myBenU
COVID-19 UPDATES

Loans

Student Loan Acceptance Instructions

All first-time borrowers are required by the Department of Education to complete an online Federal Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note. These two loan acceptance steps are designed to assist you in better understanding how student loans work and your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower.

At BenU, students have a number of borrowing options available to them. Please review the loan information below so you can decide what options are best for you.

Federal Direct Loan Instructions

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help finance the cost of education at a post-secondary institution. Under the Federal Direct Loan Student Program, students work with the Office of Financial Aid in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education to obtain these loans.

Benedictine University is a Title IV funded institution and a participant in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Federal financial aid is available to those who apply and qualify via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Federal Direct Loan Program is a program that makes low-interest loans to students while they are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program. Borrowers of Federal Direct loans benefit from a stable source of funding as loans are disbursed directly from the U.S. Department of Education and later managed by a loan servicer.

As part of your offer notification, Benedictine University will notify you of your student loan eligibility according to the results of your FAFSA.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are based on financial need. The federal government “subsidizes” the loan by paying any accrued interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are low interest loans that are not based on financial need. The student is responsible for paying the interest from the date the loan is disbursed; however, they may choose to defer these payments while they are in school.

Both subsidized and unsubsidized loans are eligible for payment deferment while the student is enrolled at least half-time. For further information on Federal Direct Loans, including origination fees and interest rates, visit Federal Student Aid.

STEPS TO BORROW

If you are a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower, you must complete the following, after you complete the FAFSA, in order for federal funding to be disbursed:

  • Complete Loan Entrance Counseling
    The federal government requires you to complete Entrance Counseling to ensure that you understand the financial responsibilities and obligations you are accepting.
  • Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)
    The subsidized/unsubsidized MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan servicer.

For further information on federal student loans, visit Federal Student Aid.

Federal Student Aid

Federal Direct PLUS Loans – Parents

The Department of Education offers PLUS loans to eligible parents of dependent U.S. students. Only biological parents, stepparents or adoptive parents of dependent, undergraduate students are eligible to participate in the program. Parents are able to borrow up to the cost of attendance (calculated by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

NOTE: The parent is the borrower of the Parent PLUS loan. Unlike Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, these loans are credit-based rather than need-based, and loans are subject to credit approval.

Students and parents must complete the FAFSA in order to receive a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Before a Direct PLUS Loan can be disbursed, the below steps must be completed.

  • Complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan MPN
    This Master Promissory note explains all of the terms and conditions and constitutes your legally binding agreement to repay all loans that are received under the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
  • You will have an opportunity to complete the Direct PLUS Loan Request after you complete the Direct PLUS Loan MPN.

For further information on Federal PLUS Loans, visit Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application

Parent PLUS Loan Application Instructions

Federal Direct PLUS Loans – Graduate Students

The U.S. Department of Education offers PLUS loans to eligible graduate students. Students are able to borrow up to the cost of attendance (calculated by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

Students must complete the FAFSA to receive a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Before a Direct PLUS Loan can be disbursed, the following steps must be completed.

STEPS TO BORROW

  • Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)
    The subsidized/unsubsidized MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan servicer.
  • Complete a Graduate PLUS MPN
    The Graduate/Professional PLUS MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan servicer.
  • Complete Loan Entrance Counseling
    The federal government requires you to complete Entrance Counseling to ensure that you understand the financial responsibilities and obligations you are accepting.

For further information on federal student loans, visit Federal Student Aid.

Federal Student Aid

Private Loans

Private loans, also called alternative or third-party loans, are credit-based loans offered by private lenders such as banks and other financial institutions. Eligibility for most of these loan programs is based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and may require the assistance of a parent or another credit-worthy co-signer.

Private loan programs can help bridge the gap between the cost of attendance (COA) and the financial aid awarded. These loans are allowed to cover the cost of tuition and other school-related expenses, up to the federal COA allowance for the academic year. Benedictine University does not keep a preferred lender list as interest rates and loan terms change frequently.

For more information, see our Private loan comparison tool.

Private Loan Comparison Tool

Managing Your Borrowing

We encourage students to borrow the least amount possible. They can use the Benedictine University Business Office’s Payment Options to reduce their overall student debt. These options can also help them avoid taking loans.

Students may track their borrowing history at NSLDS Student Access. Loan disclosure information is provided by the U.S. Department of Education when students sign the MPN.

Students can explore repayment options at studentaid.gov.

Business Office Payment Options NSLDS Student Access Repayment Options Estimated Annual Out-of-Pocket Cost Worksheet
For further questions, or to set up an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid, please contact us at [email protected] or (630) 829-6100. Our office is located on the 2nd Floor of Goodwin Hall