Information for 2012-2013
The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed by the federal government on August 2, 2011. Certain provisions of this act affect Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS loans. The amount of funding available will not change, but these loans will become more expensive. Here is a summary of the changes relevant to graduate students:
1. Graduate Students: All Stafford loans for graduate students will be unsubsidized loans for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2013. The interest rate will continue to be a fixed 6.8% rate.
2. Loss of origination fee rebate: For the 2011-2012 year, there is a rebate of 0.5% on the 1% origination fee on Stafford loans, and a 1.5% rebate on the 4% origination fee for PLUS loans. Beginning July 1, 2012, the full fee--1% for Staffords and 4% for PLUS loans--will be charged.
What are Direct Unsubsidized Loans?
A Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a student loan in the student’s name for educational purposes. The loan funds come from the government. Loan repayment is deferred while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time and during the 6-month grace period after the student either graduates or drops below half-time. When the grace period is finished, the student starts repayment on the loan.
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded based on financial need. The student will be charged interest on the loan from the time it disburses until it is paid in full. The student has two options: To defer interest payments until graduation in which case the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan or to pay the interest while in school and not have it accrue.
How much can the student borrow in Direct Unsubsidized Loans?
Masters level: Students will be able to borrow a maximum of $20,500.
Doctoral level: Students are eligible for a maximum of $27,000.
What is the interest rate?
Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students are fixed at a 6.8% rate. There is an origination fee of 1% which is taken out at disbursment.
How does the student apply?
- Complete the FAFSA.
- Complete any documents requested by the Financial Aid Office.
- The student must accept loans online on myWheaton--This gives the Financial Aid Office permission to transmit information to the Department of Education.
- First-time borrowers must complete Loan Entrance Counseling.
- First-time borrowers must complete a master promissory note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.
Where do I go for entrance counseling and to sign the MPN?
Students can manage their loans, including completing loan counseling and e-signing their master promissory note, at www.studentloans.gov, the Department of Education website for student loan management. (Beware--there is also a studentloans.com site which is NOT the government site).
You will need to use your FAFSA PIN to access the site and to sign the MPN. If you do not have a PIN, you may obtain one at PIN web site >>.
IMPORTANT: On the website, there is important information about browser requirements under "What You Need". If you do not have a compatible browser, various features will not work.
Entrance and Exit Counseling
Fulfill your Stafford Loan Counseling Requirement by completing this online Entrance Interview >>
Fulfill your Stafford Loan Counseling Requirement by completing this online Exit Interview >>