Student Loan Information
Taking out loans to pay for a Rocky Mountain College education is an investment in your future that will pay for itself many times over. Student loans, unlike grants and work study, are legal obligations that you will have to repay, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. How much student loan debt you should borrow is a very personal decision. Your student loan dollars should be used only for items directly related to your college education. We encourage you to borrow responsibly and only what you need to cover your costs. See our Financial Literacy Page to help you decide how much you should borrow.
Please read the Department of Education's Direct Loan Page for Students for more information regarding federal student loans. If you choose to borrow a federal student loan, it will be submitted to the National student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by you to help you keep track of what you borrow, as well as guarantee agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.
Federal Direct Student Loans
Subsidized Direct Loan – Awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Awarded by the Rocky Mountain College Financial Aid Office to students enrolled at least half time. No interest is charged while the student is in school, but interest will start accruing once the student goes into repayment or during periods of forbearance.
Unsubsidized Direct Loan – Awarded to students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is not necessary to demonstrate financial need to receive this loan. Awarded by the Rocky Mountain College Financial Aid Office to students enrolled at least half time. Unlike the subsidized direct loan, the unsubsidized direct loan accrues interest while the student is in school.
The maximum amount you can borrow each year in direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans depends on your grade level and on whether you are a dependent or independent student. The following table shows the maximum amount of money you may borrow each academic year in direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans:
|1st-year undergraduate||$5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)||$9,500 ($3,500)***|
|2nd-year undergraduate||$6,500 ($4,500)||$10,500 ($4,500)|
|3rd- & 4th-year undergraduate||$7,500 ($5,500)||$12,500 ($5,500)|
|Graduate/professional||NA (All graduate and professional
students are considered independent.)
*Except those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan.
The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive for an academic year is determined by the Financial Aid Office and may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown in the chart above. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the interest rate on these loans for undergraduate students is fixed at 4.45%. The interest rate on the Unsubsidized Direct Loan for Graduate/Professional students is fixed at 6%.
Federal regulations require all students borrowing a direct loan for the first time to participate in loan entrance counseling before receiving the first disbursement of their loan. The purpose of this session is to help you understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower. The session should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
In order to borrow a federal direct loan, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal agreement to repay your loan to the U.S. Department of Education. Once you complete an MPN, it is good for ten years.
Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
Annual available amount: Cost of attendance minus other aid. Repayment of principal and interest (fixed at 7%) begins on the day of the final disbursement. Parents have a choice of repayment plans. A PLUS borrower can defer repayment while the student is enrolled at least half time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower.
Qualifications: Parent must be credit worthy, as determined by the credit check performed by the U.S. Department of Education.
Please read the Department of Education's federal loan information for parents for more information regarding federal Direct Parent PLUS loans.
All parent borrowers must complete the following (in order):
- Federal Direct PARENT PLUS Loan Application/Authorization - This must be completed yearly or with each loan request. Forms must be submitted to the Rocky Mountain College Financial Aid Office. PLUS Loan requests will not be processed until this document is received. PLUS loan funds will be disbursed equally between Fall and Spring semesters. To help determine the annual loan amount to apply for, refer to the student’s registration billing statement that includes course schedule, total tuition, fees, housing and meal plan costs, expected financial aid, and remaining balance due, and use our Loan Calculator, or contact the financial aid office at email@example.com or call 800.877.6259 ext. 1031.
- PLUS Master Promissory Note (PMPN) - Complete a PMPN for each dependent student attending college. Once you complete a PMPN, it is good for 10 years.
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
For students in graduate programs only. Annual available amount: Cost of attendance minus other aid. Interest rate is fixed at 6.31%, with repayment beginning 60 days following the final disbursement. A Grad PLUS borrower can defer repayment while the borrower is enrolled at least half time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower.
Qualifications: Student must be credit worthy, as determined by the credit check performed by the U.S. Department of Education. First time Grad PLUS loan borrowers must complete a Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (PMPN). Once you complete a PMPN, it is good for ten years.
All Grad PLUS Loan borrowers must complete a Consent to Obtain Credit Report Form each year and submit it to the Rocky Mountain College Financial Aid Office. Grad PLUS Loan requests will not be processed until this document is received.
Federal regulations require all students borrowing a Direct Grad Plus Loan for the first time to participate in loan entrance counseling before receiving the first disbursement of their loan. The purpose of this session is to help you understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower. The session should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
Alternative loans, also called private student loans, are available to students who need additional funds to meet educational expenses. The student's loan eligibility is determined by the cost of attendance less other financial aid or the annual loan maximum amount as determined by the lender. In addition, the lender will look at your credit history and other factors to determine if they will lend to you. One lender might deny you while the next approves you because of the different ways they interpret your information.
Alternative loans are not for everyone. They can be expensive and should only be utilized when all other federal resources, such as federal direct Stafford and federal direct PLUS loans, have been exhausted. Students may apply for these loans on their own, but oftentimes will need a cosigner. Click here to compare alternative loan lenders.
Rocky Mountain College does not participate in any preferred lender agreements. RMC students have had successful relationships with the following lenders when applying for alternative loans; however, students are free to borrow from any lender they wish.