Federal aid programs

A private education at New England’s Mount Ida College is affordable and within reach, especially when you consider federal aid programs in your financial aid plan. Federal grants like PELL must be renewed annually. Federal loan programs do require repayment. Also, federal loan programs accrue interest at a lower rate than other private loans.

Federal loans

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, these loans require repayment of the full amount of the loan borrowed. Students may decline a Federal Direct Loan, which is offered on the award letter without impacting any other forms of aid. Notification of such intent should be sent to the Financial Aid Office in writing. For questions about your Rights and Responsibilities or the terms and conditions of your loan, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (617) 928-4785 to speak to the Loan Manager.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling

If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for the first time at Mount Ida College, it is a federal requirement for you to complete Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling before the proceeds from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan can be disbursed to your tuition account. Entrance Counseling must be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Exit Counseling

Once you cease enrollment requirements for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan(s) at Mount Ida, you must complete the Exit Counseling process online at www.nslds.ed.gov. Information regarding your loan exit requirements will be sent to you directly. Mount Ida College will provide information to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which is accessible by lenders, guarantee agencies and other higher education institutions who are authorized users of the NSLDS data system. You may access NSLDS for information related to your educational loan records.

Repayment Calculator
The loan repayment calculator will help student loan borrowers calculate monthly principal and interest payments under the different payment plans available at www.studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans.

Combined Base Limit for Federal Direct Subsidized and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans Additional Limit for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans Total Limit for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (minus Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford amounts)
Dependent Undergraduate Students (whose parents were not denied a PLUS loan)

$23,000

$8,000

$31,000

Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

$23,000

$34,500

$57,500

Graduate and Professional Students

$65,500 (including undergraduate Stafford loans)

$73,000

$138,500

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legally binding agreement to repay the student loan. This agreement is between you the Department of Education. A parent cannot complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (or Entrance Counseling) on the student’s behalf. Once you, the student borrower, signs the MPN for enrollment to Mount Ida, you will not need to sign the MPN again as long as you remain continuously enrolled at the college in a degree program. If you do not sign the MPN, your federal loan funds will not be disbursed to your tuition account. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) allows parents to borrow on behalf of their dependent undergraduate students, who are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility for this loan is not based on financial need. Students must file a valid FAFSA and pass a required credit check. In addition, parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens; must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant; and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history.

Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any financial aid; and must be the student’s biological or adoptive parent. You must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). For financial aid purposes, to be considered “dependent”, you must be under 24, unmarried, and have no legal dependents at the time you and your parents submit the FAFSA. If you are considered a dependent student your parent(s) must be reported on the FAFSA.

To borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan for the first time, your parent must complete a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN).  If your parent’s application for the loan is approved, they receive a disclosure statement that gives them specific information about the loan that Mount Ida plans to disburse under your parent’s MPN, including the loan amount and loan fees, and the expected loan disbursement dates. Loan proceeds are credited to your tuition account approximately 30 days after the start of the semester. Payment on interest and principal begin after the second disbursement of the loan, unless your parent has chosen the deferment option.

Information that you borrowed from the Federal Direct Loan Program will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. View additional information about this loan at StudentLoans.gov.

NOTE: If your parent is denied the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, and you are a dependent student, you may be eligible for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds.

Federal Direct PLUS loan award amounts and terms:

Federal Direct PLUS loan award amounts:

  • Maximum per year, per student equals Cost of Education minus financial aid awarded
  • No aggregate loan limits

Federal Direct PLUS loan terms:

  • Fixed interest rate of 6.41%
  • Repayment begins within 60 days after full disbursement of the loan proceeds
  • Parents have up to 10 years for repayment
  • $50 minimum payment
  • Up to a 4.204% fee is deducted from loan proceeds prior to disbursement
  • All fees are deducted from loan proceeds at disbursement
  • Deferment option
  • Interest only option

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans

You must file a FAFSA in order to be considered for this federally funded loan which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, you must demonstrate need, be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree program and meet eligibility requirements. While enrolled at Mount Ida, there are no interest charges on this loan.

If you are a first-time borrower at Mount Ida, you must complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before funds can be disbursed. Loan funds come directly from the federal government and are paid by crediting the student’s tuition account. For all first-time enrolled students, the loan is credited to your tuition account approximately 30 days after the start of the semester. 

Award amounts/academic year:

  • Freshmen (0-29 credits) up to $3,500
  • Sophomores (30-59 credits) up to $4,500
  • Juniors and Seniors (60-120 credits) up to $5,500

Loan terms:

  • Fixed interest rate of 3.86%
  • Interest and principal are subsidized by the government until you cease to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)
  • Repayment begins six months after you graduate, withdraw or stop attending school at least half-time (6 credits)
  • Up to a 10-year repayment period; $50 minimum monthly payment
  • A 1.072% fee may be deducted from loan proceeds prior to disbursement

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

To be eligible, you must file a FAFSA with Mount Ida and be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). This federal loan is not need-based. If you are a first-time borrower at Mount Ida, you must complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before funds can be disbursed. Loan(s) are credited to your tuition account approximately 30 days after the start of the semester.

Award amounts/academic year

Freshmen (0-29 credits)

  • Dependent student – up to $5,500
  • Independent student – up to $9,500 (or dependent students whose parent has been denied a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan)

Sophomores (30-59 credits)

  • Dependent student – up to $6,500
  • Independent student – up to $10,500 (or dependent students whose parent has been denied a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan)

Juniors and Seniors (60-120 credits)

  • Dependent student – up to $7,500
  • Independent student – up to $12,500 (or dependent students whose parent has been denied a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan)

Graduate Students

  • Dependent student – N/A
  • Independent student – up to $20,500

Loan terms:

  • Interest and principal may be deferred until you cease to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)
  • Interest accrues while in-school and during grace and deferment periods
  • Fixed interest rate of 3.86%
  • Interest is not paid by the government; borrower is responsible for all interest payments
  • Repayment begins six months after you graduate, withdraw or stop attending school at least half-time  (6 credits)
  • Up to a 10 year repayment period with a $50 minimum monthly payment
  • A 1.072% fee may be deducted from loan proceeds prior to disbursement

All federal loans require repayment. Failure to repay your loans will result in a defaulted status. Default means that you have failed to repay your loan according to the terms outlined in your promissory note. If you are having difficulty repaying your loans you should contact your lender immediately to review alternative repayment programs that you may qualify for. If you do not know who your lender is, you may access your loan history via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN#) to enter this site. If you need to request a duplicate PIN, please visit www.pin.ed.gov.

Loan Consolidation

Consolidation loans allow borrowers to combine eligible education loans into a new loan. Typically, these loans will have a lower monthly payment, but a longer repayment term than the original loans. Consolidation loans should be considered carefully. Generally they are determined by weighted interest, meaning that an average rate is determined between the higher and lower interest rates on all loans a borrower has taken. Federal Direct Loans cannot be consolidated with private loans. For more information on consolidation, please visit www.StudentAid.gov.

For More Guidance
SallieMae’s website offers some guidance on responsible borrowing, click here. If SallieMae is not your lender, or if you are confused to which loans you have taken, visit the Data System for NSLDS at www.nslds.ed.gov for a list of your Federal Direct Student Loans. You will need your federal PIN number that you received when you completed your FAFSA, in order to access the information on this site. If you have forgotten your PIN go to www.pin.ed.gov to request a duplicate PIN.

Repayment Calculator
The loan repayment calculator will help student loan borrowers calculate monthly Principal and Interest payments under the different payment plans. Click here for the repayment calculator.

To view a list of payment plan options go to www.studentaid.gov.

Deferment

You can receive a deferment for certain defined periods. A deferment is a temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations such as reenrollment in school, unemployment, or economic hardship. You don’t have to pay interest on the loan during deferment if you have a Federal Direct Subsidized or FFEL, Stafford Loan or a Federal Perkins Loan. If you have a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Direct or FFEL Stafford Loan, you’re responsible for the interest during deferment. If you don’t pay the interest as it accrues (accumulates), it will be capitalized (added to the loan principal), and the amount you have to pay in the future will be higher. You have to apply for a deferment to your loan servicer (the organization that handles your loan), and you must continue to make payments until you’ve been notified your deferment has been granted. Otherwise, you could become delinquent or go into default.

Forbearance

Forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty. You can receive forbearance if you’re not eligible for a deferment. Unlike deferment, whether your loans are Subsidized or Unsubsidized, interest accrues, and you’re responsible for repaying it. Your loan holder can grant forbearance in intervals of up to 12 months at a time for up to 3 years. You have to apply to your loan servicer for forbearance, and you must continue to make payments until you’ve been notified your forbearance has been granted.

For more information about Federal Direct Student Loans, contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Customer Service Department at 800-848-0979.

Direct Loan Servicing Center, Borrower Services Department
PO Box 5609
Greenville, TX 75403-5609

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group is where individuals can turn after trying other ways to resolve a federal student aid dispute.
U.S. Department of Education Ombudsman Office
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman
830 First Street, NE
Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20202-5144

Federal PELL Grant

To be eligible for this grant, you must complete the FAFSA annually for consideration; you also must be an undergraduate pursuing your first bachelor’s degree. These funds are awarded to eligible undergraduate students with financial need according to information you provide on the FAFSA. Determined annually, the federal government awards a range from a minimum of $573 to a maximum of $5,730 for the 2014-2015 academic year, based on enrollment status. The college will credit your tuition account each semester after the add/drop period and stabilization has occurred. Until the federal government finalizes award schedules, awards are estimated.

The duration of your eligibility to receive the PELL grant to 12 semesters (or its equivalent) to all Federal PELL Grant eligible students. The Department of Education has determined that this equivalency be measured according to the cumulative percentage of scheduled awards received by the student; the student’s lifetime limit is thus 600 percent. Any student whose Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) equals or exceeds 600 percent may not receive additional PELL grants. Similarly, a student whose LEU is greater than 500% but less than 600%, while eligible for a Pell Grant for the next award year, will not be able to receive a full scheduled award.

You can determine your PELL LEU by reviewing your Student Aid Report or obtaining a COD transcript from the Financial Aid Office.

What do you do if you believe your PELL LEU is inaccurate?

If you believe your Lifetime Eligibility Used is inaccurate, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Services. Our team will review your PELL history in COD with you. If after review, the information that results in your receiving partial or no PELL eligibility is still in question, the Office of Student Financial Services will escalate the matter to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) for adjudication. You will be required to supply documentation, i.e., student statement, institution attestation, etc. If the PELL Grant is determined to be wrong, both the student and the institution that wishes to pay the student, will be given documentation that must be maintained. Please visit the Policies, Terms and Conditions page for more details regarding the Pell Dispute Process.

Can I decline or return my PELL Grant?

You may decline all or part of a PELL Grant award or return, during an award year, all or part of a disbursement already made within the same award year. You must provide a signed, written statement clearly indicating your choice to decline the PELL Grant and acknowledge that the funds may not be available at a later date. Institutions may not award need-based Title IV aid to compensate.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

You may be eligible for this grant if you are enrolled at least half-time, have exceptional need and qualify for a Federal PELL Grant as demonstrated by the FAFSA and availability of funds. Award amounts vary according to student need and funding received by Mount Ida. Awards range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $4,000. You are required to complete the FAFSA annually for consideration. Funds are credited to tuition accounts after the add/drop period and stabilization has occurred each semester.

If you are a graduate student who is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program and  in need of additional resources beyond what is offered as a result of filing your FAFSA, you may apply for a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan. To be eligible under the Federal Direct Stafford Loans Program (Unsubsidized), you must file a FAFSA and meet the minimal credit check requirement. Information that you borrowed from the Federal Direct Loan Program will be sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Before Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan proceeds can be credited to your tuition account, the Office of Financial Aid must receive confirmation from the Department of Education that you successfully completed Entrance Counseling, a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan Master Promissory Note and passed a credit check. For additional information about the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan reference the U.S. Department of Education Student Guide.

GradPLUS Loan award amounts and terms: 

GradPLUS Loan award amounts

  • Maximum per year, per student equals Cost of Education minus financial aid awarded
  • No aggregate loan limits

GradPLUS Loan terms:

  • Fixed interest rate of 7.9%
  • Repayment begins within 60 days after full disbursement of the loan proceeds
  • Parents have up to 10 years for repayment
  • $50 minimum payment
  • Up to a 4% fee is deducted from loan proceeds prior to disbursement
  • All fees are deducted from loan proceeds at disbursement
  • Deferment option
  • Interest only option

Students in a four-year program will be eligible for Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans for the equivalent of six years – three years for students in a two-year program. The student who reaches this limitation could continue to receive Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans if he or she is otherwise eligible (for example, has not met the school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements). Once a borrower has reached the 150 percent limitation, his or her eligibility for an interest subsidy also ends for all outstanding Subsidized Stafford Loans that were disbursed on or after July 1, 2013. At that point, interest on those previously borrowed loans would begin to accrue and would be payable in the same manner as interest on Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

The new limitation is prospective in nature, affecting new borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 (i.e., presumably borrows who do not have any outstanding federal student loans as of that date). Since only periods for which the student received Subsidized Stafford Loans appear to count, the 150 percent limit would likely include periods of borrowing that began on or after July 1, 2013. The bill also addresses transfer students. For borrowers who were enrolled in more than one educational program that began on or after July 1, 2013, the limitation would be calculated by taking the difference between 150 percent of the published program length of the longest educational program in which the borrower was enrolled and any periods of enrollment in which the borrower received a Subsidized Stafford Loan.

TRIO Grant

If you are enrolled full-time and have exceptional need, you may be considered for the federal government’s TRIO Grant, which is awarded to a limited number of students. Award amounts vary according to student need and funding received by Mount Ida. The Office of Financial Aid informs selected students for this scholarship via an award letter. Your tuition account is credited after the add/drop period and stabilization has occurred each semester.