Financial Aid

Types of Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans, often referred to as Direct Loans or DL loans, are loans that a student may take out to help finance some of the cost of higher education. The maximum amount of Direct Loan offered to a student is limited by law based on grade level and dependency status. Your award in myBlue should reflect the amount that UNK can offer to you for this school year. Because it is debt that we are discussing, make sure that you make wise choices about your borrowing. Use this loan only to pay for your education, and borrow only what is minimally needed so that your debt remains manageable.

A student will receive the federal financial aid award including the Direct Loan eligibility once we receive your FAFSA, and if necessary once any additional documentation we might need is completed. Your financial aid award will be on our student information portal, MyBlue. In your first year of borrowing, receiving the loan awarded to you is a three step process.

  1. Log into myBlue and accept the amount of Direct Loan that you have decided to borrow. You do not have to accept the full amount of the loan and may enter any partial amount you decide to borrow. A borrower may also reduce the loan that has been accepted by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.
     
  2. Next, a first time student loan borrower will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at studentloans.gov. This is the legal document that authorizes the Department of Education to lend a student loan to you and obligates you to pay the loan back per the terms and conditions outlined in the MPN. You will need your Department of Education PIN number (same PIN as you use on the FAFSA) to complete this process. If you have forgotten or need to reestablish your PIN, go to the PIN website.
     
  3. A first time borrower will need to complete Entrance Loan Counseling also at studentloans.gov.  This counseling session is designed to help new borrowers understand more about their rights and responsibilities along with the terms and conditions that are a part of borrowing a student loan. 

As always you are welcome to contact us with any questions you might have regarding your financial aid. If you need assistance to complete this process, we can help you. We are located in the Memorial Student Affairs Building, and our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan is a loan program for undergraduates at UNK. The Perkins Loan program is funded by UNK and the Federal Government. Interest is not charged nor repayment required until a student drops below half-time, leaves school, or graduates. The interest rate is fixed at five percent and there is no origination fee. The Perkins program requires that two offices administer the awarding and disbursement of this fund. As such, the Finance Office is the primary administrator of this program after the initial award has been made and has more detailed information about the Perkins Loan program on their website.

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct Parent Loans (PLUS)

Direct PLUS Loans are part of the federal Direct Loan Program, which offers low-interest loans to students to help them pay for college.  PLUS loans are federally guaranteed loans that are borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education and are funded by the U.S. Treasury. PLUS Loans are not awarded to students when they apply for aid. Instead, graduate/professional students (Grad PLUS loan) and parents of undergraduates (PLUS Loan) apply for these loans separately if they need additional funds to cover their educational costs. Repayment begins upon receipt of the full loan. Interest begins to accrue as soon as the school receives loan funding from this loan.. If you need additional help with college expenses after exhausting other scholarship, grant and federal student loan options, we would recommend that you consider the PLUS loan.

To request a PLUS loan for the 2014-2015 academic year, the UNK Office of Financial Aid requires a PLUS borrower to complete the instructions here:  

Additional PLUS Loan Information & Parent Instructions for Requesting a PLUS Loan 

Note: If you have borrowed a PLUS loan for a UNK student in the past, please note that our PLUS loan request process has changed. Beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, PLUS loans no longer require a paper “Parental Authorization Form". Instead, please complete the online instructions provided in the link above.

As always, you are welcome to contact us with any questions you might have regarding PLUS loans and other types of financial aid.

Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a fixed interest loan program that enables graduate students to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help pay for their educational expenses. This loan is available to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents.

This loan has many benefits such as a fixed interest rate, high credit approval rate and streamlined application process. Loan payments can be deferred while in school at least half time and the loan has flexible repayment options. As part of the Federal Direct Loan Program, this loan would also  become part of your loan account that contains your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan(s), thus reducing your number of lenders.

To apply, visit www.studentloans.gov.  You will need to log in using your Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) PIN and select "Request a Direct PLUS Loan". The Officeof Financial Aid will receive notification of your completed application and will add approved loans to your financial aid package.

Alternative Student Loans

Alternative educational loans are available from private lenders and offer additional financial assistance to you if you have exhausted all other sources of funding for your education. These loans are meant to supplement federal and state aid when the Cost of Attendance (COA) is not fully covered by those programs. Alternative Student Loans are simply consumer loans with some student loan features, most notably that payments are deferred until the student is out of school. These loans are offered by various lenders each with unique terms and conditions. Generally, alternative loans have a higher interest rate and/or fees than federal student loans. We encourage students to visit with a financial aid counselor if they are considering an alternative loan.