The Office of Financial Aid staff, and other employees, and agents having responsibilities with respect to education loans or other financial aid, are committed to the highest level of ethical and professional standards in providing financial aid services and in the administration of those programs. The individuals follow the institutional Code of Professional Conduct, and the ethical principles and code of conduct upheld by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators for its member institutions.
Loans can be used for qualified education and living expenses up to the annual cost of attendance minus other aid such as scholarships, grants, or other assistance such as veterans benefits. The Office of Financial Aid is required to certify loan applications including loan amounts with the lender based on the borrower's expected period of enrollment, cost of attendance, and amount of other aid received.
All student loans have to be repaid with interest-even if the student doesn't finish school, is unhappy with the education provided, is unable to find a job or is making less money than planned. Students should be conservative and borrow only what is needed. The amount of money borrowed can have long-term effects that influence future decisions and choices.
Basic Tips for Student Loan Borrowers
- Consider all sources of financial assistance to keep borrowing as minimal as possible
- Submit the NeedAccess application and all required supporting documents by the March 31st priority deadline to be considered for WMed need-based scholarships
- If requested, be sure to submit completed, signed and dated documents by stated deadlines to maximize opportunities for gift aid.
- If there are extenuating circumstances that may affect the amount of financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid.
- Take advantage of the resources available in the Office of Financial Aid including financial counseling, planning, and assistance with budgeting and debt management.
Loan Options: Federal and Private
There are two main types of student loans:
- Federal student loans funded by the federal government. These include the federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS Loan programs.
- Private student loans funded by non-federal lenders such as banks, credit unions, state agencies, and schools. Private loans are also referred to as “alternative loans”.
- Students are encouraged to consider borrowing federal student loans when available before borrowing private loans.
- More information about the differences between federal and private/alternative student loan programs is available from the U.S. Department of Education.
Federal Student Loans
To apply for federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS Loans:
- Obtain a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID at https://fsaid.ed.gov
- Submit a FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov (use your FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA)
- If borrowing loans for the first time, complete loan requirements on the Federal Student Loans website, Graduate/Professional Student tab.
Federal Loan Interest Rates and Origination Fees
Federal student loan interest rates are set every July 1 and are in effect for the following 12 months.
For the period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017:
Direct Unsubsidized Loans have an interest rate of 5.31% and Grad PLUS Loans have an interest rate of 6.31%.
For the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018:
Direct Unsubsidized Loans have an interest rate of 6% and Grad PLUS Loans have an interest rate of 7%.
Federal student loan origination fees are set every October 1 and are in effect for the following 12 months. Fees are deducted at disbursement.
For the period October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a 1.069% origination fee.
- Grad PLUS Loans have a 4.276% origination fee.
Federal Loan Borrowing Limits
The following annual and aggregate maximums are for the Doctor of Medicine degree.
|Loan Type||Annual Maximum M1||Annual Maximum M2, M3||Annual Maximum M2, M3||Aggregate Maximum|
|Grad PLUS||Not to exceed cost of attendance minus other aid||Not to exceed cost of attendance minus other aid||Not to exceed cost of attendance minus other aid||N/A|
The following annual and aggregate maximums are for Master’s degree students.
|Loan Type||Annual Maximum||Aggregate Maximum|
|Direct Unsubsidized||$20,500||$138,500 of which no more than $65,000 may be in federal Direct Subsidized loans.|
|Grad PLUS||Not to exceed cost of attendance minus other aid||N/A|
Private Student Loans
Students apply for private education loans directly with the lender. As part of the application, a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form will be requested. Additional disclosure information about the loan will be provided before it is disbursed. Students (and cosigners if applicable) are responsible for understanding and complying with all of the terms and conditions of their education loans.
After a lender approves an application for a private education loan, the lender will send a certification request to the Office of Financial Aid. Our office will verify eligibility, including the requested loan amount. The amount requested cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance minus any other aid the student will receive during the academic year.
Disbursement of Loan Funds
All loan funds will be disbursed to WMed in two equal payments and applied directly to students' tuition accounts according to the disbursement schedule. If the amount disbursed exceeds the amount owed, there will be a credit balance on the student's account. Credit balances are issued as a refund within 14 days of disbursement. Students must submit a Direct Deposit Form so that refunds can be sent via electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the bank account on file.
Federal Loan Terms, Repayment Options, and Repayment Calculators
The U.S. Department of Education makes information available about its loan programs, repayment options, and estimated repayment schedules. Students may also utilize the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) FIRST loan information and repayment calculator.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
All federal student loans are reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Personal identifiable information for borrowers, including enrollment status, program of study, anticipated graduation date, and contact information, is also reported. NSLDS records are accessible to all authorized NSLDS users including schools, lenders, loan servicers and guaranty agencies, federal agencies, and other authorized users.
Students can locate their undergraduate and graduate federal student loans and identify their loan servicers on the NSLDS. Loan servicers are the point of contact to submit name and address changes, make payments, and apply for deferment, forbearance, or repayment plans.
Federal student loans are eligible for in-school deferment provided the student is enrolled at least half-time and is not on a leave of absence. During periods of in-school deferment, Direct Subsidized and Perkins Loans do not accrue interest. Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS Loans accrue interest beginning on the date of disbursement. Unpaid interest that accrues during deferment and forbearance periods is "capitalized" (added to the original loan balance) when the loan enters repayment.
Alternative and private education loan information is not reported to the NSLDS. Some private lenders may limit the number of months that in-school deferment can be approved. Students should contact their private lender directly to verify when their undergraduate and/or graduate private loans will enter repayment.
More information about managing loans, selecting repayment plans, and locating loan servicers, can be found at Federal Student Aid-Repay Loans
Loan Counseling Requirements
Students who borrow federal loans are required by federal regulation to complete entrance counseling when they first borrow, and are required to complete exit counseling when they graduate or drop below half time enrollment due to a leave of absence, withdrawal, or dismissal. These requirements will be implemented when WMed begins participating in the federal student loan programs. The purpose of these counseling requirements is to ensure that students understand the terms and conditions of their loans, and their rights and responsibilities as federal loan borrowers.
Entrance and Exit Counseling can be found on the Federal Student Loans website.