IN THIS SECTION
The following federal loan information is subject to change at any time depending on the actions of the federal government. Please research your loan options carefully and borrow responsibly.
For additional information regarding specific federal student loan interest rate and fee information, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Applying for Student Loans
First-Time Borrowers at Northwood University
Log into the Federal Student Aid website using your FSA ID and Password to complete the following:
You do not need to complete an MPN or Entrance Counseling if you have completed previously and the MPN has not expired.
Accepting, Rejecting or Changing your Loan Amounts
Northwood University uses passive loan confirmation for the acceptance of Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan awards. This means if you are a returning student who has taken loans at Northwood in previous years, your loan amounts (shown on your Official Award Letter and Financial Aid through Self-Service) will be set to an accepted status within 14 days of awarding unless you notify us that you do not want them.
- If you want to accept the Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan amounts shown on your Official Award Letter and have completed the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at the Federal Student Aid website you DO NOT need to take action. These loans will automatically be accepted within 14 days of awarding. You can view any missing and necessary items by visiting your My Financial Aid Self-Service through the My.Northwood Self-Service.
- If you want to reject your loan(s) or change the loan amount(s), you DO need to take action. First, go to the Self-Service tab at My.Northwood then navigate to “Self-Service” -> “Financial Aid” -> “Award Letter”.
- To reject your loan(s), select Award Letter. Click on View Award, select box for loan semesters you wish to reject and click Decline Loan.
- To change your loan amount(s), go to the Financial Aid section, click on Financial Aid Forms and select the Federal Direct Loan Change Form. This form must be completed and signed (electronic signatures not accepted) and can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the Financial Aid Office. Please Note: You may only lower the loan amounts awarded.
If you decide you would like to take out the cancelled loans at a later date with the award year and are still actively enrolled at least part-time, please see the Financial Aid office.
Important: Federal Direct Loans are governed by federal regulations. Before the Financial Aid Office processes your reject or change requests, the staff will check to be sure the resulting loans meet Federal requirements. For example: If you have both subsidized and unsubsidized loan eligibility, your unsubsidized loan must be zeroed out before we can reduce your subsidized loan. If we cannot process your reject or change request due to Federal requirements we will contact you. Otherwise, you will receive a revised award letter with your requested changes.
Please Note: The school will notify you via email that your loans have been disbursed and that you have the right to cancel all or a portion of a loan. If you want to cancel all or a portion of your loan(s) you must do so within 30 days of the date the school sends you this notification.
Parents of an undergraduate student can apply for a credit-based Federal Direct PLUS Loan to assist with out-of-pocket educational expenses on behalf of the student. The parent must be a credit-worthy U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Parents are 100% responsible for this loan. This loan is non-transferable.
Parents can defer repayment if their student is enrolled at least half-time (6 hours), and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. If the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is denied, the student will be eligible to borrow up to an additional $4,000 for Freshmen and Sophomores or $5,000 for Juniors and Seniors of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
- Credit Check: Sign in at the Federal Student Aid website and Apply for a PLUS Loan. Fill in all requested information and this will produce an instantaneous credit decision.
- If you are an approved borrower you can proceed to complete the Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note. If you have previously borrowed for this student you do not have to complete a new MPN.
- Next complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request form. This form must be completed and signed (electronic signatures not accepted) and can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the Financial Aid Office. The form may be found on the Financial Aid Forms page.
- Parents must perform a credit check each year to be approved or denied. Approved parents must also provide a new Request form each year as well.
- If a parent is denied and wishes to appeal the decision or seek an endorser (cosigner) please call (800) 577-7394 for assistance.
A graduate or professional student can apply for a credit-based Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan for up to the student’s cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance.
- Credit Check: Sign in at the Federal Student Aid website and Apply for a PLUS Loan for Graduate Students.
- Approved borrowers can proceed to selecting the student’s name to complete the Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have previously borrowed a GRADPLUS Loan you do not need to complete a new MPN.
- First time borrowers must complete mandatory Graduate Entrance Loan Counseling.
- Next complete and return the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form. This form must be completed and signed (electronic signatures not accepted) and can be mailed or faxed to the Financial Aid Office. The form may be found on the Financial Aid Forms page.
- Students must perform a credit check each year to be approved or denied. Approved students must also provide a new Request form each year as well.
- If a student is denied and wishes to appeal the decision or seek an endorser (cosigner) please call (800) 577-7394 for assistance.
Northwood University recommends that you file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and exhaust your federal aid and any available scholarships prior to applying for a private loan.
Private/alternative loans are credit-based student loans offered by private lenders, such as banks and credit unions. Because these loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, private loans may have terms that vary from lender to lender a co-borrower may be required, depending on your credit history and creditworthiness.
Private loans are not for everyone. You should compare and exhaust all of your Federal loan options before considering private loans. Since a credit check is performed, not everyone is approved for private loans. Generally, borrowers with better credit histories receive better loan terms.
Northwood University does not provide a preferred lender list. However, below is a comprehensive list of active lenders used by our students within the past academic year. You are by no means limited to these lenders – it’s just a helpful starting point. Visit the websites and thoroughly read all literature from the lenders to determine the loan programs that would best suit your needs. While reviewing, keep in mind these shopping tips.
Alternative Loan Programs:
- May have minimum enrollment requirements.
- May have satisfactory academic progress requirements.
- Have different deferral options.
- May have origination fees or application fees.
- May have higher interest rates and more stringent repayment terms than Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
- May not have a cap on a variable interest rate or a limit on how frequently your rate is adjusted.
- May have incentives during repayment that do not carry forward if your loan is subsequently sold to another lender.
Where to Begin
To assist students in choosing a private loan lender Northwood University suggests using the Elm Select Loan Comparison Tool. Northwood University does not endorse any private educational loan lender or lending program. A borrower has the right to choose any lender, whether it is on Northwood University’s site or not.
Calculating Loan Amounts / Eligibility
There are two parts to determining how much money can be borrowed through an alternative loan – lender credit approval and school certification. The lender will approve the requested loan amount based on the borrower’s and cosigner’s credit report. Then, they rely on the school to certify eligibility for the requested amount. Eligibility is calculated the same regardless of the lender chosen: Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all other financial aid and outside resources equals the maximum alternative loan amount. Students with a FAFSA on file can view their estimated Cost of Attendance on WebAdvisor. Students without a FAFSA can see estimated costs. Northwood University will be using these numbers when we provide our certification to the lender.
Therefore, it is possible that a lender will approve a loan for $12,000, for example, but Northwood University certifies a lesser amount. The lesser amount is what the lender is going to disburse as the borrowed amount.
The Application Process
The application process for alternative student loans includes a credit check. During this process your lender will provide you with a disclosure statement detailing your interest rate and confirming your acceptance of the loan.
Once the lender has approved your loan, the lender will contact Northwood University to request loan certification. NU will usually certify your loan within two (2) weeks of notification from lender. Please note that loan certification can take longer during the beginning of a semester, so it is recommended you apply at least one month prior to the start of a semester. After NU certifies your loan, the lender must mail a final disclosure to you, giving you a three (3) day cancellation period of the loan. The lender is required to allow a minimum mailing and processing time for the final disclosure to be received by you before they can send funds to NU. Generally, this requirement can result in seven (7) to ten (10) days for loan funds to be sent to Northwood University once the certification has been completed.
Your loan funds will be sent to Northwood University electronically and applied to your student account once received.
Federal, state, and most institutional financial aid is divided equally between the Fall and Spring semesters of enrollment and will be credited to the student’s account upon verification of enrollment in courses required for degree for that period. Revisions of awards or late awards will be applied throughout the year as required due to fluctuations in eligibility. Some financial aid funds may require adjustment due to being restricted to direct costs (i.e., tuition, fees, housing and food charges, etc.) that show directly on the student’s Northwood University account.
Federal Direct Loan funds will be credited to the student’s account. If you wish to cancel all or a portion of the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan(s), a written request must be received by the Finance and Accounting Department within 30 days of notification. If you wish to cancel all or a portion of the Federal Direct PLUS loan(s), a written request must be received by the Finance and Accounting Department within 14 days of the date of notification.
The student is responsible for all charges not covered by financial aid. If the student’s credits exceed their charges, a refund will be processed within 14 days of the credit being generated. Students have the option of retaining the credit balance on his or her student account if the Finance and Accounting Department is notified in writing for the aid year. Account credit balances cannot be carried forward from one academic year to the next.
Excess parent PLUS Loan funds are required to be returned to the parent, unless authorized by the parent to be refunded to the student. Overpayments resulting from full or partial cancellation of aid will normally result in a debit balance on the student’s account and must be paid back according to the repayment policies of the University. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the accuracy of all charges, payments, financial aid, refunds, and other general transactions.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that the university establish and implement a policy to measure if a financial aid recipient is making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. Satisfactory academic progress is measured by evaluating both GPA achievement (qualitative measurement) and pace (quantitative measurement) to ensure successful program completion within the maximum timeframe allowed. The standards are subject to change per federal regulations. The Financial Aid Office would notify students if any changes were to occur.
Repaying Student Loans
When you take out a federal student loan, you may not be required to make payments on that loan while you are in school, but you are required to repay the loan – including fees and interest – when you graduate or stop attending school at least half-time. Federal student loans are an excellent resource to help pay your education expenses and a great way to establish a solid financial future. It’s important that you borrow responsibly so you’ll be able to repay your loan.
Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).
If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:
- Drop below half-time enrollment
- Leave school