Student loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid back with interest. Borrowing a student loan is a serious responsibility. Students should contact the CSN Financial Aid Office with any questions about student loan borrowing.

Students are encouraged to seek other funding sources to reduce student debt. Several options can help reduce the burden of student debt, like College Work-Study and Scholarships.


Types of Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans for Students

Federal Subsidized Loan is awarded based on financial need and grade level limits. The U.S. government pays (or subsidizes) the interest on this loan while you are enrolled at least half-time and during periods of deferment.

Federal Unsubsidized Loan is awarded regardless of need up to the Cost of Attendance (minus other financial aid) and grade level limits. Interest begins accruing once the federal loan is disbursed, and you may either make or defer interest payment while you are in school and during periods of deferment. If you defer your interest payments, the accumulated interest will be capitalized or added to your federal loan principal when you enter repayment. All future interest charges are based on the new, higher principal federal loan amount. It is less expensive over the long run if you pay the interest while you're in school.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is for parents of dependent students. Dependency is based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Biological or adoptive parents (or, in some cases, the stepparents) of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time can borrow parent PLUS loans . You must have a completed financial aid file before your parent can apply for the Federal Direct PLUS loan. The Department of Education does credit checks on parents applying for Federal Direct PLUS loans. Parents must meet the citizenship requirement and cannot be in default or owe a refund on any Title IV (federal financial aid) program.

Alternative (Private) Student Loans

Alternative loans are not part of the Federal Student Loan Program. They are private loans for educational expenses. Unlike the Direct Federal Loan Program, Alternative loans are based on credit history. Interest rates, fees, and repayment plans will vary depending on the student's creditworthiness.

Students are free to choose any lender for an alternative loan. We strongly recommend that students do extensive research to ensure that their chosen lender best suits their needs and provides the lowest rates and most favorable repayment terms.


How to Get a Student Loan

Direct Student Loans for Students

Steps to receive a Direct Student Loan

  1. Submit a current year FAFSA and complete verification (if applicable) and submit any other required documents.
  2. Complete the undergraduate Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note using your FSA User ID at https://studentaid.gov/mpn/.
  3. Complete the Loan Entrance Counseling using your FSA User ID at https://studentaid.gov/entrance-counseling/. The session includes information on loan repayment obligations and the consequences of loan default.
  4. Accept any subsidized loan offer in your MyCSN in the Financial Aid section.
  5. Complete and submit the Direct Loan Request form located on the CSN Financial Aid forms page if you are interested in borrowing an unsubsidized loan.

According to the disbursement schedule, loan funds will be disbursed to students' CSN accounts to pay any balances due.  If any funds are remaining, a refund will be issued.  For faster and safer refunds, students may choose direct deposit through MyCSN.

How much can I borrow?

Students should borrow only what they need to pay for their educational expenses while in school.

The maximum amount a student may borrow each academic year depends on (1) student's year in college as determined by credits, (2) length of program, (3) financial need as determined by the FAFSA and estimated cost of attendance, and (4) whether a student is dependent or independent. Federal Direct Stafford Loans are also subject to an annual and aggregate limit. Review the chart below for details:

Dependent Maximums              

Independent Maximums

Year in College

Base – Subsidized & Unsubsidized

Additional Unsubsidized

Base – Subsidized & Unsubsidized

Additional Unsubsidized

First Year

$3,500

$2,000

$3,500

$6,000

Second Year

$4,500

$2,000

$4,500

$6,000

Third and Fourth Year

(Bachelor programs only)

$5,500

$2,000

$5,500

$7,000

Undergraduate Dependent Students are subject to an aggregate limit of $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized). Undergraduate Independent Students are subject to an aggregate limit of $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized).

Important Information Before Borrowing

  • Federal Subsidized Student Loans interest rate for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, is fixed at 3.73%
  • Federal Unsubsidized Student Loans interest rate for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, is fixed at 3.73%
  • The Loan Origination Fee for Federal Direct Student Loans disbursed on or after 10/1/2020 and before 10/1/2022 is 1.057%.
  • The amount you request may be different than what is awarded because student loan eligibility has several varying factors. We will determine the amount you are eligible for and will try to meet your request.
  • Students must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits required for their certificate/degree.
  • First-time borrowers are subject to a 30-day delay of their loan disbursement from the start of their courses.
  • Semester-only loans are disbursed in two disbursements; one at the beginning of the term and another at mid-term.
  • Loans are considered financial aid and are subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • You may cancel the loan and future payments within 120 days of disbursement.
  • Your six-month grace period begins when you stop attending or enroll less than half-time (5 credits or below). Once the grace period expires, your loan repayment begins.

Direct PLUS Loan for Parents

Steps to receive a Direct Parent PLUS Loan

For the Student

Submit a current year FAFSA and complete verification (if applicable) and submit any other required documents.

For the Parent

At CSN, the loan process for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan begins after a student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and has submitted all other required documents and completed verification (if applicable).

  1. Submit current year Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Request form to CSN Financial Aid Office.
  2. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and credit check at https://studentaid.gov/mpn/. Please note that the MPN is valid for up to 10 years but the credit check is valid for only 180 days thus, additional PLUS loan requests may require a separate credit check.
  3. If, after your credit check has been completed by the Department of Education, you have been denied a PLUS loan, the student may submit an additional Direct Loan Request Form with the Federal Parent PLUS Loan denial attached. The student may be eligible for the funds based on remaining need, up to the maximum loan amount for the year (up to the independent student limits). Parent borrowers can also add a co-signer to the PLUS loan if they are denied.

How much can a parent borrow?

Federal Direct PLUS Loan amounts are based on the student's Cost of Attendance (COA) minus other anticipated financial aid.

Important Information Before Borrowing

  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Interest Rates: On or after July 1, 2021, the interest rate is fixed at 6.28%.
  • The Loan Origination Fee for Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans: On or after 10/1/2020 and before 10/1/2022 is 4.228%.
  • Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits required for their certificate or degree to be eligible for a loan. Please refer to the Check Course Eligibility webpage and the F.A. Dept Degree Guidance communications in the MyCSN Communication Center to confirm course eligibility.
  • Loans are typically originated within 4-6 weeks (depending on the time of year) of receipt of a completed and signed Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan Application, and a student and parent valid government-issued photo I.D. with a clear photo.
  • Loans are considered financial aid and are subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • Repayment begins on the day of the final disbursement of the PLUS loan. Parent borrowers can request an In-School Deferment if the student is enrolled in at least six credits. To learn more about postponing PLUS loan payments, please go to www.studentaid.gov/manage-loans.

Alternative (Private) Student Loans

Steps to receive an Alternative Student Loan

  1. Research possible lenders keeping in mind the following:
  2. Apply with the lender using their application.
  3. Once approved, complete the Alternative Loan Certification Form and submit it the Financial Aid Office
  1. Interest Rates – are based on credit score and may be capitalized more often, increasing the amount of money you ultimately owe. Using a cosigner may result in slightly lower rates.
  2. Fees – are based on credit scores of the borrower and cosigner (if students choose to use a cosigner), if applicable.
  3. Borrower Benefits – vary by lender.
  4. Repayment Terms – pay while enrolled, or deferment until after graduation.
  5. Eligibility Requirements - what are the requirements for the loan?
  6. Consolidation - can loans with different banks be consolidated into one when entering repayment? Under which terms?

Once your alternative loan check has been received by CSN Financial Aid Office, you will be notified via your MyCSN To-Do list on next steps to receive your loan.

Please note that alternative loan funds will not hold your courses. You must make the necessary payment arrangements with the CSN Cashier's Office until the Alternative Loan funds have been credited to your CSN Student Account.

How much can I borrow?

Students can borrow up to Cost of Attendance (COA) minus other anticipated financial aid. You can learn more about the COA here or contact our office if you have questions regarding your loan amount.

Important Information Before Borrowing

Suggested Research:

  • Interest Rates – are based on credit score and may be capitalized more often, increasing the amount of money you ultimately owe. Using a cosigner may result in slightly lower rates.
  • Fees – are based on credit scores of the borrower and cosigner (if students choose to use a cosigner), if applicable.
  • Borrower Benefits – vary by lender.
  • Repayment Terms – pay while enrolled, or deferment until after graduation.
  • Eligibility Requirements - what are the requirements for the loan?
  • Consolidation - can loans with different banks be consolidated into one when entering repayment? Under which terms?


How to Cancel a Federal Direct Loan?

Within 120 Days of Disbursement:

Students have the right to cancel all or part of any disbursement of a Federal Direct Loan without being charged interest and other federal loan fees if the cancellation is processed within 120 days of the original disbursement date. The disbursement date is the date the funds were disbursed to the CSN student account.

To request a cancellation, students must provide a Request for Change to Financial Aid Form for the correct aid year reflecting the canceled amount and the affected semester. The canceled amount must be repaid by cashier's check, money order, or cash. Personal checks are not accepted.

More than 120 days After Disbursement:

When canceling all or part of any loan disbursement more than 120 days after it was disbursed to your CSN account, it constitutes repayment of part, or the entire loan amount and you must pay any accrued interest and/or fees.

The payment must be sent to Direct Loan Services (DLS); the address is available at https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers. If the payment is intended for a particular loan, it must be accompanied by specific instructions, such as, "Please apply this $1,000 payment to my unsubsidized loan first disbursed on 02/25/10, paying off any accrued interest and then applying any remaining payment to the principal of that loan".

Payments made to DLS without instructions will be applied according to their business rules, which will usually pay down accrued interest and older loans before newer loans.

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