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 2.75% for undergraduate loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021. Fixed interest rate of 3.73% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2021 and 6/30/2022. Interest does not accrue while the student is enrolled.

Unsubsidized: Fixed interest rate of 2.75% for undergraduate loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021. Fixed interest rate of 3.73% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2021 and 6/30/2022. Interest starts to accrue from date of disbursement, but may be deferred. Fixed interest rate of 4.30% for graduate loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021. Fixed interest rate of 5.28% for graduate loans disbursed between 7/1/2021 and 6/30/2022.

Parent PLUS: For parents utilizing a Parent PLUS loan, these loans must be applied for each year. This should be completed at http://www.studentaid.gov/ using the parent's FSA ID. Fixed interest rate of 5.30% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021. Fixed interest rate of 6.28% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2021 and 6/30/2022. Parents with a PLUS loan from a recent year would not need to complete the PLUS master promissory note again, but would need to complete the Parent Title IV form annually, found on the "Financial Aid Forms" section of the Clarkson.edu SAS website.

Graduate PLUS: Fixed interest rate of 5.30% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021. Fixed interest rate of 6.28% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2021 and 6/30/2022. Interest is charged from the date of disbursement. Contract 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:


Institutional Loans

Through the generosity of several benefactors, Clarkson has a limited number of institutional loans available. Clarkson Loans are awarded to full-time undergraduate students based on financial need, specific eligibility criteria, are subject to the availability of funding, and are generally annually renewable. Because Clarkson Loans are need-based, they are only offered to students after the acceptance of their federal loans. As such, these loans require students to submit a FAFSA annually. There are no loan fees associated with Clarkson Loans and there is no penalty for prepayments. While interest rates are fixed, certain Clarkson Loans are subject to reduced interest rates (as noted in bold type below) if the final cumulative average is 3.0 or higher upon graduation.

Available types of Clarkson Loans include: Anderson, P&G Chemical Engineering, AV Davis, Barben, Beazer East, ABB Combustion Engineering, CU Memorial, Decker Corning, Demeree-Toohey, Frueauff, Koerner, LaHair, Lambda Phi Epsilon, William Lowe Incentive, Miles, National Grid, Niagara Mohawk, North Country Friends, Nolet Incentive, Quesada, Rea, Snyder, Turnbull, West Memorial, and W.S.P.

Students interested in being reviewed for a Clarkson Loan must contact Student Administrative Services. For further information regarding interest rates, loan cost examples, Federal and alternative loan options, and requirements of the Clarkson Loan process, please refer to the sample Application Disclosure. To view terms of the Clarkson Loan Promissory Note, click here.

While enrolled at Clarkson, any questions regarding your Clarkson Loan must be directed to Student Administrative Services (SAS) at 1-800-527-6577. You will reach the undergraduate admissions office; please ask to be redirected to SAS. If no longer actively enrolled at Clarkson or within your 9-month grace period, questions must be directed to ECSI at 1-888-549-3274.

Alternative Loans

Private loans are available to assist students with paying for Clarkson University. The maximum amount that may be borrowed on a private loan each academic year per student is the cost of attendance less other financial aid received. For most private loans, the lender requires the student to be at least 18 years of age. A credit check is required and income verification may also be required for certain lenders. Students should exhaust all scholarship, grant, and federal student loan options before applying for an alternative loan. Alternative loans should be utilized as a last-resort for funding your education.

ELMSelect offers a lender comparison solution to help students and their families evaluate their lender options. Students may select the loan product that best fits their needs when federal loans and other aid do not fully cover their cost of education. Private or alternative educational loans are available. Private educational loan programs vary by lender. Please contact specific lenders to learn about terms and conditions that may apply.

Loan Product Disclosures

Private student loans provided by banks, credit unions, and other lenders can help bridge the gap between the financial aid already received for college and the total cost of attendance.

The providers presented in ELMSelect are reviewed without bias by staff at Clarkson University.

The information provided is maintained and updated in real-time by the represented lender and is reviewed regularly by staff to ensure that the benefits offered by the lenders continue to meet the criteria set forth by the staff at Clarkson University.

Criteria considered in choosing these lenders may include:

  • Historical Listing – a previous lender service to Clarkson University student borrowers
  • Quality customer service and timely processing
  • Borrower benefits – including low interest rates, no origination fees, co-signer release, and principal and interest rate reductions
  • Several other reviewed attributes performed by each school

Students are not required to borrow from any of these lenders; you have the right to choose any lender.

Clarkson University recommends reviewing your options, including federal, state, and institutional grants and loans before applying for private loans. Contact the financial aid office or view the financial aid website to determine your eligibility.

Financial aid staff and employees of ELM Resources, a software provider of ELMSelect, are prohibited from accepting any financial or other benefits in exchange for displaying lenders and loan options in ELMSelect. Prohibited activities of financial aid employees include but not limited to: serving on a lender's or lender affiliate's advisory board (with or without compensation), accepting gifts including trips, meals, and entertainment.

Clarkson University encourages you to explore how student loan debt may affect your financial future through financial aid counseling and education provided through the school and federally available web sources.


Once you have determined your preferred lender from which to borrow, the loan period and the loan amount, you are ready to apply. Follow the lender’s application instructions and submit all required documentation, if applicable. 

Please be in contact with your lender throughout the application process to ensure timely processing.

DISCLAIMER: Clarkson University does not maintain a preferred lender list. Thus, the University has no agreements or relationships with any lenders and does not receive any benefit – financial or otherwise – from the use of alternative loans by students. For more information about the Clarkson’s policies, please refer to our Code of Conduct.


Federal Loan Consolidation – A Money Management Tool

Borrowers will apply from the https://studentaid.gov/app/launchConsolidation.action 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 https://studentaid.gov/app/launchConsolidation.action 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 January 2020


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.