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.

Not sure which option is best for you? View Understanding Gap Financing Options . For more information on loans, visit or

  • 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.

    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)


    (0 – 27 credit hours)


    No more than $3,500 may be subsidized


    No more than $3,500 may be subsidized


    (28 – 56 credit hours)


    No more than $4,500 may be subsidized


    No more than $4,500 may be subsidized

    Junior and beyond

    (56+ credit hours)


    No more than $5,500 may be subsidized


    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.


    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 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

    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

  • 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 extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

    For approved PLUS Loans, the parent completes a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at If the loan is endorsed, the MPN must include the endorser’s information listed as the first reference. If the loan is approved by appeal or endorser, the parent must also complete PLUS entrance counseling online at

    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 In order to complete the application, you must sign in to the website as the parent.

    Alternative Parent PLUS Loan

    An alternative to the federally-funded Direct Parent PLUS Loan through a private lender. This loan is available to parents, family members, and other creditworthy individuals who are US citizens or permanent residents willing to help a student achieve their educational goals. The student is not eligible to be a borrower or cosigner. Loan requirements and features vary by lender which may include no loan origination fee, competitive interest rates, and choice of repayment options.

    View Missouri Valley College’s preferred lender list and apply for an alternative Parent PLUS Loan online.

  • Private Education Loans

    View Missouri Valley College’s preferred lender list and apply for private education loan online.

    Please keep in mind, you do not have to borrow from a lender on this list. The list is simply a resource that you may utilize when trying to decide the best private loan option for you.

    Private education 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, private 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, private 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 private loans since interest rates and origination fees are usually lower for Direct Loans.

    Private loan eligibility requirements vary lender, but some of the most common requirements are:

    • Ability to pass a credit check, or apply with a credit-worthy co-signer.
    • Loan amount plus all other aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
    • Making satisfactory 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 private education loan.

  • Preferred Lender List Policy

    In order to provide a comprehensive approach to educating students on their financial assistance options, Missouri Valley College has chosen to utilize a Preferred Lender List. This list is based on borrowing trends of Valley’s student population and includes at minimum three unaffiliated lenders. These loans are offered by private lenders to assist with educational expenses that may not be covered by other federal, state, institutional or private sources of financial aid. It is important that students carefully review their educational expenses before deciding the need to borrow from any source. Students and parents are encouraged to compare the services and products that are provided by lenders and choose the private loan that best suits their individual needs.

    All lenders on our Preferred Lender List will be informally reviewed and monitored annually in order to maintain current benefit information as well as determine if any removals or additions are necessary to ensure that our students and families have the best options and up-to-date information available. The lenders on the list are subject to change.

    Lenders are reviewed based on the following criteria:

    • Customer Service – lender provides exceptional customer service to both the borrower and the school.
    • Financial Literacy – lender provides information to students and schools to support borrower financial success.
    • Product – lender offers a superior loan product with competitive benefits, rates, fees, repayment benefits and options.
    • Variety – lender provides options for undergraduate or graduate students, degree or non-degree-seeking, international students, students who are enrolled less than half-time, students who are not making federal satisfactory academic progress, and/or students who need assistance in paying for a past due or prior balance.
    • Process – lender offers online access for all processes beginning from loan application to final payment and supports internal school processes by participating in Scholar Net.