The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 100-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008, and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The HEOA contains numerous federal reporting disclosure requirements for information from various areas of higher education institutions.
Financial Aid and Loans
Student Loan Terms and Conditions
Loans are a form of financial aid and most students use some loans to pay for their education. Loans are available through multiple sources, including the federal government and private lenders.
Students who borrow loans should research the terms of each loan, including Federal Direct Loans, before borrowing. Borrowers are required to make a commitment to repay all their loans; therefore, it is important to understand your responsibilities and rights as a student loan borrower.
The federal government is the largest lender for student loans. The US Department of Education offers three different types of Federal Direct Loans: Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS (Graduate and Parent). Students have to be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for federal student loans. Repayment of student loans starts six months after graduation or six months after dropping to less than half-time status (i.e. less than 6 credits). Parents have the option of beginning repayment right after the loan is fully disbursed, or deferring repayment until the student graduates or drops below half-time status.
There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
This is a need-based loan. The interest on this loan is paid by the government while the student is in school at least half-time. Interest will begin to accumulate at the beginning of the student’s 6 month grace period (the grace period is the period of time before repayment starts; it starts after the student is no longer in school at least half time). Students who are new borrowers beginning July 1, 2013 may receive the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan for a maximum timeframe of 150% of the length of their academic program, as long as all other eligibility criteria are met. In addition, any previously-borrowed subsidized loan will begin to accrue interest at the time the student reaches the 150% timeframe. Click here for more information about this limit.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
The Unsubsidized Loan is not based on financial need. However, total financial aid, which includes the Unsubsidized Loan, cannot be greater than the student's cost of attendance. Unlike the Subsidized Stafford Loan, interest accumulates while the student is in school; this interest can be paid monthly or added to the total loan balance to be paid after the student leaves school.
Federal Direct PLUS (Parent and Graduate)
Parents of dependent students may borrow money to cover educational costs for their student(s). There is no financial need required to be eligible; however, total financial aid cannot be greater than the cost of education. The parent's credit history will be evaluated to determine whether they are eligible for the PLUS loan. If the parent's credit is approved, the maximum amount the parent can borrow is the student's cost of attendance minus all other financial aid. To apply for the PLUS, the student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must first be on file. The parent must then complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). The application and MPN should be completed at www.studentloans.gov.
For interest rates, go to: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates#rates
Loan Counseling: The U.S. Department of Education requires all first-time borrowers of Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans to complete loan entrance counseling. Loan entrance counseling can be completed online at http://studentloans.gov using your FSA ID (FAFSA login). This online tool will explain the basics of the loan programs and your responsibilities for borrowing under the Federal Direct Loan program.
Loan Repayment: Student loans are a way to pay for your education. You are investing in your future. We hope you limit the amount of loans you borrow as much as possible. However, any debt you have will need to be managed in repayment. When you begin borrowing and repaying loans, you should understand your rights and responsibilities; this will help ensure that you are a successful borrower.
Know Your Loans
You may borrow different loans while you are in college. All of your federal loans will be reported on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and can be reviewed at any time. Go to NSLDS.ed.gov to set up an account and see the loans you have borrowed. On this website, you can also find out who the loan servicer is for each of your student loans. The servicer is a vendor that the Department of Education, your school, and the lender uses to manage your loan while it is in repayment status.
You want to pick the repayment plan that is right for you. There are many repayment options for federal student loans. However, keep in mind that a low monthly repayment amount should not be your only goal. Tools on servicer websites can use actual loan amounts to model different repayment plans so you can balance lower monthly payments with total amount you would pay on your loans when picking a repayment option.
Once you pick your repayment plan, the best advice we can give is to make on-time payments. Your student loan repayment process will be an important part of building and maintaining good credit. Develop the habit of paying your loans on-time right from the start.
Having loan payments automatically deducted from your bank account is a good way to make sure your payments are made on time; it may also save you money. Check with your loan servicers to see if you can get a reduced interest rate or other benefits if you use automatic debit.
Paying on your loan principal is always a good idea. Consider paying a little extra each month or, whenever your budget allows. Having extra money that you can put towards reducing your principal can go a long way toward paying off your loans faster and saving on loan costs.
Seek Out Assistance
Your loan servicers are there to help you. Ask for their help as soon as you encounter any financial difficulty. Financial problems can get worse if they are not addressed immediately.
Your loan servicers have heard many borrower problems. Don't be embarrassed or avoid dealing with financial problems. Contact your servicers at the first sign that you are having trouble. Experienced staff want to help you successfully resolve past-due accounts, find alternative repayment plans, and avoid going into default.
In some cases, deferment or forbearance may be the right solution for your situation. However, these options should be used as last resorts. Delaying payments may cost you more if unpaid accrued interest is added to the loan balance. In addition, delaying the inevitable repayments just delays the financial hardship. Use deferment and forbearance only if you absolutely need to.
Finally, the staff in the Financial Aid Office are available to assist you. Please contact us!
Institutional Code of Conduct for Educational Loans ("Student Lending Code of Conduct")
Copyright Infringement Policy
Campus Safety Report: Includes information on annual and current crime statistics; emergency response/evacuation procedures; fire safety; and missing student notification policy.
The Jeanne Cleary Act – Safety and Security Report
Central State University submits the following information annually to the National Center for Education Statistics via the