- Changes to Federal Direct Loans
- Direct Student Loan Programs
- Direct PLUS Loan Programs
- Direct Loan Processing (How to Apply?)
- Additional Requirements
- State Educational Loans
- Private Alternative Loans
- Federal & Private Loan Disbursements
- Change of Enrollment Status
- Repayment Terms & Resources
U.S. Department of Education
William D. Ford Direct Loan Programs
The Eastman School of Music participates in the Direct Student Loan Program, the Direct PLUS Loan Program and the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program. All Federal Direct Loans borrowed to cover costs while attending Eastman are borrowed through the Direct Lending process. For more comprehensive information about the William D. Ford Direct Loan Programs, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Federal Loan Repayment Pause Ended October 1, 2023:
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness:
The Supreme Court issued a decision blocking this one-time student debt relief plan.
However, President Biden has announced new actions to help with Debt Relief. You can find more information here – https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/debt-relief-info
|23-24 Interest Rates: For any new Federal Direct Loans originated where the first disbursement date will be made on or after July 1, 2023 and prior to July 1, 2024, the new interest rate for Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate) is 5.50%, for Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate) is 7.05% and Direct PLUS Loans (Parent & Graduates) is 8.05%.|
|Origination Fees: For any new Federal Direct Loans originated where the first disbursement date will be made on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2023, the loan origination fees are 1.057% for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and 4.228% for Direct PLUS Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.|
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is an educational loan for undergraduate students attending school at least half-time (6 units). Eligibility for this loan is based on a student’s calculated financial need as determined by the information provided on the FAFSA and the college’s cost of attendance. When a student is no longer enrolled or drops below half-time status, there is a 6 month grace period before repayment begins. The government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time, during the 6 month grace period and other authorized periods called deferments. The amount of loan offered is based on academic grade level and calculated financial need.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Limit (150%): All undergraduate students who borrow a Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford loan will only be able to borrow up to 150% of the published length of their program of study. For a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period of subsidized loan eligibility is 6 years. This rule has been removed for any borrower who receives a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is an educational loan for both undergraduate and graduate students attending school at least half-time (6 credits). A student’s need is not a factor for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and a student can qualify regardless of family income. The government does not pay the interest; the student can choose to either pay the interest while in school or have the interest added to the loan principal to be repaid later. The amount of loan offered is based on academic grade-level. When a student is no longer enrolled or drops below half-time status, there is a 6 month grace period before repayment begins.
Academic Year (AY) Direct Student Loan Limits
Federal regulations specify the maximum Federal Direct Loan amount a student can borrow each academic year based upon grade level. Actual eligibility is specified in the Eastman financial aid package and may be less than the annual maximum.
|Grade Level & Dependency||Maximum AY Direct Subsidized Loan||Maximum AY Total Direct (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)|
Life Time Direct Student Loan Limits
Federal regulations also specify the total lifetime limits a student can borrow.
|Grade Level & Dependency||Maximum Direct Subsidized Loan||Maximum Total Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)|
*Note: The Graduate Student debt limit includes loans for undergraduate study.
|Borrower Type||Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/23 and before 7/1/24||Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/22 and before 7/1/23|
|Direct Subsidized Loans||Undergraduate||5.50%||4.99%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Undergraduate||5.50%||4.99%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Graduate||7.05%||6.54%|
Loan Origination Fees
An origination fee is subtracted from the requested loan amount, so the dollar amount disbursed will be less than the amount borrowed.
|Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans|
|First Disbursement Date||Loan Fee|
|On or after Oct. 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2023||1.057%|
|On or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020||1.059%|
The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan at a fixed interest rate that allows a parent to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awarded. Repayment on the principal and the interest can be deferred while the student is enrolled in college by through completion of a PLUS Loan In-School Deferment Form. This form is obtained from the assigned Federal Loan Servicer of your PLUS Loan. During a deferment period, interest will accrue and be capitalized back into the loan.
In the case where parents are separated/divorced, a step-parent can apply for a Federal PLUS Loan, but only if his/her information is included on the FAFSA.
If a parent is denied a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, the student may be eligible for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan ($4,000/year freshman &sophomore & $5,000/year junior & senior). A parent can request to have a credit check run to see if he/she qualifies for a Federal PLUS Loan. The Credit Check Authorization Form can be faxed (585-232-8601) or submitted via our secure drop box (www.esm.rochester.edu/financialaid/submitting-docs).
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan at a fixed interest rate that allows a graduate student to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awarded. Repayment on the principal and interest can be deferred while the graduate student is enrolled in college by the completion of a Graduate PLUS Loan In-School Deferment Form. This form is obtained from the Federal Loan Servicer of your Graduate PLUS Loan. However, interest will accrue and be capitalized back into the loan.
|Borrower Type||Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/23 and before 7/1/24 ***||Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/22 and before 7/1/23|
|Parent PLUS Loan||Parent||8.05%||7.54%|
|Graduate PLUS Loan||Graduate Student||8.05%||7.54%|
Loan Origination Fees
An origination fee is subtracted from the requested loan amount, so the dollar amount disbursed will be less than the amount borrowed.
|Direct PLUS Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan|
|First Disbursement Date||Loan Fee|
|On or after Oct. 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2023||4.228%|
|On or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020||4.236%|
Federal Direct Student Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized) are available to students who apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the only application necessary to receive Federal Direct Student Loans.
For Federal Loans to be processed:
- A Student Borrower must accept the loans in their financial aid package through ESM FAOnline.
- A New Student Federal Loan Borrower must complete a Federal Loan Entrance Counseling Session (https://studentaid.gov/counseling-selection).
- A New Student Federal Loan Borrower must complete a Federal Loan Master Promissory Note (https://studentaid.gov/mpn).
Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent & Graduate) can apply using an online application and a new Federal PLUS Loan Borrower must complete a Federal Loan PLUS Loan Promissory Note (https://studentaid.gov/mpn).
There is a 4.228% origination fee for both the Parent PLUS Loan and the Graduate PLUS Loan. This fee is subtracted from the amount borrowed. If you wish to increase the loan amount borrowed to compensate for the origination fee reduction, please divide the amount that you wish to borrow by .95772 to calculate the loan amount which includes the origination fee. Then, you can enter this amount in the online application.
Online PLUS Loan or Graduate PLUS Loan Borrowers should avoid applying any earlier than 180 days before the start of the semester. Credit approvals are only viable for that amount of time.
A FAFSA must also be on file for the dependent student of the parent applying for a Parent PLUS Loan or the graduate student who is applying for the Graduate PLUS Loan.
Entrance Counseling Session – (Click here)
Required of all first-time student borrowers who have accepted the Federal Direct Student Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized) or Graduate PLUS Loans as part of their financial aid package. You must complete this requirement before your Federal Direct Student Loan will be processed.
PLUS/Graduate PLUS (Adverse Credit) Entrance Counseling Session – (Click here)
Required of all PLUS Loan or Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers who have applied with an adverse credit decision date.
Master Promissory Note for Student Direct Loan Borrowers – (Click here)
Required of all first-time student borrowers who have accepted the Federal Direct Student Loans (subsidized & unsubsidized) as part of their financial aid package. A Department of Education FSA ID ( How to Create a FSA ID) is needed to complete this promissory note on-line. You must complete this requirement before your Federal Direct Student Loan will be processed.
Master Promissory Note for Parent PLUS Borrowers – (Click here)
Required of all first-time parent borrowers who have applied and been approved for a Federal PLUS Loan. Borrowers will need a Department of Education FSA ID (How to Create a FSA ID) to complete this promissory note on-line. You must complete this requirement before your Federal PLUS Loan will be processed.
Master Promissory Note for Graduate PLUS Borrowers – (Click here)
Required of all first-time graduate student borrowers who have applied and been approved for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Borrowers will need a Department of Education FSA ID (How to Create a FSA ID) to complete this promissory note on-line. You must complete this requirement before your Federal Graduate PLUS Loan will be processed.
Some state governments offer an educational loan program. These programs:
- are available to both undergraduate and graduate students (and possibly to parents and relatives), as long as the student is matriculated and enrolled at least half time in a degree program.
- are credit-based and offer interest rates and terms which are very competitive with alternative loans.
- may have both fixed and variable interest rates available, depending on the state.
To learn if your state has a loan program contact your State Education Agency through the Department of Education’s Educational Resource Organizations Directory. Read carefully the loan criteria and contact your State Education Agency with questions.
Domestic and international students, who have a U.S. citizen or eligible permanent resident as a co-applicant, may qualify for a private loan to help bridge the gap between the student’s cost of attendance and the student’s family resources and financial aid package.
We encourage students and parents to exhaust all Federal loan options prior to applying for a private loan. The Federal loan programs generally offer lower interest rates and fees along with better repayment options.
International students are not eligible for the Federal loan programs.
If a student chooses to pursue a private loan, we recommend comparing the costs associated with various lenders before completing an application. Interest rates, fees, repayment periods, and other benefits can vary significantly between lenders. Often these loans are based on credit-worthiness and approvals are not automatic. The FinAid.org website provides some comparative information regarding private loans as well as www.elmselect.com . The Elm select website will enable you to compare loan offerings and apply online. Elm Select will provide you with the most up to date information regarding a number of different loans. When selecting a loan through any other comparative website, be sure to go to the lender’s specific site to ensure you are aware of the most up-to-date information about the loan.
The Eastman School of Music does not maintain a preferred lender list. As such, the University has no agreements or relationships with any lenders and does not receive any benefit, financial or otherwise, from the use of private loans by students. For more information on the University’s policies, please see our Student Loan Code of Conduct & Policy on Private Lending.
Private Loan Application Requirements
All private educational lenders are required to send three disclosure statements as well as a self-certification form to all borrowers. The borrower must complete and return these statements to the lender before their application process will be complete and for any loan funds to be sent to the student’s school.
The lender will send three disclosures to the borrower.
- Application Disclosure — sent once the lender receives the loan request from the student
- Approval Disclosure — sent once the student’s credit is approved by the lender. Please note that the borrower has 30 days from the receipt of the approval disclosure to notify the lender that the borrower accepts the loan offer.
- Final Disclosure– sent to the borrower after the lender has received the following items:
- acceptance of the approval disclosure by the borrower
- the private loan applicant self-certification form completed by the borrower
- certification of the loan by the borrower’s school
Be aware that the lender are required to wait at least 3 or more business days after the final disclosure is sent before they can send the loan funds to the school.
Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form
In addition to the disclosures, the lender will also send the borrower a self-certification form. This form is sent once the credit approval is received for the private loan application. The borrower must complete and return this form to the lender.
Keep in Mind
Due to these requirements, all students will need to allow for additional time for loan certification and disbursement processing to occur. This additional time may cause:
- late fees on a student account
- a delay in the receipt of a potential refund
- a delay of student participation in registration and housing lotteries in the event that a financial hold exists on the student’s account
Definitions of Common Loan Terms
- Principal-The loan amount that must be repaid once the loan enters Repayment Status and the amount upon which interest will be charged.
- Interest-The charge made to a borrower for use of a lender’s money. See your promissory note for interest rate terms and conditions.
- In-School Deferment: The period of time when the student borrower is enrolled at least half-time at the Eastman School of Music and is not required to pay loan principal.
- In-Repayment: The period of time after the borrower has either finished their degree (graduated), dropped below half-time status, withdrawn from school, or taken a Leave of Absence during which the borrower is responsible to pay BOTH principal and interest payments on their loans.
- Forbearance: The temporary postponement of payments, such as allowing for an extension of time for making payments or accepting smaller payments than previously scheduled.
- Origination or Supplemental Fee: It will be included in the balance used to calculate interest charges.
- Servicing Company: The company that handles a student’s payments and loan account(s) after the loan(s) disburse to the student’s school account.
Loans are disbursed to student accounts at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters provided that all requirements have been completed.
Federal Loan (subsidized, unsubsidized, Parent PLUS & Graduate PLUS) borrowers are notified when a disbursement is made to the student’s account. Requests for loan adjustments (cancellations or reductions) must be in writing and submitted to the Financial Aid Office within 14 days of the receipt of the disbursement notification email.
Loan Disbursement Dates
*** 2023-2024 Academic Year ***
|Loan Period Title||Loan Period Dates||Earliest Disbursement|
|Summer Session 2023||06/26/2023 – 08/04/2023||First day of classes for individual student|
|Fall 2023||08/30/2023 – 12/17/2023||08/23/2023|
|Spring 2024||01/16/2024 – 05/10/2024||01/9/2024|
|Summer Session 2024||TBD||First day of classes for individual student|
Change in Aid Request Form– Required for all borrowers who wish to make a change in their Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS, Graduate PLUS, Alternative). This form is completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
Requesting a Refund – For further information about the process of requesting a credit refund, please visit the Payments & Refunds section of the Bursar’s Office Website.
When a Federal Loan (subsidized, unsubsidized & Graduate PLUS) student borrower has a change in enrollment status, then the student must complete an Exit Counseling Session online and will enter the loan repayment process. Students with questions about their Federal Loans are encouraged to contact the Eastman Financial Aid Office and meet with their counselor. For in-depth information about the loan repayment process, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling Session – (Click here)
Required of all Federal Direct Loan student borrowers at the time they graduate, drop below half-time status (6 credits), take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Eastman School of Music. Students graduating at the end of the spring semester will be sent Exit Counseling Information Session in April. All other students will be sent Exit Counseling information at the time of their status change.
Exit Interview Session for Perkins Loan Borrowers – (https://heartland.ecsi.net/)
Required of all Perkins Loan borrowers at the time they graduate, drop below half-time status (6 credits), take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Eastman School of Music. Students graduating at the end of the spring semester will be sent Exit Interview Information by Heartland ECSI in May. All other students will be sent Exit Interview information at the time of their status change.
Borrowers can visit the Manage Loans section of the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website to view information about all of their federal student loans received and to find contact information for their loan servicers (lenders). A FSA ID (How to Create a FSA ID) to access this information is needed.
A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on a federal student loan. The loan servicer administers repayment plans, loan consolidation and assists with other tasks related to federal student loans. Borrowers should maintain contact with their loan servicer. A loan servicer is assigned to a loan by the U.S. Department of Education after when the loan has been disbursed. Check the accuracy of your Federal Direct Loan servicer contact information here.
For Federal Perkins Loan Borrowers, your loan servicer is Heartland ECSI.
When a student graduates, drops below half-time status (6 units), takes a leave of absence or withdraws from the Eastman School of Music, the student’s loans leave their In-School Deferment status and begin their Grace Period. The grace period for Direct Loans is 6 months and for Perkins Loans is 9 months.
At the end of the grace period, students must begin repayment on their loans. If a borrower is not able to make payments at any point during the repayment period, then the borrower must make arrangements with the Federal Loan Servicer(s) to change the loan payment plan(s), defer the loan payments or place the loan(s) in forbearance. Students should contact their Federal Loan Servicer(s) directly to discuss their options.
Borrowers who wish to defer payment on the principal and/or interest of their Federal Loans due to extenuating circumstances will need to contact their Federal Loan Servicer(s) to obtain these forms.
Consolidation can simplify loan payments and lock in interest rates. Borrowers considering consolidation are advised to consult with their Federal Loan Servicers or with a Financial Aid Counselor prior to consolidating their loans. Information on loan consolidation can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
Under certain circumstances, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness, cancellation or discharge of their Federal Loans. Information about these circumstances can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.