The information at this site will give details regarding eligibility for federal aid programs and the documents you will need to complete the FAFSA.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution. Direct Loans make loan repayment much easier--payments go directly to the federal government. Additional information on Federal Direct Loans is available from the Department of Education at http://www.studentloans.gov
There are three types of Direct Loans:
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
These are based on financial need. The government will pay the interest on the loan while the student is in school.
Starting with loans which will be disbursed for enrollment periods starting July 1, 2012 or after, the government has eliminated subsidized loans and all graduate loans will be unsubsidized. The total maximum Direct Stafford Loan per year will remain at the 2011-12 level, which is $20,500.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Students get Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans regardless of need, but will have to pay all interest charges.
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans (Plus Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students)
Graduate and professional degree students may borrow under the PLUS Loan program up to their school's cost of attendance minus other financial assistance
To apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan you will need to complete the four steps below.
Step 3. Complete the online loan entrance counseling (required for first time borrowers)
Step 4. Complete and sign the electronic Master Promissory Note (if not already signed)
You should have received a Federal PIN from the U.S. Dept. of Education shortly after the first time that you completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The PIN serves as your electronic signature and holds the same legal status as your written signature. You should keep your PIN in a safe place and not share it with anyone.
If you do not have a PIN, go to http://www.pin.ed.gov
and choose either “Apply for a PIN” if you have never had one or “Request for a Duplicate PIN” if you had one but do not know it. You will need to submit your name, social security number, date of birth, and email or mailing address. A PIN will be generated and sent to you. You will have the option of receiving your PIN either through your email account (2-3 days) or your PIN can be mailed to you (7-10 days).
Step 2. Complete Online Entrance Counseling
All new borrowers at VCFA must complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Entrance Counseling. Borrowing a student loan is a serious financial obligation, and the entrance counseling will provide you with the important information you need to know to be able to make an informed decision about student loan borrowing. The entrance counseling must be completed before the Financial Aid Office will accept and process your loan application.
Complete the online entrance counseling on the Federal Direct Loan Servicing website at http://www.studentloans.gov
. This tutorial reviews basic facts about Federal Direct Loans, and your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. After you complete the tutorial, you will be required to take and pass a quiz. The tutorial and quiz will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Once you have passed the quiz, the system will display your quiz results and ask you to choose a school. You may print your passing entrance counseling quiz results along with a copy of your rights and responsibilities by clicking “Retrieve Quiz Results” from the main page.
Step 3. Complete and Sign your Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN)
First time Direct Loan borrowers need to sign a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have already signed a Federal Direct MPN previously for another Direct Loan college (online or paper), you do not have to complete a new MPN.
Students now are able to sign their MPN electronically on the web at http://www.studentloans.gov
. You will need to log in using your PIN issued by the Department of Education and then select “Complete Master Promissory Note.
Completing an electronic MPN is very simple and easy. You must complete the entire process in a single session so be prepared and give yourself plenty of time. If you exit the site before signing your electronic MPN, you will be required to start over from the beginning.
IMPORTANT: Before beginning your electronic MPN session:
• Have your federal PIN ready. If you misplaced your PIN, see the instructions on how to obtain a new PIN.
• Be ready to provide two references (name, address, and telephone number). These should be people who have known you for at least one year (preferably relatives) who live at different addresses.
• Remember to always use your full legal name as it appears on your social security card.
Paper Option: If you do not wish to sign your MPN with your PIN, you may request that the Financial Aid Office print a copy of your MPN. The printed copy will be mailed to your home address for your signature, but this will delay the processing of your loan application.
To be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan a student must:
- be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien;
- be taking at least six credit hours and be matriculated in a degree program;
- not owe any refunds on a Pell Grant or other awards received and not be in default on repayment on any type of student loan.
Each new student loan recipient will be required to complete entrance counseling before a loan application is processed and attend an exit interview when graduating or terminating from school.
Federal regulations require that all student loan borrowers must have an exit interview/exit counseling during their final semester at VCFA.
Students may access and complete the Exit Counseling at www.studentloans.gov
. This will satisfy all requirements for exit counseling and give the borrower up to date information on their student loan balances. This is the quickest and easiest way to satisfy the exit counseling requirement.
Maximum Loan Amounts
Independent Student – An independent graduate student may be eligible to borrow up to a total of $20,500 per year. An independent graduate student may borrow up to an aggregate limit of $138,500. No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. This maximum total graduate debt limit includes Federal Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.
Graduate Federal Direct Stafford loans have been set at a fixed interest rate of 6.8%.
For a Federal Direct PLUS loan, the fixed interest rate is 7.9%. In addition, the Federal Direct PLUS loan has an origination fee of 4%.
There are several ways to repay a Federal Direct Loan:
A standard repayment plan has a fixed monthly repayment amount for a fixed period of time, usually 10 years.
An extended repayment plan has a lower fixed monthly payment amount, and loan repayment can be extended beyond the usual 10 years.
A graduated repayment plan usually begins with lower monthly payments, and payment amounts increase at specified times. Payments may be the usual 10 year period, or they may be extended beyond the usual 10 years.
Income-contingent repayment plan sets annual repayment amounts based on the borrower's income after leaving school. The loan is repaid over an extended period of time, not to exceed 25 years.
A servicing agency will be responsible for maintaining the loan account and repayments. It is the student's responsibility to maintain contact with that agency.
Students who have previously borrowed FFELP student loans through a lending institution and who are now borrowing a Federal Direct Loan have the option to consolidate all of their student loans into one Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. This will help the borrower avoid the situation of owing two separate loans to two different lenders. Borrowers who are interested in consolidation of all their student loans into one Consolidation Loan can contact the U.S. Department of Education for more information at www.studentloans.gov
Check with your own state grant or loan organization for services they may provide regarding scholarship searches or publications.
Vermont College of Fine Arts occasionally offers fellowships, and internships with the programs as well as with Hunger Mountain, The VCFA Journal of the Arts. Please contact Admissions or the program that you are applying to for more information.
The Canada Revenue Agency recognizes VCFA as a university outside of Canada for the purposes of the Canadian Income Tax Act. This means that Canadian citizens who attend VCFA may be able to claim a tax credit for tuition expenses. Please go to the Canada Revenue Agency website to “INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS – EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS OUTSIDE OF CANADA” -- www.cra-arc.gc.ca for more information and details.