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Federal Financial Aid

Federal Financial Aid

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Direct Loans)

Although payments are deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time, unsubsidized loans accumulate interest while you are in school. If you can, it is recommended that you try to pay the interest on these loans while you are in school.

Loan amount: LOAN of $20,500 per year

Deadline: Applicants are considered for this loan when their FAFSA application is being processed. The loan is processed by PLU and disbursed to pay your tuition.

Number of awards: N/A

Criteria: You do not need to demonstrate need to qualify for these loans. Detailed information is available at the Federal student aid website.

Terms of the loan: This loan accumulates interest while you are in school, and when you are in your forbearance “grace period.” It is a loan, so it must be paid back with interest. When you fill out the FAFSA, there is a tool that estimates what your student loan repayment amounts will look like. Detailed information, including current interest rates, is available at the Federal student aid website.

How to apply:

If you choose to accept the loan, you must also “Sign In” to studentloans.gov to complete the required Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

PLUS Loan (Direct Loans)

Although payments are deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time, unsubsidized loans accumulate interest while you are in school. If you can, it is recommended that you try to pay the interest on these loans while you are in school. These loans differ from Unsubsidized Stafford Loans in that they have a higher interest rate and require a credit check.

Loan amount: LOAN to meet any unmet need up to the total estimated cost of attendance for the program.

Deadline: Applicants are considered for this loan when their FAFSA application is being processed. The loan is processed by PLU and disbursed to pay your tuition.

Number of awards: n/a

Criteria: You do not need to demonstrate need to qualify for these loans. Unlike the Stafford loan, borrowers must pass a credit check. Detailed information is available at the Federal student aid website.

Terms of the loan: This loan accumulates interest while you are in school, and when you are in your forbearance “grace period.” It is a loan, so it must be paid back with interest. When you fill out the FAFSA, there is a tool that estimates what your student loan repayment amounts will look like. Detailed information, including current interest rates,  is available at the Federal student aid website.

How to apply:

If you choose to accept the loan, you must also “Sign In” to studentloans.gov to complete the required Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is different from other federal student grants because it requires you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant, and then do a certain kind of job to keep the grant from turning into a loan.

Award amount: up to $4,000

Deadline: Applicants are considered for this award when their FAFSA application is being processed.

Number of awards: n/a

Criteria: There are very specific criteria for this award, including teaching in a high-need field in a location that serves low-income families. You can read more at the TEACH Grant webpage on the Federal student aid website.

Terms of the award: There are also very specific terms for this award including GPA and service requirements. You can read more at the TEACH Grant webpage on the Federal student aid website.

How to apply:

  • Fill out the FAFSA

  • Contact the PLU Student Financial Services and ask about the program. The student financial services counselor for MAE students is Barb Zettel, 253-535-7163 or zettelbl@plu.edu

Loan Forgiveness Program

A Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program forgives the remaining balance of your loans. Despite dollar amount, students may qualify to end their obligation to pay student debt if their public service qualifies in the loan forgiveness program.

Most people who are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization. Students who have made 120 qualifying monthly payments towards student loans may be forgiven of their debt.

If you have worked for any of the following institutions, you may qualify for the loan forgiveness program:

  • Government organizations (federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Non-profit organizations that are tax exempt
  • Other non-profit organizations that have the primary purpose of providing certain types of qualifying public services

Other Reasons for loan discharge and cancellation include:

  • You are a veteran disable as a result of service
  • You are residing on Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income
  • You can submit a physician’s certification stating that you are totally and permanently disabled
  • Discharge in bankruptcy
  • Teacher loan forgiveness

Go to the loan forgiveness program website if you think you may be eligible.

Loan Planning Resources

College is expensive. Creating and implementing a plan to manage payments and debt is more important than ever today. Attached below are links and descriptions of resources that will walk you through how to manage debt.

The Accredited Online Schools website will walk you through student loans, payment options, loan metrics, and more.

Affordable College Online will calculate the timeliness of how long it will take to pay off loans, as well as sharing tips to be able to pay off your loan faster.