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Student Loan Frequently Asked Questions

How is my eligibility for Federal Direct Loans determined?

Federal Direct Loans (Stafford and PLUS) require that a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be completed every academic year. Once the Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA from the government, we will determine your eligibility for different types of federal loans based on your year in school and financial need.

What must I do if I am offered loans in my financial aid award proposal?

Students who are offered loans can choose to accept, decline, or reduce the amount indicated on their award proposal. You will accept, decline or reduce your offered aid online through your MyIWU account every year. If you accept any portion of the loans offered in your financial aid package, additional documents will need to be completed in order to finalize your loan process.

Do I need to complete a master promissory note every year?

You are required to complete a master promissory note every academic year for the Federal Nursing Loan and Illinois Wesleyan Loan.  The Federal Direct Stafford Loan master promissory note is to be completed and signed online the first year only. All loan forms are available online here.

When do I have to start repaying my loan(s)?

Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) repayments begin 6 months after the student leaves the University (graduates or withdraws) or drops below half-time enrollment (less than 2 units).
Federal Nursing Loan repayments begin 9 months after the student leaves the University (graduates or withdraws) or drops below half-time enrollment (less than 2 units).
Illinois Wesleyan Loan repayments begin 6 months after the student leaves the university (graduates or withdraws) or drops below half-time enrollment (less than 2 units).

Can I make payments on my Direct Federal Stafford Loan while I am still in college?

Yes. You can pay a portion (or all) of your Stafford Loan obligation with no prepayment penalties while you are still pursuing your education. Students may also elect to make interest only payments on unsubsidized loans to help further reduce their loan balance.

Can my parents apply for a loan to help finance my education?

Yes. Parents may apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. To apply, parents must go to the government’s website at . The applying parent must request a Federal Direct PLUS Loan and for first time borrowers, complete a Master Promissory Note.
If the Federal Direct PLUS Loan application is declined, the student is then eligible for an increased amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan that will be communicated from the Financial Aid office. The applying parent also has the option to appeal this decision and/or obtain an endorser to become accepted. However, if the loan gets accepted, the increased limits will no longer be available.

What are Private Loans?

Private Loans are funded by banks and private lending institutions. These are credit based and the terms will vary depending on the lender. Private loans requiring school certification by the Financial Aid Office can be processed for up to the student’s Cost of Attendance minus other aid received during their enrollment.

Can I get a loan to take a May Term travel course?

Private Education Loans are available for May Term travel courses.  Information about these loans can be found here. Information about travel courses is available each October during the May Term Fair.


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Allecia Correll - Student Loan Coordinator - Financial Aid

Department - Financial Aid