Federal Direct Loan Program Information
All applicants for loans must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To apply, they must also complete the Webster Application for Financial Aid and complete Loan Entrance Counseling. Loans cannot be processed until we have received the results of your FAFSA from the federal processor and that information has been reviewed
NOTE: Students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive loans. For fall semester (August through December) and spring semester (January through May), half-time is six or more credit hours for undergraduates; five credit hours or more for graduate or professional students. For summer sessions, half-time is three credit hours or more for both undergraduates and graduate students. For students attending only eight-week or nine-week classes, half-time is three credit hours in each eight- or nine-week session.
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based loans and are available to eligible undergraduate and graduate students.
Repayment of principal is postponed while the student is in school and during a six
month grace period after the student leaves school or drops below half time status.
These loans are made by a lender, such as a bank, credit union, or savings and loan
association; are insured by a state or nonprofit guarantee agency; and are reinsured
by the federal government.
The federal government pays (subsidizes) interest on the borrower's behalf:
- while s/he is in school;
- in her/his grace period;
- during authorized periods of deferment of repayment.
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non need-based loans and are available to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Repayment of principal is postponed while the student is in school and during a six month grace period after the student leaves school or drops below half time status. The interest on Unsubsidized Stafford Loans while the student is in school however is the borrower's responsibility to repay. These loans are made by a lender, such as a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association; are insured by a state or nonprofit guarantee agency; and are reinsured by the federal government. Additionally, these loans:
- are available to students who do not qualify, in whole or in part, for Subsidized Stafford Loans;
- have terms that are the same as the terms for subsidized loans, except that the federal government DOES NOT pay any interest on the borrower's behalf;
- may either accrue interest while the student is in school and then be added to the loan balance, or the borrower may begin making interest payments after the first loan check is disbursed;
- accrue interest during the borrower's grace period and during authorized periods of deferment of repayment.
Direct PLUS Loans
Parent PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) Loans enable parents (or legal guardians as determined by court order) to borrow up to the student's cost of attendance minus other aid for each dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time.
- Subsidized Stafford Loan eligibility for the student must be used when calculating PLUS eligibility, regardless of whether the student applies for the Stafford Loan.
- PLUS loans do NOT require that the student have demonstrated financial need. However, the combination of PLUS loans and any other aid may not exceed the cost of education for the term of the loan.
Federal Perkins Loans
Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest (five percent), long-term loans to help pay for educational expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, and books. These loans are made to undergraduate students through the Financial Aid Office in St. Louis and are awarded based on exceptional need. You apply by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Webster Application for Financial Aid, and by completing Perkins Loan Counseling. The availability of Perkins loans is dependent upon annual authorizations from the U.S. Department of Education and payments received from prior Perkins Loan borrowers.
Private Education Loans
Private Education Loans are not state, federal, or institutional aid programs. Instead they are loan programs specifically tailored for educational expenses by private lenders. Since these programs are created by the lenders themselves, there are often different terms & conditions for receiving them. Interest rates, fees, and maximum loan amounts are among the many factors that may vary from lender to lender. We strongly encourage students and parents to borrow first from the Federal Loan Programs. With the use of a blind survey process, we developed a recommended lender list, allowing our students and parents to compare Private Alternative Education Loan Lenders.
How Do I Apply for Federal Loans?
The student must:
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Submit the Webster Financial Aid Application
- Complete the appropriate loan application
A common Loan Application is used for Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized). This single form allows you to apply for both subsidized and unsubsidized loan programs on one application.
Loan funds are delivered by means of paper checks or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). EFT allows your lender to deposit your student loan funds directly to a student account. Be sure to mark the EFT box on your Stafford Loan application. Not all lenders participate in EFT.
Because of changes in Federal regulations, loan eligibility may change during the academic year. It is critical that you enroll for the period(s) specified on your form and loan applications. IF YOU APPLY FOR A PARTICULAR LOAN PERIOD AND THEN DO NOT ENROLL AS INDICATED FOR THAT PERIOD, YOUR LOAN ELIGIBILITY WILL BE AFFECTED. ANY UNDISBURSED AMOUNTS MUST BE CANCELED, AND DUE TO THE CANCELLATION PROCESS, ANY SUBSEQUENT APPLICATIONS CAN BE DELAYED SEVERAL WEEKS. DO NOT APPLY FOR A PARTICULAR LOAN PERIOD IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT BEING ENROLLED AS ANTICIPATED.
We cannot process an application showing a break in the loan period, for example, summer and spring on the same application. Loan periods must be consecutive in order to process on one application.