There are several types of student loans available to individuals who attend the School of Nursing. For most students, the majority of funds in the financial aid package are from the Department of Education Federal Direct Loan Program
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program is the main source of funds borrowed from a lending institution. The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is need based and has a 6-month grace period prior to repayment. The maximum available is $8,500 per academic year. With a subsidized loan the Department of Education pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled in school, during the grace period and any period of deferment.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is non-need based and also has a 6-month grace period prior to repayment. The maximum available is $12,000 per academic year. If a student does not qualify for a subsidized loan it is possible to receive the entire $20,500 in an unsubsidized loan. With an unsubsidized loan the student is responsible for payment of the accruing interest and may request that payment be deferred until the grace period expires. At which time, the interest is capitalized.
All Federal Direct Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%. After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment (less than 6 hours a semester), you have a six-month grace period before you begin repayment. During the grace period of a subsidized loan, you are not required to pay any principal, and you won't be charged interest. During the grace period of an unsubsidized loan, you are not required to pay any principal, but you will be charged interest. As mentioned, you may either pay the interest or it will be capitalized.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan enables graduate/professional students with a good credit history to borrow to pay education expenses for at least half-time enrollment.
The student must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. The student must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen and may not be in default or owe a refund to any federal aid program. To be eligible to receive a PLUS Loan, the student will be required to pass a credit check. If he/she does not pass the credit check, they might still be able to receive a loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse the loan, promising to repay it if the student should fail to do so. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. There is an origination fee of 4.0% of the loan amount that will be deducted proportionately at each disbursement. An up-front interest rebate of 1.5% will be credited proportionately at each disbursement. Interest begins to accrue from the date of disbursement and continues to accrue during any period of deferment or forbearance as well as during repayment.
Private Alternative Loans
If you are not enrolled at least half time or you are enrolled as a post master’s student, you would not be eligible for federal loans and a private loan may be a viable funding option for you. It is our firm belief that students should borrow only private alternative loans when absolutely necessary, and then only to the extent needed. We encourage that serious and deliberate consideration be given to making any borrowing decision. We recommend that you examine all other options, including the federal student loans, before pursuing private loan options, as these loans may be more expensive than other options. The interest rates listed for private loans are usually variable, and monthly payments are extended over several years. Private loans are credit-based and may require a cosigner.
Federal regulations now require the completion of a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form for all private education loans. Student borrowers are required to obtain the form and the information needed to complete it from their institution, sign the form and submit it to their lender. The private loan application and disbursement process cannot be completed until the signed Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form has been received by the lender. A list of private alternative loan lenders can be found here: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/loans-payment/private-alternative.php
Notification of Financial Aid Award
Financial Aid awards are made after an individual has been accepted to the School of Nursing and has paid their matriculation fee (deposit). For first year students, the School of Nursing Student Financial Services Office extends financial aid awards beginning in late April/early May for individuals who plan to begin school in the fall semester. For 2nd year/returning students, financial aid award letters begin being mailed in June before the next academic year begins in the fall.