Financial Aid Office

Loans

Federal Direct Loans

Loans are borrowed money that you repay with interest to the U.S. Department of Education. Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of a student's education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution.

All Cleveland State University students who complete the FAFSA will be awarded the Federal Direct Loan based on their grade level as determined by the number of credit hours earned in total. The Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is awarded to students who do not demonstrate financial need. Interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans and will capitalize unless you choose to pay the interest while in school.

Students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours undergraduate, graduate and law) and meet all other compliance requirements in order for the loan funds to be credited to the student account. If the funds cause a credit balance on the student account, the Treasury Services Office will issue a refund.

Repayment of the loan begins six months after you have graduated or ceased to be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours)

To borrow from the Direct Loan program for the first time, you must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN will be provided online at the Direct Loans Master Promissory Note website.

The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN site.

Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling: All student borrowers of the Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS Loans (for graduate/professional students) are required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling, which will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower.

Loan Exit Counseling for student borrowers is required before you leave school, graduate, or drop below half-time enrollment (even if you plan to transfer to another school). Exit counseling provides important information you will need as your prepare to repay your federal student loans.

*Dropping below 6 credit hours is considered less than half-time for financial aid purposes. Individual programs definition of half-time enrollment may vary.

For your convenience, a Counseling Demo tool is available to tour the entrance/exit counseling information.

Warning: Touring entrance/exit counseling does not fulfill counseling requirements. You will be required to sign in to view your federal student loan data available in NSLDS and save proof of counseling completion. CSU will be notified electronically upon your successful completion.

You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN to access your entrance/exit counseling sessions. To obtain another copy of your PIN or to request a PIN, visit www.pin.ed.gov.
Please contact a Campus 411 All-In-One Enrollment Services Specialist at 216-687-5411 or in-person at Main Classroom 116 with any questions pertaining to the entrance/exit counseling requirements.

Deferment

A deferment means you may postpone making payments on your loan under specific conditions.

Loan Limits

Review the chart below for annual and aggregate limits for the Federal Stafford Loan.

Grade in School Annual Loan Limits Aggregate Loan Limits
  Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Total Subsidized Limit Overall Limit
Undergraduate Dependent*       $23,000 $31,000
First Year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500    
Second Year $4,500 $2,000 $6,500    
Third Year and beyond $5,500 $2,000 $7,500    
Undergraduate Independent       $23,000 $57,500
First Year $3,500 $6,000 $9,500    
Second Year $4,500 $6,000 $10,500    
Third Year and beyond $5,500 $7,000 $12,500    
Graduate $8,500 $12,000 $20,500 $65,500 $138,500
* Undergraduate Dependent students whose parents is not credit worthy to borrow a PLUS loan will be eligible for the Undergraduate Independent loan limits.

Loan Eligibility for Non-Degree Graduate Students

A non-degree graduate student may be eligible to borrow subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans for 12 consecutive months provided the student has not reached their maximum aggregate borrowing level as an undergraduate student. Maximum aggregate amount for an independent undergraduate student is $57,500. To receive Federal Stafford Loan funds for 12 months as a non-degree graduate borrower, a student must remain registered in graduate-level classes for a minimum of six credit hours during three consecutive semesters.

While attending as a non-degree graduate student, the maximum borrowing levels for one academic year is $5,500 subsidized and $7,000 unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

Below you will find examples of loan eligibility based on the 12 consecutive months rule:

  Summer 2012 Fall 2012 Spring 2013 Summer 2013 Fall 2013 Explanation
1. No Loans Received loan(s) Received loan(s) No Loans No remaining eligibility Although the student only borrowed for two (2) semesters, 12 months have passed since the initiation of the loan(s).
2. No Loans No Loans Received loan(s) Received loan(s) Eligible to receive loan(s) Fall 2013 semester will be the last semester with loan eligibility.
3. No Loans No Loans No Loans Received loan(s) Eligible to receive loan(s) Spring 2014 semester will be the last semester of eligibility.
4. Received loan(s) Received loan(s) No Loans No remaining eligibility No remaining eligibility Although the student only borrowed for two (2) semesters, the 12 months eligibility period ended at the end of Spring semester 2013.

 

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents

Parents of dependent students are eligible to borrow funds under the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program. If the parent desires to borrow the Parent PLUS, the PLUS Application must be completed as described below.

The PLUS loan requires a credit worthy parent borrower and allows the parent to borrow the cost of attendance minus financial aid. The eligible parent borrower must be the student’s mother, father, or the step parent whose information is listed on the FAFSA during the year of the loan. To apply for the PLUS, download the PLUS Application form by clicking on the Financial Aid Forms page and mail or fax the application to the Financial Aid Office.

The parent borrower must complete the electronic PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). The parent borrower will need their FAFSA PIN to sign the PLUS MPN. Click on https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action to complete the MPN for the Parent PLUS loans

Repayment for the PLUS generally begins 30 to 60 days after the funds are credited to the student account. Effective July 1, 2008, for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, parents can request an in-school deferment for their dependent child. Parents who desire the in-school deferment must contact the Direct Loan Servicer at 1-800-848-0979.

Additional Unsubsidized Based on Parent PLUS Denial
Parents who have been denied the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) based on credit may request their dependent students receive the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. This request must be made on the PLUS Application. Eligible students can receive up to $4,000 unsubsidized for freshmen and sophomore years and up to $5,000 for junior and senior years.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students

Graduate PLUS is a federal student loan designed for Graduate students who have reached their annual maximum for the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

To apply for the Graduate PLUS, visit the Financial Aid Forms page and click on the Direct Graduate Request Form.

Please complete and return the Graduate PLUS Application to the financial aid office.

Approval is determined once you have completed the following:

Graduate PLUS borrowers - Loan Entrance Counseling – (This information applies to Graduate students who borrow from the Graduate PLUS Loan Program.) The Graduate PLUS is a loan designed for graduate students who have reached their annual maximum eligibility for the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan. Loan Entrance Counseling is required for all Graduate PLUS loan borrowers. Entrance counseling will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling designed especially for graduate PLUS borrowers.