If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your financial aid offer. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. In addition to receiving scholarships and grants, loans allow you and/or your parent(s) to borrow additional money to help with your investment in your future.

At Northland College, we offer Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), and alternative loans.

Direct Stafford Loan

You must be enrolled in at least six credits to receive Stafford Loans.

Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans are need-based loans that must be repaid. The federal government pays interest while enrolled at least half time.

Interest: 4.45% (Rate good until June 30, 2018)
Fees: 1.066% origination fee
Grace Period: 6 months

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non-need-based loans that must be repaid. Interest is charged from the time you receive the funds.

Interest: 4.45% (Rate good until June 30, 2018)
Fees: 1.066% origination fee
Grace Period: 6 months

Dependent Independent
First year: $5,500 First year: $9,500
Second year: $6,500 Second year: $10,500
Third year+: $7,500 Third year+: $12,500
  • Aggregate Subsidized Loan Limit: $23,000
  • Combined Aggregate Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loan Limit: Dependent – $31,000; Independent – $57,500

To check your current federal loan balance you can go to:  www.NSLDS.ed.gov. You will need your FSA ID to login.

Stafford Loan Process

  1. Student accepts or declines awards.
  2. Student completes Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling.
  3. Student signs a Master Promissory Note. You will need your FSA ID to sign electronically. 
  4. Federal regulations require two equal disbursements within a loan period. If you have a loan for the full year, the two disbursements will be fall and winter sessions. If you are enrolled for only one semester your loan will be split into two equal payments within the semester.
  5. When Northland College receives your loan disbursements, they are applied to your student account.

For additional information on federal student loans please visit Federal Student Aid.

Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is a need-based loan that must be repaid. This loan is awarded to the most needy students. We consider the educational expenses, other financial aid you receive, and your family’s estimated ability to help pay for your expenses.

Interest: 5%
Fees: no fees
Grace Period: 9 months
Borrowing Limit: $4,000/year

Perkins Loan Process

  1. Student accepts or declines awards and returns the award letter to the Financial Aid Office.
  2. New Students complete Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling during orientation. Returning students with a first-time award complete Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling in the Financial Aid Office.
  3. Student completes the Recipient Information Form and the Loan Acknowledgement form.
  4. Student signs a Master Promissory Note during orientation
  5. Loan will be disbursed to the student account once all forms are received.

For additional information on federal student loans please visit Federal Student Aid.


Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students

The PLUS loan is offered to qualified parents of dependent undergraduate students regardless of financial need. A parent is not guaranteed to receive the PLUS loan. Upon application, the Department of Education (DOE) will evaluate your credit and approve or deny your application based on your credit score and history.

Northland College is not involved in the credit decision made by the DOE. If you have any questions regarding the pre-approval process for the PLUS loan, please contact the Department of Education at (800) 557-7394.

Interest: 7%  (Rate good through June 30, 2018)
Repayment: Payments will begin on your Direct PLUS Loan once your loan is fully disbursed (paid out). Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.
Fees: 4.264%

PLUS Loan Process

  1. Apply for the PLUS loan. To apply for the loan, the parent borrower will use his/her social security number and FSA ID to sign in to studentloans.gov. After the parent signs in, click on “Request a PLUS Loan.”
  2. Authorize a Credit Check. The parent will be asked to authorize a credit check when applying for the PLUS loan. The Office of Financial Aid will receive confirmation of the credit decision along with the amount requested.
  3. Complete Master Promissory Note. If you are a first-time borrower or if you have had an endorser on a previous PLUS loan, complete the Master Promissory Note. A Master Primary Note is valid for ten years; however, a new credit report will be initiated by the DOE each time.
  4. Receive PLUS Loan Disclosure Statement. The parent will be mailed a disclosure statement from the Federal Direct Loan Servicer which will verify the loan has been approved.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans, commonly referred to as private loans, are commercial loans offered by banks and other private lenders to cover the costs of college not covered by financial aid. We strongly encourage every student to explore all funding options including scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS), prior to applying for a private loan.

These loans differ from federal loans in several ways:

  1. These loans are not guaranteed, which means that both the student and the co-signer (if needed) will be subject to a credit check.
  2. The interest rates on these loans can be higher than the federal rate. There are several places to go to find the current rates for Prime, T-bill, LIBOR and the other instruments that lenders use to set their interest rates, but we suggest you bookmark this site. When you go to the above site there will be many indexes listed. The three main indexes that lenders use for private loans are: Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Prime, 91 day T-Bill, 1 month LIBOR plus a certain percent.
  3. There are no interest rate caps on these private loans like there are with the federal loans (including the PLUS). While these loans typically have deferred payments while you are in school and offer a grace period, interest will still accrue during these time periods. Make sure to read the conditions and terms of the loan prior to signing the promissory note. This will ensure that you understand the loan terms when it comes time to repay the loan.

Alternative Loan Process

  1. Apply online through the lender of your choice, we are unable to recommend a lender. At FASTChoice you can learn more about alternative loans, find details about different lenders and loan programs, and select the loan that’s right for you.
  2. Determine an Amount. You are only able to borrow up to your cost of attendance minus your financial aid. Check with student billing to determine your balance due.
  3. Loan Approval Confirmation. Contact your lender to make sure they have approved your loan and the scheduled disbursement, if you have not received notification from them.