Student Loan Deferment

Criteria for Deferment

Five - eight credits taken during the semester is considered half-time enrollment.

  • Great Valley has 3 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer). There are two 7-week sessions in each semester.
  • Half-time graduate enrollment equals 5-8 credits taken in both sessions.
  • If you enroll for under 5 credits for a semester, request a forbearance from your loan servicer.

IMPORTANT:  Merely scheduling classes does not make you enrolled.  To complete your registration and qualify as being "enrolled" you must

  • pay for your courses or 
  • have a waiver with Financial Aid for student loans  

To Process a Deferment

Request an education deferment from your loan servicer.

  • The “servicer” is where you repay your student loans: AES in Harrisburg, Sallie Mae, Direct Loans, etc.
  • Go on the Web site of your servicer and request an Education Deferment
  • Print off a deferment form to complete and return to the servicer.
  • Do not ask PSU to fill in this form. (See enrollment reporting.)

Enrollment Reporting of your PSU attendance is needed by your servicer. 

  • You must pay your bill to complete registration to be enrolled and to be reported as such by PSU.
  • If you are in a graduate certificate program, check to see if your servicer requires matriculation in a degree program for deferment.
  • Enrollment information is sent separately from the deferment request form in any of the following ways. All are accepted by servicers.
    • Reporting by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)     
      After the two week add/drop period each semester the PSU Registrar reports the enrollment status of its students to NSC including courses in both Sessions I and II.  NSC then provides status and deferment information to guaranty agencies, lenders, servicers, and the Department of Education’s National Student Data System.  Remember you must have paid your bill to be enrolled and to be reported to the NSC.
    • Request enrollment verification from PSU -- called Academic Verification on eLion.
      Classes must have started for the semester (in Sept, Jan, May) for PSU to verify the current semester.  Electronic requests are free. Use your Access ID,  go to eLion, and click on Academic Verification.  Complete the information on the electronic form. The enrollment verification is sent to the servicer via U.S. Mail by the Registrar.  Sorry, it cannot be faxed.
    • Access academic verification online: yourself or third party 
      Access eLion. The student may request access for a Parent/Other who may in turn access the student's unofficial enrollment information on eLion. The correct student I.D. and the correct spelling of the student's last name are required.
    • Make sure an unofficial copy is acceptable to your servicer.  Otherwise request an official Academic Verification.
      The response to a request is immediate, and the enrollment report can be printed.
    • You may print out your unofficial report from eLion and mail it directly to the servicer.

For Future Semesters

  • If you are not borrowing a graduate loan at PSU, be sure you have an education deferment continuously during your graduate program.  File a request for deferment with your servicer and “complete registration” for at least 5 credits before the NSC reporting date each semester.
  • Summer attendance is not expected by servicers:  If you attend half-time in Spring and again attend half-time the following Fall, you will not go into repayment during the Summer. The servicer “bridges” the time.  However, if you attend half-time in Spring but are not half-time the following Fall, you will go into repayment following the end of Spring.  The same principle is true for Summer attendance. This assumes you have already used your grace period.

New Direct Stafford Borrowers

  • For students currently borrowing Direct Stafford loans at Penn State, each future semester that you borrow, the servicer will automatically defer your previous Direct Stafford loans, after the semester’s disbursement is made.  That is because borrowers attend at least half-time.
  • If you previously borrowed graduate Stafford Loans at Penn State from AES or another private lender, be sure to file a request for an Education Deferment with the private lender.  You must be attending half-time.


In lieu of a deferment, a forbearance is often possible to temporarily suspend monthly payments if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Economic Hardship
  • Temporary Hardship
  • In School (less than half-time enrollment: taking 2-4 credits during a semester at Penn State)
  • Check the other categories online at your servicer’s Web site or the Direct Loan Servicing Center