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.
For 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 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.
To request loan for summer courses, see #9 on the Student Loans Checklist.
Student Loan Checklist
(For more information about each step, see the detailed list below)
- Submit a FAFSA online.
- Complete federal requirements as needed.
- Sign up for your semester classes.
- Watch your Penn State eLion Student Aid Summary and email for a loan allotment.
- Request a summer loan after April 1, if desired.
- Determine how much you want to borrow and decrease your loan, if desired.
- Apply for a Graduate Plus Loan, if needed.
- Complete your registration (pay your bill using your loan).
- Finish the classes you start (maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress”).
- Know your rights and responsibilities.
More information on graduate and professional student loans at Penn State: studentaid.psu.edu.
Detailed steps for Student Loan Checklist:
- Submit a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Graduate Loan. Submit once each year by June 30, or six weeks before a semester starts. Use PSU School Code 003329. See www.studentaid.gov for more information.
- Complete the federal loan requirements if this is the first semester you are seeking a loan at PSGV. 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
b) Complete federal Loan Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov
c) Comply with any requests to supply verification documents.
Sign up for your semester classes. This is the first of two steps in the Penn State semester registration process (see #7). You must complete both steps to get credit and grades for the courses in which you enroll. You must be enrolled half-time (take at least 5 credits) to get a federal student loan.
Review your Penn State email and eLion for loan updates. On eLion under the Financial menu: your Student Aid Summary Checklist provides next loan steps, the Student Aid Summary Status box provides updates, the Loan Debt Summary gives cumulative educational loan information. Your PSU emaili provides imiportant student aid alerts. Monitor both regularly.
Summer Loans must be requested by the student via Summer Direct Stafford Loan Request on eLion after April 1 each year.
Determine how much you want to borrow.
Eligible graduate students are awarded up to $10,250 in each of the fall and spring semesters. Origination fees are removed by the Department of Education before your award is disbursed to your University bursar account. Funds up to $10,250 not used in the fall and spring semesters can be applied to summer courses if requested.
For each semester, decide how much to borrow, then:
- Do nothing
if you want to borrow the full allotment for the semester. Excess funds will be forwarded to you by paper check or via electronic funds transfer if you have signed up for Rapid Refund
(see Refund Information
- Request a Stafford loan decrease on eLion
if you want a semester loan for an amount lower than the allotment (for example, to cover only tuition, fees, and books, or to reserve funds for the summer semester).
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 businiess days from the date your loan disburses to your University bursar account to decrease your loan.
If you do not decrease your loan amount within 30 days, you will receive a loan for your full allotment that semester. Note:
students may only make one loan decrease request on eLion per semester. Subsequent adjustments must be requested by email. See the FAQ
section on www.sgps.psu.edu/student-loans
Apply for a federal Graduate Plus Loan, only if you have reached your semester cap for the Stafford, and need more funding.
a) On the eLion, under the Financial menu, select the PLUS Request Form
b) Enter the dollar amount you are requesting, and the semester
c) Wait 48 hours for a response in your eLion Student Aid Summary
d) Sign the Master Promissory Note for the Grad Plus Loan (see your Student Aid Summary checklist for directions)
Complete your registration (pay your bill using your loan).
Once your loan is in place, complete your registration or confirm your attendance “without a payment” on the Bursar/Tuition/Bills
page on eLion. Wait for a confirmation message. Select Refunds Information
on eLion or see 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.