Federal Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program includes both need based and non-need based low interest, non-credit based loans.  In addition to the student loan program, the PLUS loan program is a credit-based loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students.  The Perkins Loan program is a low interest loan for students with exceptional need.  The GradPlus loan is a credit-based loan for graduate students.

All federal loans require students to submit a FAFSA annually.

Detailed information regarding student loans is included in the Financing Plan Packet.

Federal Direct Student Loans: If a Federal Direct Student Loan is included as part of your financial aid package, most students find that overall, federal loans are a better choice compared to nonfederal loans . The borrower benefits and protections including repayment schedules, deferment, forbearance and cancellation options, interest rates and consolidation programs offered by the federal loan programs are typically more favorable than alternative loans from private lenders.

Subsidized: (undergraduate students only) Fixed interest rate of 4.529% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2019 and 6/30/2020.  Interest does not accrue while the student is enrolled.

Unsubsidized: Fixed interest rate of 4.529% for undergraduate loans disbursed between 7/1/2019 and 6/30/2020.  Interest starts to accrue from date of disbursement, but may be deferred. Fixed interest rate of 6.079% for graduate loans disbursed between 7/1/2019 and 6/30/2020.

Parent PLUS: Parents must apply for Parent PLUS each year. This should be done at www.studentloans.gov using the parent’s FSA ID. Fixed interest rate of 7.079% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2019 and 6/30/2020. Parents with a PLUS loan from a recent year would not need to do the PLUS master promissory note again, but would need to do the Parent Title IV form annually, found on the forms section of the Clarkson.edu/sas website.

Graduate PLUS: Fixed interest rate of 7.079% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2019 and 6/30/2020. Interest is charged from the date of disbursement. Contact your servicer for an in-school deferment.

Direct Loan Servicer Information

The US Department of Education continues to add federal loan servicers.  Borrowers can learn who their servicer is by signing in at www.nslds.ed.gov using their FSA ID. It is suggested that borrowers create a log in for their loan servicer website and check the status of their accounts.

Updated servicer lists can be found at:

https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/additionalInformation.action

Institutional & Alternative Loans

Institutional Loans

Through the generosity of several benefactors, Clarkson has a limited number of institutional loans.  Clarkson Loans are awarded to full-time undergraduate students based on specific eligibility criteria and are subject to the availability of funding.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are private loans that are not funded by the federal government and are approved based on the good credit history of the student and/or co-signer. Most lenders require a credit-worthy co-signer. The co-signer does not need to be a parent. You should exhaust all of your scholarship, grant and federal student loan options before applying for an alternative loan.  Alternative loans should be used as a last resort in funding your education.

Consolidation

Federal Loan Consolidation – A Money Management Tool

Borrowers will apply from the www.studentloans.gov website.  To ask questions about consolidation before you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, call 1-800-557-7392.

Not all students will want to consolidate their federal loans. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to consolidate your loans. Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/consolidation for more information. 

New features include the following:

A National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) lookup will be performed, and information about an applicant's federal education loans will populate within the application. The applicant will have the opportunity to add loans to and/or remove loans from the information obtained from the NSLDS.

An applicant can consolidate a loan still in grace period and delay entering repayment until closer to the grace period end date, by indicating this at the time of applying.

An applicant will choose the federal loan servicer that he or she wants to complete the consolidation.

An applicant will select the repayment plan under which he or she wants to repay the Direct Consolidation Loan. When making this selection, an applicant who is interested in one of the "income-driven" repayment plans will be able to complete the Electronic Income-Based Repayment (IBR)/Pay As You Earn/Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan Request as part of the Direct Consolidation Loan process.

If you feel you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the count of payments (120) restarts with a consolidated loan. Therefore, you would want to consolidate early, and then be sure you are set up for an income based repayment plan. Unless you have FFEL or Perkins loans, there may be no reason to consolidate, and then only those.

If you consolidate more than $7,500, your repayment period will automatically be extended. For example, if you consolidate between $20,000 and $39,999, you will be given a 20 year repayment. Although you can still make larger than required payments, paying for a longer period will result in more total interest paid.  A Direct Consolidation Loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.  This rate is based on the weighted average of the interest rates one the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.

It is critical that borrowers continue making payments, if required, to the holders or servicers of the loans with pending consolidation, until the consolidation servicer indicates that the underlying loans have been paid off.

Private (Alternative) Loan Consolidation

There are a few lenders who offer private loan consolidation. Now, you may find lenders who offer combined consolidation of federal and private loans. We cannot make specific recommendations. Before considering consolidation of federal loans with private loans, consider the possible loss of benefits, such as loan forgiveness and various income based repayment options.

If you choose to consolidate your private loans, consider these questions:

  • Will you be eligible for deferments and what are they?  Are you eligible for student deferment while enrolled as a graduate student? Will you be eligible for forbearance?
  • Who will you be making payments to?
  • Do you have a choice of repayment plans?
  • Will the company service their own loans?
  • Will they sell your loans to someone else?
  • Have you checked this company out at the Better Business Bureau website www.bbb.org?
  • Will you have a grace period?
  • How many years will your repayment period be?
  • Does the consolidation company offer borrower benefits? What are the benefits, and what percentage of borrowers actually earn these benefits?
  • Will your loan have a pre-payment penalty?

Revised March 2017

NSLDS

Student and Parent borrowers have access to NSLDS using their Federal PIN.  The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for federal student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of Ed programs. Visit NSLDS for information regarding your federal student loans, including your servicer(s).

Student Loan Code of Conduct

Clarkson University Student Loan Code of Conduct

Clarkson University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. This program includes the Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Students Loans, the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, and the Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Upon request from students and parents, private loans are also certified and processed for students. To comply with the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, Clarkson University has instituted a Student Loan Code of Conduct to ensure the integrity of the administration of all student loan programs. Clarkson is committed to a fair and equitable process that is committed to the highest standards. To this end, Clarkson adheres to the following principles:

  1. Prohibition on Revenue Sharing
    • Clarkson University has instituted a ban on “revenue-sharing arrangements.” The Higher Education Opportunity Act defines a “revenue sharing arrangement” as any arrangement between an institution and a lender under which the lender (1) makes loans to students attending the institution (or to the families of those students), (2) the institution recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and, (3) in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit-sharing, to the institution, to its officers, employees, or agents.
     
    • No officer, trustee or employee of the University shall accept anything of value from any lending institution, guarantor, or servicer in exchange for any advantage or consideration sought by the lending institution, guarantor or servicer.
  2. Prohibition on Contracting Arrangements
    • No officer, trustee, or employee of the University will accept from any lender, guarantor or servicer any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender, guarantor or servicer.
  3. Prohibition on Offers of Funds for Private Loans
    • No officer, trustee, or employee of the University will request or accept from any lender, guarantor or servicer any offer of funds to be used for private educational loans, including funds for an “opportunity pool loan”, to students in exchange for the University providing concessions or promises to the lender, guarantor or servicer for a specific number of Title IV loans made, insured, or guaranteed, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement. Prohibited financial benefits include (but are not limited to) revenue-sharing, fees, payments, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software, cash, gifts, stocks, expense-paid trips, entertainment, lodging, meals or travel costs.
     
    • An “opportunity pool loan” is defined as a private education loan made by a lender to a student or parent that involves a payment by the institution to the lender for extending credit to the student.
  4. Gift Restrictions
    • Officers, trustees and employees of the University are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of educational loans. Gifts include (but are not limited to) any cash, gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, stocks, printing costs, below cost computer hardware or software, expense-paid trips or reimbursement for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars. Training materials are not considered gifts.
     
    • The policy regarding Gifts and Gratuities is also located in the Operational Manual – Administrative and Financial Policies and Procedures - 7.21(5)
  5. Preferred Lender Lists
    • Clarkson University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program which provides student and parent loans through the US Department of Education.
     
    • Clarkson University currently does not utilize a preferred lender list for private educational loans. No lender is given a preferred status or is given any advantage in securing potential borrowers. Students and parents are free to select the lending institution of their choice.
     
    • Clarkson University will not recommend, select, assign or refer a student to a particular lender or refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender. If in the future, Clarkson University institutes a preferred lender list, this code of conduct will be revised to reflect the change.
  6. Advisory Board Compensation Rules
    • No Clarkson University employee in the Office of Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Student Administrative Services or an employee who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to educational loans, and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor or servicer shall receive anything of value for such service.
  7. Staff Assistance
    • Clarkson University shall not request or accept any staff assistance from any lender, guarantor or servicer in the entire Student Administrative Services Area including the Office of Financial Aid and the Call Center.

    23 March 2009
    Posted on College Website – www.clarkson.edu/sas/financial
    Paper copy available at the Office of Financial Aid.