Gordon-Conwell participates in the William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program for Federal Direct Stafford. 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. Students registered in a semester for less than 4 credits are not eligible for a loan. A student is eligible for federal student loan funds and deferment of prior loans only for the number of courses required to complete the 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.
- Student Loan Indebtedness Policy
- Federal Stafford Loan Program
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Student Loan Debt History
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 Stafford Loan Program. The annual maximum award amount is $20,500. As of July 1, 2012, there is only one type of Federal Stafford Loans available for Graduate level students: Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loan.
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford 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 (4.5 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 Stafford Loan Interest Rate: Beginning July 1, 2006, the interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans is a fixed 6.8%. A lender fee of 1% 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 is fixed at 6.8%. 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 Stafford 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 Stafford Loan master promissory note online. You will need your FAFSA pin number to access your account at this website.
Am I required to complete a Stafford 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 Stafford Entrance Counseling tutorial online. You will need your 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 email@example.com.
Am I required to complete a Stafford 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 Stafford 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.
Much like the Stafford Loan, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan borrows through the Federal Direct Loan Program. To borrow through this loan program, the student must be eligible for federal aid and must pass a basic credit check, performed by the Department of Education, who is the lender. Students apply annually. Visit www.studentloans.gov to apply.
- Annual Maximum Amount: Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance, excluding other financial aid.
- Interest: The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. Fees of up to 4% can be deducted from the loan amount. Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement of the loan.
- Repayment: Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan; however, students enrolled at least half-time may defer payments while in school. The standard repayment term is 10-25 years depending on the loan amount but may be extended through loan consolidation. As a federal loan, the Graduate PLUS Loan is eligible for federal loan consolidation.
Do I need to sign a Federal GradPlus Direct Loan Promissory Note (MPN)?
You will need to complete a new GradPlus Direct Stafford Loan master promissory note online. You will need your FAFSA pin number to access your account at the following website: www.studentloans.gov.
Am I required to complete a GradPlus Entrance Counseling tutorial online?
- If you have already completed an online Entrance Counseling tutorial for the Federal Stafford Direct Loan, you are not required to complete another for the GradPlus. If, however, you are applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS, then you will need to complete a GradPlus Entrance Counseling tutorial online. You will need your FAFSA pin number to access your account at the following website: www.studentloans.gov. Once you have completed this tutorial, please send a copy of the confirmation page to the Financial Aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 FAFSA pin number to access your student loan debt information.