Gordon-Conwell participates in the William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program for Federal Direct Loans. A complete financial aid application is required in order to receive assistance from these loan programs. To receive federal student loan funds, a student must be enrolled as a candidate in a Gordon-Conwell degree program and be registered for more than one course within a semester (courses with no credit do not count). Students registered in a semester for less than 6 credits are not eligible for a loan NOR are they eligible for deferment of prior loans. A student is eligible for federal student loan funds and deferment of prior loans if they are taking more than 6 credits within a semester for only the number of courses required to complete their degree program - 30 for the Master of Divinity, 20 for the various Master of Arts degree programs and 10 for the Master of Theology (Th.M.) program.
- SAP: Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Student Loan Indebtedness Policy
- Federal Direct Loan Program
- Federal Student Loan Repayment and Consolidation
- Student Loan Debt History
The Department of Education has made changes to the SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) regulation and the Financial Aid Office has been working through the changes to ensure that we, as an institution, remain in compliance with the regulation. This policy applies only to students who receive Federal Student Loans. The policy requires the Financial Aid office to review cumulative GPA and the rate of completion for student loan borrowers.
- The first requirement is that a student is at or above the minimum required for their particular degree program.
- The second requirement for SAP is the Pace in which the student is working toward their degree. This calculation takes into account the number of credits for courses you have attempted and the number of credits for courses you successfully completed defined as courses that have received a passing grade (D- and above or "P"assing). The rate of completion must be 67% or more for a student to receive a loan. If a student’s rate is not 67% or more and/or the GPA minimum earned for their degree is not met, then a Federal Student loan will either not be processed or will need to be cancelled until the acceptable rate and/or GPA to receive Federal student loans is achieved.
If a student borrower does not pass the SAP requirement, a letter is emailed to the student informing him/her. There is an SAP appeal process and you may read more in the student handbook for the details concerning the requirements of the appeal process. If your appeal is granted, then your loan eligibility will be reinstated and we will be able to process loans for you for the semester.
The Seminary sets a limit of $40,000 for individual student educational indebtedness, including debt incurred at previous schools you have attended. If a student New or Returning is nearing or has exceeded a Federal Student Loan debt of $40,000, they are sent a notice stating they must write a letter to the Debt Committee that reviews their plan for further borrowing and plans to make future repayment in light of salary expectations. The Financial Aid Debt Committee will evaluate all future borrowing requests which would take an individual above this $40,000 limit. (Note: this limit is extended to $45,000 if the student is graduating within the academic year.) Most requests are approved; however, your request for loan funds may be denied if the Debt Committee does not see that you are taking the responsibility to repay with serious consideration.
Students applying for financial assistance meet a substantial portion of their need through the Federal Direct Loan Program. The annual maximum award amount is $20,500, although students at the Boston campus may receive loan amounts up to the cost of tuition only. As of July 1, 2012, there is only one type of Federal Direct Loans available for Graduate level students: Unsubsidized Federal Direct loan.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
- Annual Maximum Amount: A student may be eligible for up to a maximum of $20,500 in unsubsidized loan provided the student is attending at least half-time (4 credits or more), is in a degree program, not on Academic Probation two consecutive semesters and the amount of loan does not exceed the cost of attendance less any scholarships/grants/gifts.
Federal Direct Loan Interest Rate: The interest rate for Federal Direct Loans for the 2015-2016 school year is a fixed 5.84%. A lender fee of 1.068% will be deducted from the loan amount prior to disbursement.
- The interest accrues while you are enrolled in school and during the grace period. Interest rate for 2015-2016 loans is fixed at 1.068% for the life of the loan. Students have the option to pay the interest monthly while in school (recommended) or let the interest capitalize on top of the principle (thus, each month the principle grows with interest added).
- Repayment: Repayment begins six months after graduation, after withdrawal or after enrollment drops below half-time. The standard repayment term is ten years, but other options may be available if loans are consolidated.
Do I need to sign a Federal Direct Loan Promissory Note (MPN)?
- If you are new and/or applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS, then you will need to complete a new Direct Loan master promissory note online. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your account at this website.
Am I required to complete a Direct Entrance Counseling tutorial online?
- If you are new and/or applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS, then you will need to complete a Direct Entrance Counseling tutorial online. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your account at this website. Once you have completed this tutorial, please send a copy of the confirmation page to the Financial Aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I required to complete a Direct EXIT Counseling tutorial online?
- When a GCTS student Federal loan borrower has dropped below half-time status, withdrawn, takes a leave of absence or graduates, the Federal Government regulates that they must complete an online Direct Exit Counseling tutorial. GCTS takes compliance with this regulation seriously and will not honor official transcript requests or give out a diploma until this requirement is completed. Click here for Online Exit Counseling.
Information about federal loan consolidation and an application for consolidation may be found at studentloans.gov. The standard repayment plan and other federal repayment plan options may be viewed at studentaid.ed.gov. You may login to nslds.ed.gov to view your student loan history and loan servicers. You must make payments directly to your loan servicer. You are responsible for staying in touch with your servicer and for making payments, even if you do not receive a bill. Additional information about basic repayment procedures, repayment plans, and loan consolidation, has been compiled on our Federal Student Loan Repayment Handout.
If you had a previous loan during your undergraduate education or have a current loan in graduate school, then you can find out who services your student loans and how to contact them online. Click the NSDLS logo below to access the National Student Loan Data System. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your student loan debt information.