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, click here.
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 January 1 as soon as possible (CMC school code: 00450600). The priority date for applying for financial assistance for the 2014-2015 academic year is March 31, 2014. A Personal Identification Number (PIN) will be issued to you when you complete the FAFSA and will serve as your signature. If you are a dependent, your parent will also be assigned a PIN.
► 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 (access CMC Portal to sign in to your email here). 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.
Alternative loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal loans, or who need assistance beyond their financial aid eligibility. These loans are made privately through banks and other financial institutions and are subject to their terms.
Ideally you want the loan with the lowest interest rate, lowest fees, and best customer service. Loans with lower fees often have higher interest rates, and loans with lower interest rates often have higher fees. You should do some calculations based on your specific situation to decide which one will serve you better.
Visit the Federal Student Aid – Private Loans webpage to view more information regarding alternative loans.