Federal Student Loans
Penn State Great Valley Office of Student Aid
Penn State participates in the Federal Stafford and Graduate Plus Direct Student Loan programs. Graduate students who meet federal criteria can borrow up to $10,250 per semester in the Stafford Loan program, with an academic year cap of $20,500. Students who need additional funding to meet educational obligations can apply for a Grad Plus Loan on eLion.
Typically, Great Valley students are eligible for a federal student loan when they are:
- U.S. citizens or permanent residents
- And formally admitted to a graduate degree program
- And enrolled at least half-time (2 courses per semester)
For full federal loan eligibility criteria and other details on Stafford and Graduate Plus Loans, see http://studentaid.psu.edu and http://studentaid.ed.gov.
Penn State Great Valley students not formally accepted to a master's degree program or who are enrolled in fewer than five credits in a semester are not eligible for federal student loans but may be able to borrow from private lenders. See http://studentaid.psu.edu/types-of-aid/loans/private-alternative/how-to-plan-decide-and-apply.
Great Valley Student Loan Checklist
Begin your loan process at least 4 weeks before your bill due date.
Complete your loan process in time to use your loan to complete your semester registration by the bill due date. A $50.00 late fee is charged to students who do not complete their registration by the bill due date.
- Submit a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Graduate Loan. Once your FAFSA is in Penn State's system, you will receive an email notification from the University with instructions for accessing your Student Aid Summary online. Submit a FAFSA once each year by June 30, or six weeks before your semester bill due date. Use School Code 003329. Each FAFSA covers one academic year, beginning in the fall semester. See www.studentaid.gov for FAFSA details.
- Know your rights and responsibilities. As a student aid recipient, it is crucial that you are well-informed about your rights, responsibilities and legal obligations concerning your federal loans, that you understand the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard, and that you understand what is required of you to remain eligible for student aid. Carefully review the important information at www.studentaid.psu.edu, www.studentaid.psu.edu/eligibility/federal-student-aid-satisfactory-academic-progress-standard and http://studentaid.psu.edu/eligibility/student-rights-responsibilities. Review the Penn State Great Valley website section on student loans at www.studentaid.psu.edu. Review the basics of Stafford loans for graduate students at www.studentaid.gov and http://studentaid.psu.edu/types-of-aid/loans/stafford.
- Sign up for your semester classes. This is the first of two steps in the Penn State semester registration process (see #9). Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for a federal student loan. Full time measure for a graduate student at Penn State is 9 credits per semester, so sign up for at least 5 credits per semester (typically two courses), or no loan will be generated.
- Read your Penn State email and monitor eLion for loan updates. After you obtain a Penn State Access Account, the University will communicate important information to your Penn State email address. Eligible graduate students are awarded up to $10,250.00 in Stafford loans in each of the fall and spring semesters, and up to $10,250.00 in summer if you have not reached your Stafford annual cap. Origination fees are removed by the Department of Education before your award is disbursed to your University bursar account. On eLion under the Financial menu, your Student Aid Summary Checklist provides next loan steps, the Student Aid Summary Status box provides updates, and the Loan Debt Summary gives cumulative educational loan information. As a student loan recipient, monitor both your Penn State email and your eLion Student Aid Summary regularly.
- Complete the federal loan requirements. See www.studentaid.psu.edu and your eLion Student Aid Summary checklist for instructions. Use your FAFSA PIN to:
a) Sign the federal Master Promissory note at www.studentloans.gov (if this is the first semester you seek a graduate student loan at Penn State Great Valley).
b) Complete federal Loan Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov (if this is the first semester you seek a graduate student loan at Penn State Great Valley).
c) Comply with any requests to supply identity verification documents. If students are selected for verification, they will be notified by the Office of Student Aid requesting the specific information needed and the due date. Respond promptly to requests for verification documents to avoid a delay in processing your loan.
Summer Loans: Funds up to $10,250.00 not used in the fall and spring semesters can be applied to summer courses if requested. Make a summer loan request after April 1 each year using the Summer Direct Stafford Loan Request option on eLion's Financial menu. Watch for an email stating whether or not your Stafford summer loan has been generated, and proceed to Step 7 or 8, as appropriate.
Determine how much you want to borrow in Stafford loan funds.
For each semester, decide how much to borrow, then:
- Make no changes
if you want to borrow the full allotment for the semester. Excess funds will be forwarded to you as a refund.
- Request a Stafford loan decrease on eLion
if you want a semester loan for an amount lower than the amount shown (for example, to cover only tuition and fees, or in fall or spring wish to reserve funds for the following summer).
To decrease your loan:
a) Log onto eLion, and go to the Financial
b) Select Student Aid Summary
and verify that your loan is in place.
c) Check your Bursar/Tuition/Bills
page for the amount of your semester bill. Your Aid Estimate
is in lower left corner.
d) Select Loan Decrease.
Follow the prompts to bring your unsubsidized loan gross total down to the amount on you semester bill 1.051%, or to another amount you choose. Ensure that you get a confirmation message for your request.
e) Wait 24 hours
, then check your Student Aid Summary
and your Bills
page to verify the change you requested.You have 30 days from the date your loan disburses to decrease your loan on eLion (if you have not completed your registration) or request a return of loan funds through the Office of the Bursar (if you have completed your registration.)
If you do not decrease your loan amount within 30 days, the full loan allotment is awarded that semester. Note
: students may only make one loan decrease request on eLion per semester. Subsequent adjustments must be requested by email to email@example.com
Apply for a federal Graduate Plus Loan
, only if you will reach your Stafford semester or annual cap and need more funding.
a) Review federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan basics at www.psu.edu/types-of-aid/loans/graduate-PLUS
b) On the eLion, under the Financial
menu, select the PLUS Request Form
c) Enter the dollar amount you are requesting, and the semester
d) Wait 48 hours for a response in your eLion Student Aid Summary
e) Sign the Master Promissory Note for the Grad Plus Loan (see your Student Aid Summary Checklist
Complete your registration (pay your bill using your loan).
Payment of your semester bill is due by your bill due date, which is listed on your eLion bills page. Registrations completed late will result in a $50.00 late fee. You can view and/or pay your bill online at elion.psu.edu
by selecting Bursar Tuition Bills
from the Financial menu. Once your loan is in place, complete your registration or confirm your attendance "without a payment."
Wait for a confirmation message. Click "View Transaction History
" for a breakdown of payment actions. Review the "Refunds
" section at www.bursar.psu.edu
for details on how excess loan funds will be disbursed.
For more information on graduate and professional student loans at Penn State, see studentaid.psu.edu.
Contact the Great Valley campus Office of Student Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-648-3311.
Contact the main University Park Office of Student Aid at 814-863-0322, or submit a question online under "Contact" at www.studentaid.psu.edu.