Loans

How Loans Work

Loans are given to students with the understanding that they will be repaid at some future date in accordance with the specific terms of the loan.

Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized.

Subsidized
Subsidized loans are need-based. The federal government pays interest on the loan until repayment begins. In order to receive such a loan, a student must have unmet financial need, as determined by the Office of University Financial Aid. 

Unsubsidized
Unsubsidized loans are non-need based and accrue interest while you are in school. Interest accrues after the loan disburses and is the student’s responsibility. Students have the option of paying on the interest while they are in school, but this is not required.

Review loan terms and conditions here

Loan Application and Acceptance

To accept the loan amount offered, log into your My Financial Aid portal using your CWRU Network ID and password. You must accept your aid and complete any additional necessary steps in order for loans to disburse to your student account. The Office of University Financial Aid highly recommends exhausting all federal loan options before applying for alternative loans.

Loans offered by Case Western Reserve University (including Federal Direct Loans, Federal Health Professions Student Loans, Federal Nursing Loans, and CWRU Loans) cannot be credited to a student’s account until after the student signs the promissory note for the loan and completes entrance counseling. In some cases, additional documentation may be required by the U.S. Department of Education, who will contact the borrower directly with those requirements. These additional requirements will not always show in your My Financial Aid portal due to the nature and timing of when this information becomes available.

Loan Counseling

Students borrowing through the Federal Direct Loan Program for the first time must participate in self-guided counseling sessions before funds can disburse. The U.S Department of Education makes these sessions available online at https://studentloans.gov. Prior to disbursement students must complete entrance counseling which helps you to understand what it means to take out a federal student loan. After leaving CWRU, whether through graduation, transfer, withdrawal, or dropping below half-time status, students must complete exit counseling which helps you to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding repayment. Emails will be sent regarding exit counseling to the student at the time that it is needed.

Types of Loans

Federal Direct Loans are the primary form of low-interest, long-term loans used to assist students with college expenses. They may be either subsidized or unsubsidized.

Federal 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. Federal PLUS Loans are credit-based.

A CWRU Loan is a subsidized loan to a student to assist with educational expenses. In order to receive a university loan, a student must first apply for need-based financial aid and have eligibility, which is determined by the Office of University Financial Aid.

CWRU loans range from $200 to $5,000 per year. CWRU loans are typically only awarded to students in need who have been denied funding from other sources. Repayment is made over a ten-year period after graduation or when the student ceases enrollment on at least a half-time basis from undergraduate or graduate programs. Repayment begins after a six month grace period and the loans are fixed at a 5% interest rate as of July 1, 2017.

A wide variety of private educational loans can be found using FASTChoice, an online private loan counseling and selection tool.

Listed lenders are selected by an annual RFI that looks at areas such as customer service, financial stability and loan terms. Many programs are designed for specific types of borrowers, and they comprise various loan terms and underwriting guidelines. Private loans are unsubsidized and can be denied due to adverse credit.

A wide variety of private educational loans can be found using FASTChoice, an online private loan counseling and selection tool.

Listed lenders are selected by an annual RFI that looks at areas such as customer service, financial stability and loan terms. Many programs are designed for specific types of borrowers, and they comprise various loan terms and underwriting guidelines. Private loans are unsubsidized and can be denied due to adverse credit.

Many U.S. institutions will required that an international student apply for private educational loans with a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident as a co-signer. A wide variety of private educational loans can be found using FASTChoice, an online private loan counseling and selection tool.

There are a few companies, such as MPOWER Financing that will provide loans to international students without a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident as a cosigner.

If you have followed the instructions and your loan(s) do not disburse the first week of classes, contact the Office of University Financial Aid.

Disbursement

Loan funds will be disbursed to the university, who will then apply the funds to the student’s university account. With the exception of summer, federal loan funds are generally applied on the first day of class and private loans at the end of the first week of class. Summer federal loan funds are applied on July 1, or the first business day after, and private loans the Friday afterward. Students whose requirements have not been completed in enough time to meet these disbursement dates can expect their funds to be applied periodically throughout the semester.

When the student is issued a loan, the student will be given a Truth-in-Lending Statement that will detail the interest rate and finance charge for the loan. Since a student loan may represent a  students’ first experience with credit, it is essential that the student understands the terms and conditions of the loan. Remember, the establishment and maintenance of a good credit rating is essential for the student’s future economic and financial well-being. For additional information that can increase your understanding of these topics, please refer to our financial literacy partner, GradReady.