Student Loan Information

Student loans, unlike grants and work study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. Loans are legal obligations that you will have to repay.

You should start now to plan for repaying your loans. To do this, it is important to understand where your money is coming from, where it is going, and how to manage it in a way that allows you to achieve all of your goals and dreams. Developing good money management habits will ensure that you are in control of where you go and what you do throughout your life. Knowing how to manage your money will not only help with the successful repayment of your student loans, but it will facilitate success throughout your life. This link is a helpful tool to ensure your success: www.GetMoneySmarts.org.

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, as well as guarantee agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Federal Direct Stafford 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:

 

Dependent student*

Independent student**

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.)
$20,500

*Except those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan.
**These limits also apply to dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan.
***The numbers in parentheses represent the maximum amount that may be subsidized.

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. 

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 6.41%) begin 60 days following the final disbursement. 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.

All parent borrowers must complete the following (in order):

  1. 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.
  2. PLUS Master Promissory Note (PMPN) - Complete a PMPN for each dependent student attending college. Once you complete a PMPN, it is good for ten 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 6.41%, 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.


Federal Perkins Loan

RMC awards these funds to eligible undergraduate students. Repayment and interest (fixed at 5% per year) begin nine months after the student finishes school or drops below half time enrollment. Perkins loans are offered to students based on eligibility and need. Because Perkins funds are limited, availability will be taken into consideration when determining the loan amount offered to the student. 

Qualifications: Students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate exceptional need. Awarded by Rocky Mountain College to students enrolled full time. If you are eligible for a federal Perkins loan, the Financial Aid Office would have notified you by including it on your financial aid award. Upon accepting the loan, you will be required to complete an online Perkins loan entrance counseling session and sign a federal Perkins loan master promissory note. To complete loan entrance counseling and sign the master promissory note, please visit the Financial Aid Office. 


Alternative Loans

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. 

 
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