Taking out a loan to help pay for your education is a big decision. For many who read this information, this may be the first loan they have borrowed, or perhaps the first loan solely in their name without other co-signers.
It is important that as you begin to borrow for your educational expenses that you are well aware of the loan's terms and conditions. These stipulations govern the rights and responsibilities you have as a borrower. You need to realize that when you sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN), that this is 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 before they are eligible to receive their loan. 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 have 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 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(s).
If you ever withdraw from all classes during a semester make 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. Also 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.
Now, as you begin borrowing, is the time to be considering debt management so that you borrow only what you need for your education. It seems that 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 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 not have a student loan payment exceed 8% of your projected monthly salary.
You may continue 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 to see if this requirement has been cleared.