Continuing Education & Graduate Students: Loans

>Loan Applications

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
This loan program helps students pay the cost of their education. Loan eligibility is determined by a federally approved formula based on family income and determined need according to the FAFSA. Through this program a dependent undergraduate student may be eligible to borrow up to $5,500 as a freshman, $6,500 as a sophomore and $7,500 each year at junior and senior status for a total aggregate of $31,000. A graduate student may borrow up to $12,500 per academic year (total aggregate of $138,500). Independent students may have additional unsubsidized eligibility depending on grade level and enrollment status. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about your eligibility.

All students who have Federal loans at Aquinas must complete an entrance interview before their first loan and an exit interview before finishing at Aquinas College.

All new loans disbursed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 have a fixed interest rate of 5.05 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students and 6.60 percent for unsubsidized loans for graduate students. The federal government will pay the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is attending college at least half time. Interest rates will be adjusted each July 1 for new loans disbursed after that date.

Repayment begins no later than six months after graduation or reduction in class load to less than half time enrollment status. An in-school deferment for loans at a prior college may be obtained by contacting the lender directly.

If the student does not meet the obligation to repay the loan, the lender will file a DEFAULT claim. The loan will become due and payable at that time. Collection activities may include legal action to take payments out of the student's wages or salary. Default information will be reported to credit reporting services which could severely damage the student's credit rating. The Internal Revenue Service may be notified to intercept the borrower's tax refund to be applied to the loan balance.

Deferments for Prior Loans
Aquinas College participates with the National Student Loan Clearinghouse located in Herndon, Virginia in the processing of current students' deferments. Three times a semester (after the add/drop period, at mid-term, and after finals), the College submits a report of students' enrollment status to the Clearinghouse which, in turn, supplies verification of enrollment to lending/servicing agencies. All deferment loan forms are forwarded to the Clearinghouse. Aquinas does not supply this information directly to lending agencies. If a student has registered late or has had an exception processed to the semester registration, this information may not be reported until the submission of the next tape.
The Clearinghouse asks that if a student receives a collection letter from a servicer, the student do the following:

  1. Call the lending/servicing agency to see if a deferment form was received between the time the Clearinghouse supplied the information and the lending agency sent the collection letter.
  2. If, after calling the servicer, it still appears that the deferment has not been processed, the student may call the Clearinghouse at (703) 742-7791 and ask for a Student Service Representative. The representative will verify the date on which the deferment was certified and mailed, the enrollment status that was certified, and where the forms were sent.
  3. If, an emergency exists - for example, the student is 150 days delinquent and being threatened with default - the Clearinghouse will intervene on the student's behalf by faxing another enrollment certification to the servicer. Further, it will work with the servicer to ensure that the form is processed on a high-priority basis.

Paperless Student Loan Deferment
Many lenders and processors now participate in a paperless deferment process. No paper forms need to be completed by either the student or the school. The student simply calls the servicer and requests an "In School Deferment."

The servicer then posts a deferment to the student's account and the student's verbal order is matched against The Clearinghouse electronic data, verifying the in-school status.

A student is considered half-time and eligible for a deferment by most servicers when taking six (6) credits in a semester. Some may require that the student also have a current loan.

Aquinas College will continue mailing paper deferment forms to The Clearinghouse for processing. However, the student needs to contact the lender/servicer directly for the status of the deferment.

If you don't know which lender you have used in the past, you can find more detailed information about your loans at (you will need to register to use this service).

Loan Consolidation
Before you consolidate, you should research your current loan benefits and the Federal Consolidation Loan program to decide whether or not consolidation is right for you. More information about the Direct Loan Consolidation process is available at

Title IV Loan School Code of Conduct
Click here to read the full code of conduct.