Taking out a loan to help pay for your education is a big decision. For many, this may be the first loan they have borrowed, or perhaps, the first loan solely in their name without co-signers.
As you begin to borrow for your educational expenses, it is important that you are aware of the loan's terms and conditions. These stipulations govern the rights and responsibilities you have as a borrower. When you sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN), you enter a legal and binding contract according to the terms and conditions listed therein.
Schools are required to provide entrance loan counseling to all first time borrowers. Borrowers must complete the counseling in order to be eligible to receive their loans. Completing this online entrance loan counseling will enable us to credit your loan to your student billing statement as soon as the funds arrive on campus. If you prefer to not complete this session online, there are group counseling sessions scheduled that you may attend.
If you become eligible for other aid after accepting this loan, UNK may need to reduce or cancel your loan so that the other financial aid may be received on your behalf. This will ultimately reduce your loan debt. Federal law prohibits situations that would cause an "overaward" of federal financial aid.
Federal law also requires that a student maintain a half time course load in order to both receive federal loans and to keep them in deferment. Specific to UNK, you need to know what it means to be a half time student. For undergraduate students, half time is 6 or more hours, and for graduate students, half time is 4 or more hours. This is an important consideration if you ever withdraw from a class or take time off from school. Doing so may trigger you to enter the repayment period on your loan or loans.
If you must withdraw from all classes during a semester, please be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office and the Registrar's Office. This will ensure a proper withdrawal and will also ensure that you understand the federal financial aid ramifications of withdrawal. Please note that simply leaving UNK without officially withdrawing from classes will not help you to avoid the federal financial aid consequences of withdrawal. Rather, not officially withdrawing will further complicate the federal financial aid obligations you have for both yourself and UNK.
As you begin borrowing, educate yourself about debt management so that you borrow only what you need for your education. Each year average student loan debt rises a little bit. This year, graduates had borrowed an average of $20,763 over the course of their education, which translates into a payment of approximately $238 per month. We want you to be assured of your ability to repay your loan when you complete school. This is accomplished by careful debt management and budgeting done before borrowing, and both during and after your education. Proper budgeting will take into account all the resources you have now and your projected salary after you graduate. A good rule of thumb is to have a student loan payment that does not exceed 8% of your projected monthly salary.
You may access the entrance loan counseling session on the Department of Education's StudentLoans.gov website. Once you complete this online session, the Financial Aid office is notified. If you want to check to see if your confirmation has been received in our office, please review your MyBLUE To Do List. Once this requirement has been met, it will be removed from your checklist.
If you have borrowed student loans to help pay for your education and you either apply for graduation from UNK, withdraw from classes, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will be notified of opportunities to attend an Exit Loan Counseling session. The purpose of Exit Loan Counseling is to help you become well prepared and knowledgeable regarding the repayment of the student loans you have borrowed. Exit Loan Counseling at UNK may be completed in one of the following ways:
Exit Loan Counseling is required for students graduating from UNK. If you will be graduating from UNK and have not yet completed the Exit Loan Counseling session, you will see a reminder on your “To Do List” on MyBLUE. Once you have completed a group counseling session or an online counseling session, the reminder will be removed from your “To Do List.”
Completing the Exit Loan Counseling session is not only required for graduation from UNK, but it is an important way to begin planning for the repayment of your student loans as you leave college and begin your career. Undergraduate students who graduated from UNK in the spring of 2014 had, on average, $23,165 of Federal Student Loan debt. Payment for this average debt load will be approximately $267/month for 10 years. For graduate students, the average loan debt was $33,282 which would result in approximate payments of $383/month for 10 years. Completing the Exit Loan Counseling session will help you become knowledgeable about the resources you have available to you during repayment, and confident about your ability to manage your loans.
For prior year loan interest rates click here.
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guarantee agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.