does not offer or suggest any preferred lenders. We do however provide access to a general list of private loan options for students to research and select at their discretion. We encourage students to examine interest rates, any fees and if the lender allows for in-school deferment of repayment and for how long. These and other factors and help you select the loan that is best for you. For your convenience, here is a general list of private loan options.