Federal Direct Loans are low interest loans available through the Department of Education.  There are two different types of Direct Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.  First year students can borrow up to $3500, sophomores may borrow up to $4500 and Junior and Seniors may borrow up to $5500 in the Direct Loan program.  All students, regardless of need, or grade level, may borrow up to an additional $2000 in the Unsubsidized Loan program. 

Direct Subsidized Loans are low-interest loans available through the Department of Education.  There is no interest charged on Subsidized loans as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time.  Students have to demonstrate need by filing the FAFSA to be eligible for the Subsidized  Loan.  Repayment begins 6 months after students leave school or are enrolled less than half time. For new loans disbursed after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017 the interest rate is fixed at 3.76%.   There is a 1.069% origination fee associated with this loan. If you have questions about your direct loans, you can visit  studentloans.gov or call 1-800-508-1378.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are low-interest loans available through the Department of Education to students regardless of their level of demonstrated need. Interest accrues on the loan from the time of disbursement; the principal balance is deferred. For new loans disbursed after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017 the interest rate is fixed at 3.76%.  There is a 1.069% origination fee associated with this loan.  Unsubsidized Loans are available to all students regardless of income.  If you have questions about your direct loans, you can visit studentloans.gov or call 1-800-508-1378.

Information you should know about your Federal Direct Loan
There is a 1.069% origination fee associated with the Federal Direct Loan.  This fee is taken out of the loan proceeds that are sent to the college.

Maximum eligibility period to receive Direct Subsidized Loans on or after
July 1, 2013:

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program.  This is called your “maximum eligibility period”.  You can usually find the published length of any program of study in your school’s catalog.  As part of your “Entrance Counseling” please review the information about the 150% borrowing regulation at Federal Student Aid.

Master Promissory Note
Students are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) the first time they borrow a Federal Direct Loan at a college.  Students complete the MPN online at studentloans.gov.  Students are required to list two references on the MPN and sign the MPN using the same FSA ID they use to sign the FAFSA.  The MPN will be used for all future federal direct loans they borrow while at Cornell.

Entrance Counseling

Students must also complete an Entrance Interview once during their college career before they may borrow a Federal Direct loan.  Students are required to complete the Entrance Interview  Counseling at  studentloans.gov before a Federal Direct Loan can be processed.

Exit Counseling
The Department of Education requires that the College complete exit counseling with all students who have borrowed federal loans either at the time of graduation or withdraw from the college.  The Financial Aid Office emails exit counseling information to graduates and students that withdraw and it can be completed at  studentloans.gov

Questions regarding student loans should be directed to the Financial Assistance Office at Cornell College.

Direct Consolidation Loans Direct Consolidation Loans allow borrowers to combine one or more of their Federal education loans into a new loan that offers several advantages.  Please visit  studentloans.gov for additional information on Direct Consolidation Loans.  If you have questions regarding Federal Direct Loans that you borrowed through a lender that the Department of Education has now purchased, you may call 1-800-508-1378. 

The Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Federal PLUS Loans allow parents or graduate students to borrow funds to meet college costs. Parents must be credit worthy to receive this loan. PLUS maximums are set at Cost of Education minus Aid received. The interest rate for loans disbursed after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017 is fixed at 6.31%. There is a 4.276% origination fee.

IMPORTANT: The origination fees are deducted from the amount you borrow before the funds arrive at Cornell. Please take this into consideration if you are trying to borrow an exact amount to cover charges. Repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan with up to ten years to repay. Other repayment plans are available. Interest and principal may be deferred in some circumstances.

A credit analysis is required.  Approval is based solely on good credit – income and personal debt are not factors in determining loan approval. If a parent of a dependent undergraduate student is denied a PLUS loan, the student may be eligible for an additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (Freshman/Sophomores $4000, Juniors/Seniors $5000). The parent may also obtain a credit worthy co-signer.

Please follow the steps outlined on our website to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and application to borrow the PLUS loan.

If you would like to see if you would be approved for the Parent PLUS loan, you can complete the
Pre-approval form and return it to the Office of Financial Assistance.  Our staff will be able to request a credit check to determine if you would be approved for the Parent PLUS loan.


Loan Calculator

Here's an online student loan repayment calculator to help you better understand how you can pay less interest and payoff student loans faster.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.