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Financial Aid | Graduate | Loans

Federal Direct Loans for Graduate Students

All Ursuline College students who complete the FAFSA will be awarded the Federal Direct Loan based on the grade level. The interest rate on Federal Direct Loans for graduate students is currently 6.21%, but will lower to 5.84% for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2015.  Repayment begins after you cease to attend on at least a half-time basis.

As a graduate student, you may borrow through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program only.  Interest on an Unsubsidized Loan does accrue while you are in school, but you can choose to defer the interest and payments while in school.  If you choose to defer your interest while in school, the accrued interest will be capitalized once at the beginning of your repayment of the loan and become part of your principle loan amount.  

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be signed and on file with the Direct Loan Servicing Center in order for you to receive the loan funds. If you are a previous borrower and have a valid MPN on file, you are not required to sign again. The federal direct loan website listed below includes more detailed information on the electronic signature process and the loan details.  

New students must complete the following for the Direct Loan process (you will need your FAFSA PIN number to complete these items):

Students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours undergraduate; and 3 credit hours graduate) and meet all other compliance requirements in order for the loan funds to be credited to the student account.

Entrance Loan Counseling
Entrance Loan Counseling is required for first-time borrowers at Ursuline College (undergraduate and graduate). This counseling session provides information to help you make the right choices. The Department of Education has developed a quick and easy interactive counseling session that provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses, and help you to understand your loan responsibilities.  You can complete your Loan Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov - you should allow approximately 20 minutes for this session. 

Know Your Responsibilities as a Borrower of a Direct Loan
  • Maintain copies (either electronic or paper) of all documents related to your Direct Loan.
  • Borrow only what you need. Begin a budget and stick to it.
  • Repay Your Loans
Exit Loan Counseling

All students who have borrowed a Federal Stafford Loan (through a bank or through the Direct Loan Program) and have completed their degree or have chosen not to return to Ursuline College are required to complete Federal Student Loan Exit Counseling. This is a federal requirement and a mandatory process for all student loan borrowers. 

The exit counseling session includes information about repayment options, deferments, and your rights and responsibilities for your student loan.  You should allow 20-25 minutes to complete the Exit Counseling process.  To complete the counseling session, go to www.studentloans.gov and click the Entrance Counseling link.  You will need your federal PIN number to complete the process.

Note that Ursuline will offer one in-person Exit Session for graduating seniors each year in April. A bank representative will be available to review all of the information required for Exit Counseling and answer any questions you may have. You can choose this option instead of the on-line counseling if you wish. Information as to the date and time of the session each year will be sent to you with your graduation information.

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.  Interest for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2015 will be 6.84%.

To be eligible to receive a Grad PLUS loan the borrower must:

  • File the current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Exhaust all eligibility for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans ($20,500/yr or $138,500 lifetime limit)
  • Pass a credit evaluation performed by the Department of Education
  • Have a signed Grad PLUS MPN on file with the Department of Education at www.studentloans.gov
  • Must complete Entrance Loan Counseling sessions for graduate PLUS loans at www.studentloans.gov  
  • Be registered at least half-time (3 credit hours) during the loan period
  • Not be in default or have an overpayment on any Federal Title IV financial aid program


What are private loans?
Private loans are funds from private lenders to help cover educational costs. A student may want to consider a private loan when federal and/or state financial aid is not enough to cover the student's cost of attendance (COA).

How do I qualify for an private loan?
Each lender has specific criteria you must meet to qualify for a loan. Some loans may be for specific majors only and/or require a co-signer. Most lenders will review your credit history. In addition, Ursuline College may be asked to certify that you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress and that you have not exceeded your COA.

What is cost of attendance (COA)?
Your estimated COA is a standardized estimate of what it will cost you to attend Ursuline College for the academic year. The estimated COA is comprised of the following components: tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Your financial aid package (including private loans) cannot exceed your estimated COA.

How do I know which private loan is right for me?
There are many things to consider when choosing a lender. Be sure to ask the following questions.

  • What is the loan origination (processing) fee?
  • What is the interest rate? Typically, the interest rate on private loans is higher than federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
  • When do I have to start repaying the loan? The repayment period for private loans varies among loan programs.
  • Do I have to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards? The Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards requirement varies among loan programs.

How can I get additional information on other private loans?
Many lenders offer private loans. While Ursuline College does not endorse any specific private loan lender, our electronic lender list includes lenders that we work very closely with and whose loan programs fit our students needs the best. We encourage you to research various lenders and select the one that best fits your needs.

To review and compare some private loan products and begin the application process, please visit Great Lakes FAST Choice webpage. To begin the process, please click here.

Student Loan Calculators

This Loan Payment Calculator will estimate your monthly loan payments and the annual salary required to manage them. The Cost of Interest Capitalization provides calculations for interest capitalization on unsubsidized Stafford loans. 

TEACH Grant Program Summary

Teaching Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program provides grants up to $4,000 per academic year with an undergraduate maximum of $16,000 and a graduate maximum of $8,000 to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. 

To receive a TEACH Grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete the FAFSA, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that has chosen to participate in the TEACH Grant program.
  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework.  Such coursework may include subject area course (math courses for a student who intends to be a math teacher)
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.25)
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field (bilingual education, English Language acquisition, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, special education) in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant. IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) was disbursed.

TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling will explain the TEACH Grant Program and the TEACH Grant service obligation you agree to meet as a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant. 
You must complete TEACH Grant counseling each year that you receive a TEACH Grant before you sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) for that year.  The counseling session consists of a TEACH Grant Overview and three additional sections that cover the following topics in detail:

  • Your TEACH Grant ATS
  • Your Service Obligation
  • Conversion of a TEACH Grant to a Loan

We estimate that it will take 45 minutes to complete the TEACH Grant counseling and 30 minutes to complete your ATS. Once you complete your TEACH Grant counseling, you may immediately complete your ATS or logout and complete the ATS at a later time.  You can begin the TEACH Grant counseling at https://teach-ats.ed.gov.

Canceling Your TEACH Grant

If you decide that you don’t want a TEACH Grant (or if you want to receive less than the full amount for which you are eligible), you can cancel all or part of your TEACH Grant by notifying your school by the later of:

· 14 days after the date the school notifies you of your right to cancel all or part of the TEACH Grant

· The first day of the school’s payment period

If you notify your school within the timeframe described above, your school is required to return the TEACH Grant funds to the Department.

If you notify your school outside the timeframe described above, but within 120 days of the TEACH Grant disbursement date, your school may return the TEACH Grant funds to the Department, but isn’t required to do so.

Any TEACH Grant Funds that your school returns to the Department based on your request will not be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Converting Your TEACH Grant to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan

At any time, you can ask the Department’s Direct Loan Servicing Center to covert your TEACH Grant to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you can then repay.

· Once a TEACH Grant has been converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, it can’t be converted back to a grant.

· Any TEACH Grant that is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan won’t count toward the annual or aggregate loan limits that apply to other federal student loans you’ve received or may received in the future to help pay for your education.

Direct Loan Servicing Center

The Department’s Direct Loan Servicing Center has certain responsibilities related to your TEACH Grant.  The Direct Loan Servicing Center will:

· Periodically communicate with you regarding your TEACH Grant(s) while you’re completing your program of study and after you’re no longer enrolled.

· Track your progress in meeting the requirements of your TEACH Grant service obligation.

· Service and collect your Direct Unsubsidized Loan, if a TEACH Grant you received is converted to a loan

Contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center

U.S. Department of Education

TEACH Grant Program

P.O. Box 5609

Greenville, TX  75403-5609

Toll Free:  1-800-848-0979

Overseas/International: 011-315-738-6634

Agreement to Serve (ATS)

Disclosure Statement

For each TEACH Grant you receive, the Department will send you a disclosure statement that provides important information about the TEACH Grant funds the school you are attending plans to disburse (pay out) to you.

Your disclosure statement will provide the following information:

· Award Amount – This is the total amount of TEACH Grant funds that the school you are attending plans to disburse.

· Disbursement Dates and Amounts – These are the dates and amounts of each TEACH Grant disbursement that your school plans to make.  Your school will disburse your TEACH Grant in more than one installment, by crediting your account, paying you directly, or both.

You school and the Department’s Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the actual disbursement dates and amounts at the time of disbursement.

Be sure to keep you disclosure statement and all other correspondence related to your TEACH Grant.

Highly Qualified Teacher

To be deemed a highly qualified, teachers must have:

o     Bachelor’s degree

o     Full state certification or licensure

o     Prove that they know each subject they teach

Teaching in a High-Need Field

You can search the Department’s Nationwide List of designated teacher subject shortage areas at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.pdf.

· In order to satisfy your TEACH Grant service obligation by teaching in another high-need field listed in the Department’s Nationwide List, (that is, in a field other than mathematics, science, foreign language, bilingual education, English language acquisition, special education, or reading specialist), that field must be on the list for the state in which you begin teaching at the time you begin teaching in that field.

o     This means that if a field is on the Nationwide List for the state where you plan to teach at the time you’re completing the academic program for which you receive a TEACH Grant, but is no longer on the list when you begin teaching, you wouldn’t be able to meet your service obligation by teaching in that field.

· If you begin qualifying teaching service in a high-need field that is on the Nationwide List, but in subsequent school years of teaching that high-need field is no longer listed, your subsequent years of teaching in that field will continue to qualify for purposes of satisfying your service obligation.

Documenting Your TEACH Service Obligation

Unless you’ve received a temporary suspension of the 8-year period for completing your service obligation, or your service obligation has been discharged, you must keep the Direct Loan Servicing Center informed of your progress toward satisfying your service obligation.

Within 120 days after you’re no longer enrolled in the program for which you received a TEACH Grant, you must notify the Direct Loan Servicing Center in writing that you:

o     Are employed as a full-time teacher in accordance with the terms and conditions of the TEACH Grant Program,

o     Aren’t yet employed as a full-time teacher, but you still intend to meet the terms and conditions of your service obligation.