Loans

A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest.

If you apply for financial aid, you will most likely be offered loans as part of your financial aid offer. The loan will be identified on your award letter as a Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Parent PLUS Loan, or alternative loan.

If you accept your loan funds, make certain you understand who is servicing the loan and the loan’s terms and conditions. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution.

For more information on loans, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov.

Types of Loans

Direct Student Loan

Direct Student Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of college. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though the entity you deal with (your loan servicer) can be a private business.

Federal student loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment terms and options than alternative student loans. Students should always exhaust federal student loan options before considering an alternative loan.

With Direct Loans, you:

  • Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact (your loan servicer) for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
  • Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your servicer's website.
  • Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.

Types of Direct Student Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Missouri Valley uses a need calculation to determine the amount you can borrow, and the amount borrowed may not exceed your financial need.

The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan:

  • while you’re in school at least half-time (6 credit hours),
  • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and
  • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments)

If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. Students are not required to demonstrate financial need. However, Missouri Valley College determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid received.

You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school, during grace periods, and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount of your loan.

Back to Direct Loans

Direct Loan Limits

Year

Dependent Students

(except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Independent Students

(and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Freshman

(0 - 27 credit hours)

$5,500

No more than $3,500 may be subsidized

$9,500

No more than $3,500 may be subsidized

Sophomore

(28 - 57 credit hours)

$6,500

No more than $4,500 may be subsidized

$10,500

No more than $4,500 may be subsidized

Junior and beyond

(58+ credit hours)

$7,500

No more than $5,500 may be subsidized

$12,500

No more than $5,500 may be subsidized

Graduate

Not Applicable

$20,500

Unsubsidized only

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit

$31,000

No more than $23,000 may be subsidized

$57,500 (undergraduates)

No more than $23,000 may be subsidized

$138,500 (graduates)

No more than $65,500 may be subsidized. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

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Steps to Receive Direct Loans

First time Direct Loan borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). All students who did not attend Missouri Valley College in the previous term must also complete Entrance Counseling through Missouri Valley College. Entrance Counseling must be completed regardless of whether you have completed it at another institution or previously through Valley.

Entrance counseling

If you are a new student to MVC, you must complete entrance counseling before we can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan. We require all new students, including transfers, to complete Entrance Counseling even if you have completed it with another institution.

You must complete this counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. Entrance counseling will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Master Promissory Note

When you receive a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a MPN. The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan.

One MPN can be used for all Direct Loans received over a 10 year period.

You must complete your MPN online at www.studentloans.gov.

Exit Counseling

All student loan borrowers are asked to complete exit counseling prior to withdrawing, graduating, transferring or dropping below 1/2 time enrollment. The MVC Financial Aid Office will notify loan borrowers of this requirement and will request exit counseling to be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.

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Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan online.

You must login as the parent to complete the application.

Direct PLUS loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible to receive a PLUS loan, you must not have any adverse credit history. If it is determined you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. If you are a parent borrowing on behalf of your dependent student, the endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.

In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you document to the Department’s satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

If a Parent PLUS loan is not an option due to an adverse credit history, the student’s unsubsidized loan may be increased. Parents must complete a Direct Parent PLUS Loan application and be denied before additional unsubsidized funds may be added to the student's award.

To apply for a PLUS loan, you must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and the MPN. Both the PLUS application and the MPN can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov. In order to complete the application, you must sign in to the studentloans.gov website as the parent.

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Alternative Student Loan

View Missouri Valley College's preferred lender list and apply for an alternative loan online.

Alternative loans can be a useful resource to help in funding education if used wisely when necessary. Unlike federal loans, these loans are not guaranteed by the government and will not be reflected on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) like Title IV loans. Just like other student loans, alternative loans must be repaid!

Remember! Free or lower-cost Title IV federal, state, or school aid may be available in place of, or in addition to, an alternative loan. Make sure you investigate all your eligibility options prior to pursuing an alternative loan.

Many students can meet their educational costs by a combination of scholarships, federal and state aid, earnings and family resources. It is only when all resources do not meet educational costs that a student should consider an alternative loan. A student should exhaust all of their Direct Loan eligibility before considering alternative loans since interest rates and origination fees are usually lower for Direct Loans.

Alternative loan requirements vary according to the lender, but some of the most common requirements are:

  • Ability to pass a credit check, or having a credit-worthy co-signer.
  • Loan amount plus all other aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
  • Enrolled at least half-time (some lenders require full-time enrollment).
  • Making reasonable academic progress.

Compare loan terms, interest rates, finance charges, and repayment schedules as you would with any other personal loan. It is convenient to apply online but only after you have reviewed the terms and conditions to choose the one that best meets the criteria most important to you in an alternative student loan.

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