Direct Student Loans
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of their education after high school and beyond. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. To apply for these loans, you must have a FAFSA on file with the Athens State Office of Student Financial Aid. Student Loan payment is required.
Direct Subsidized Loans are loans for students with financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time, during your grace period, and during deferment periods.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans for students that are not based on financial need. Interest is charged during all periods.
The interest rate associated with Direct Student Loans varies based on when they are disbursed. You can review the current rates here: Direct Loan Interest Rates
In addition to interest, you pay a loan fee calculated off the principal amount of each Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received. This fee is not collected by Athens State University. You can review the current fee, and more information, here: Direct Loan Fees
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). You may receive more than one loan under an MPN over a period of up to 10 years to pay for your educational costs, as long as the school is authorized to use the MPN in this way and chooses to do so. Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parent borrowers of Federal Direct student loans are subject to this requirement.
The Entrance Counseling ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. You’ll learn what a loan is, how interest works, your options for repayment, and how to avoid delinquency and default. Undergraduate and Graduate borrowers of Federal Direct student loans are subject to this requirement. You may transfer your Entrance Counseling if you have already completed it.
The Annual Loan Acknowledgment (ALA) is an initiative set by the Department of Education that provides Federal student loan borrowers information on their specific student loans, loan servicer information, and how borrowing will impact their financial future. It is available to both student and parent borrowers. First-time borrowers will review information about loan debt and repayment options.
Please review StudentAid.gov for detailed information concerning:
- Direct Lending
- Managing your student loans
- Exit Counseling
- Loan Consolidation
- Loan Repayment Options
- Loan forgiveness programs for teachers and public service
- Assistance with repayment of student loans
- Finding your Financial Aid History
Direct PLUS Loans
Graduate students and Parents of Dependent students are eligible for additional loan options at Athens State University. Direct PLUS loans require an acceptable credit history. Graduate students and Parents may borrow up to the cost of education less other financial aid offered to the student. Repayment for PLUS loans begins 60 days after the last disbursement unless the borrower opts for a deferment. PLUS borrowers may choose to delay repayment until six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time. Interest may be paid or capitalized upon entering loan repayment.
Graduate PLUS Loan Steps
- The Graduate student must have a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with the Office of Student Financial Aid.
- The Graduate student must also provide application data by applying for the Graduate PLUS Loan at studentloans.gov.
- The Graduate student must complete a Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) online. This Graduate Master Promissory Note requires the parent to have an FSA ID and password to complete at studentloans.gov.
Parent PLUS Loan Steps
- The student must have a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with the Office of Student Financial Aid.
- The Parent must also provide application data by applying for the Parent PLUS Loan at studentloans.gov.
- The Parent must complete a Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) online. This Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note requires the parent to have an FSA ID and password to complete at studentloans.gov.
Lending Statement Regarding Preferred Lender Lists and Preferred Lender Arrangements
Athens State University does not recommend specific student loan lenders, nor does it have a preferred lender list or preferred lender arrangement. Students may borrow from any lender that offers educational student loans. Athens State University encourages students to borrow only what is absolutely needed to prevent future debt.
Private or Alternative Loans for Students
Please return the completed pages linked below to allow you to apply for loans from private sources. Athens State does not recommend private student loans or lenders. The use of private student loans is at the sole discretion of the student. Athens State University does not certify loans for students in a suspended status.