US Federal Student Loans
The International Education Division administers Federal Loans and private study loans to eligible students from the USA studying at Mary Immaculate College.
Please read Mary Immaculate College's US Federal Student Aid Admissions Policy before submitting a loan application.
US Loans: American students attending Mary Immaculate College are eligible to receive the following types of US student loans.
Federal Direct Loans: Eligible US Undergraduate and Graduate students can apply for Subsidised and Unsubsidised Federal Direct Loans. The US Government pays the interest on the Subsidised portion of the Direct Loan while the student is in school.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans: PLUS Loans, formerly only available to the parents of undergraduate students, are now available to graduate students also. Graduate students can apply for the PLUS Loan on their own signature, without parental involvement. PLUS Loans do not have a grace period. Repayment begins after the final disbursement but the payments can be deferred while the student is in school.
Private Education Loans: Students can avail of most types of private education loans, however, some lenders restrict availability of certain loan products to US schools only. You should consult the lender
US Federal Direct Loans – How To Apply
Student Aid Report (SAR): To apply for a Direct or Direct PLUS loan, you must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at: www.fafsa.ed.gov . This process generates your Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR is required by the school to determine your eligibility to receive a Federal Loan and also the amount you are eligible to borrow.
If you are applying for the first time, you will need to create a username and password. This will enable you to access your information more quickly on subsequent visits to the FAFSA site. It will also enable you to complete a Renewal FAFSA in future years. You may have to return to the site to enter or update information on your (or your parents’, in the case of dependent undergraduates) tax returns etc.
After you file your FAFSA online, the US Dept of Education (DOE) will process your SAR. You can review/amend your SAR online once it has been processed. In order to certify your Federal Loans, the school must receive your full SAR. This is not available to you online. You can only download a summarized 3-page version. Please select the PDF format before printing or emailing it (as an attachment) to the school. Once it is received, the full SAR can be retrieved electronically by the school.
Note 1: You must enter the school name and US Department of Education (DOE) School Code number on your FAFSA.
The DOE School Code number for Mary Immaculate College is 04241200
Direct Loans – How to Apply: You must complete a Direct Loan Application / Master Promissory Note (MPN) online.
Note: You should keep copies of ALL Financial Aid documents for your own records. You will need them when your loans go into repayment after graduation.
Direct Loan Amounts (maximum per year): The amount you can borrow depends on your status (dependent or independent) and your grade level in college (see below).
1st Year: $3,500 (Subsidised) and $2,000 (Unsubsidised)
2nd Year: $4,500 (Subsidised) and $2,000 (Unsubsidised)
3rd Year & beyond: $5,500 (Subsidised) and $2,000 (Unsubsidised)
1st Year: $3,500 (Subsidised) and $6,000 (Unsubsidised)
2nd Year: $4,500 (Subsidised) and $6,000 (Unsubsidised)
3rd Year & beyond: $5,500 (Subsidised) and $7,000 (Unsubsidised)
Note: Your status as a Dependent or Independent Undergraduate is determined by your SAR.
Graduate/Professional: Unsubsidised Direct Loan: $20,500
PLUS Loans – How to Apply: You, or your parent, (if you are an undergraduate) can apply for a PLUS Loan in addition to the Direct Loan. The PLUS Loan was formerly only available to the parents of undergraduate students, but since July 1, 2006, it is also available to Graduate/Professional students, on their own signature, i.e., without the involvement of a parent. The PLUS (or Grad PLUS) Loan allows you, or your parent (in the case of undergraduates), to borrow up to the Cost of Attendance (COA), less the Direct Loan amount.
Your COA is determined by the school and includes tuition and all school costs, all living expenses (rent, utilities etc) and transportation (airline & commuting). Check the MPN for the full list of allowable expenses.
Note: If you feel that the COA for your course, as determined by the school, is lower than your estimated costs, you should provide a budget breakdown of your expected expenses for the academic year. The school FAA will review your costs to decide if they are allowable and reasonable.
Parent PLUS Loans: If you are a Dependent Undergraduate student, your parent can apply for a PLUS Loan on your behalf. PLUS Loans are credit-based and approval is based on your parent’s credit history.
Note: If your parent is denied a PLUS Loan, due to an adverse credit-rating, you can apply for the Unsubsidised Direct Loan amount appropriate to your grade level, as an Independent Undergraduate.
Your parent should complete a Direct PLUS MPN online at:
Your SAR must be on file at the school prior to school certification.
Note: You only need to submit one SAR to the school each year.
Graduate PLUS Loan: If you are a Graduate/Professional student, you can apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan in addition to the Direct Loan. As a Graduate/Professional student, you are considered independent of your parents.
You should complete the Direct PLUS MPN online at:
If your SAR is already on file at the school, your PLUS Loan can be certified.
1. File FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and get your SAR.
2. Complete Direct / PLUS MPN(s) online.
3. Submit all documents to the FAA in the International Education Division.
Once the school’s FAA has received your MPN(s) and your SAR, you will receive an ‘Award Letter’ outlining the loans amounts that you are eligible to borrow and also a Loan Amount Declaration form which you need to sign and return to the FAA. When all documents are received, your loan(s) can be school-certified.
Interest Rates: Since July 2006, the interest rates on Federal loans are fixed, rates from July 1st 2016 to July 1st 2017 are as follows:
Direct Loans Undergraduate: 3.76%
Direct Loans Graduate: 5.31%
PLUS Loans: 6.31%
Unsubsidised Direct and PLUS Loans accrue interest from the date of disbursement.
Subsidised Direct Loans accrue interest once you graduate or fall below at least half time enrolment.
Note: The grace period begins at graduation, or when a student falls below half-time attendance. It should also be noted that a student who takes an approved Leave of Absence will initiate the grace period and may be required to commence repayment of their loans before they return to school.
Deferring Previous Loans
Students who are experiencing temporary problems repaying their federal student loans are advised to contact their loan servicer to see if you they eligible for deferment. A deferment allows students to temporarily stop making payments on their federal student loans. If students have Direct Subsidized Loans, they are not charged interest on those loans during deferment. Students are never charged a fee for applying for a deferment on their federal student loans. Note: Interest will continue to be charged during deferment on Direct Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans. If students do not pay this interest during the deferment, it will be capitalized at the end of the deferment. Students may qualify for a deferment if they are enrolled at least half time at Mary Immaculate College
Students and parents of dependent undergraduates with Parent PLUS Loans should please note that student loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible to authorised users of the data system e.g. guaranty agencies, lenders and schools.
Federal Loans are disbursed, in substantially equal amounts, at the beginning of each academic term or semester. Disbursements are subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Please read Mary Immaculate College's SAP Policy
Loan funds will be used to pay any outstanding tuition balance in the first instance, and any remaining balance will be refunded to the student
Satisfactory Academic Progress:
US Federal regulations require that all students, who are in receipt of US Federal Student Aid (FSA), must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Failure to do so can result in the loss of eligibility to receive further funding. It is the responsibility of the school to monitor SAP and, where necessary, to suspend or withhold eligibility to receive Federal Funding.
There are two components involved in monitoring SAP, Qualitative and Quantitative.
The Qualitative Component requires that students maintain a QCA of 2.0 or above without any ‘F’ grades or an academic standing consistent with the college’s requirements for graduation.
The Quantitative Component requires that students progress through their course of study in a timely manner.
SAP is monitored at the end of each semester to confirm eligibility to receive funding for the following semester.
Students who fail to maintain SAP will receive a warning and will be placed on probation during the following semester. Students on probation will receive funding but they must meet the required academic standards during that semester in order to avoid suspension of eligibility for funding. Therefore, a student who fails to maintain SAP during two consecutive semesters will be deemed ineligible for funding for the following loan period.
Students will be notified of probation or suspension by letter and/or email.
SAP Appeals: A student who loses eligibility for Federal funding may appeal the decision if they can show that their failure to maintain SAP was due to extenuating circumstances. A student can only appeal if they fail to maintain SAP during two consecutive semesters.
Note: SAP appeals have nothing to do with appeals against exam results or test scores and the outcome of a SAP appeal has no bearing on results achieved or grades awarded. SAP decisions are based on official exam results and test scores only.
A student may appeal a decision to suspend eligibility for Federal funding if they can demonstrate that their failure to maintain SAP was due to extraordinary circumstances such as the following:
• Serious illness or injury
• Death of a family member
• Divorce or family difficulties
• Financial difficulties
• Interpersonal problems
Appeals must be submitted in writing, together with supporting documentation, within ten days of the notification of suspension. An SAP Appeals Committee will consider each case and their decision is final.
Entrance and Exit Counselling:
Entrance Counselling: US Federal Regulations require that all students who borrow Direct Loans, for the first time, undergo Entrance Counseling. It is most important that you understand your rights and responsibilities when borrowing Federal Student Loans.
You can complete your Entrance Counselling at the following website: www.studentloans.gov
When you complete the online Entrance Counselling, please send a confirmation email to the school.
Exit Counselling: You are required to undergo Exit Counselling during your final year, before you graduate. Also, if you withdraw from the college, or drop below half-time attendance, you are required by law to have Exit Counselling, beforehand.
You can complete your Exit Counselling at the following website: www.studentloans.gov.
When you complete the online Exit Counselling, please send a confirmation email to the school.
Return of Title IV Funds
Please read Mary Immaculate College's Return of IV Funds Policy
If a student who is in receipt of US Federal Funding withdraws from the college, or takes unapproved leave of absence, during a loan period, the FAA will determine the amount of loan money to be returned to the Federal Student Aid Program.
Note: The return of Federal Loan Funds takes precedence over the college’s own tuition refund policy in the event of withdrawal. However, students should note that the return of loan funds does not cancel their liability to Mary Immaculate College for any tuition fee balance outstanding on their account.
When a student withdraws, the college is required to calculate the amount of “unearned” funds to be returned. Unearned funds are calculated pro-rata, based on the number of days attended during the loan period, up to the date that notice of withdrawal is received by the college. The FAA will calculate the number of days attended as a percentage of the total number of days in the loan period. This determines the amount of “earned” funds, and any remaining “unearned” funds must be returned to the FSA program.
This calculation is applied to the total amount disbursed for the loan period. Therefore, a student who received a refund (for living expenses etc) from the college after tuition was deducted, will be required to repay the “unearned” portion.
Note: If a student attends for sixty percent or more of the loan period, no return of funds is required.
Return of Funds: When a student withdraws, the college is required to return any “unearned” funds, up to the net amount disbursed from each source, in the following order:
• Unsubsidized Direct Loans
• Subsidized Direct Loans
• Direct PLUS Loans
Loan Repayment: When a student withdraws, the college will inform the servicer of the date of separation, and the borrower “grace period” will commence. All loan funds received up to that date, including any funds given to the student for the loan period during which they withdrew, will be repayable at the end of the grace period, under the terms and conditions of the Master Promissory Note(s).
A small number of US lenders provide Private Education Loans for students studying at foreign schools. These loans are credit-based and generally require a good credit rating. Students with poor credit can be required to use a credit-worthy co-signer in order to secure a private loan. Private loans are not subject to the same regulations that govern the administration of US Federal Loans, and the SAR is not required. Most private loans are subject to loan fees which are added to the loan amount before interest rates are applied.
Note: You should study the Terms & Conditions of the loan very carefully and consult the lender if you require further clarification, before you submit an application.
Loan Amounts: Private loan amounts can vary, depending on the lender and the type of loan. Some lenders offer loan amounts up to the full COA (less other Financial Aid), while others impose maximum limits, regardless of COA
Study Abroad Students
If I am attending Mary Immaculate College through a “Study Abroad” programme sponsored by my domestic school, do I apply for federal student aid through Mary Immaculate College
No. Federal student aid for a short term, or a study abroad programme is processed by the student’s home institution in the U.S.
Mary Immaculate College is not authorized to certify student loans or deferments for U.S. study abroad students who only plan to attend for a semester or for a one year study abroad experience to earn credits that apply toward or transfer into a degree program in which the student is enrolled in the U.S.
Co-Operative Placement/Erasmus/International Exchange
Students in receipt of US Financial Aid can only go on Erasmus/International Exchange to another institution that is eligible to administer US Financial Aid. As such if students are interested in going on Erasmus/International Exchange they must notify the Financial Aid administrator at MIC in advance so that she can identify the eligible institutions that students may attend.
Please note that students in receipt of US Financial Aid cannot go on International Exchange to the USA.
In terms of Co-Op placement, again students cannot return to the USA on their Co-Op/Internship placement.
The regulations are as follows:
Under §600.52, a foreign institution may not permit students to enroll in any course offered by the foreign institution that takes place in the United States, including research, work, internship, externship, or special studies. Despite this prohibition, independent research done by an individual student in the United States for not more than one academic year is permissible if it is conducted during the dissertation phase of a doctoral program under the guidance of faculty and the research can only be performed in the United States. (Additional guidance on the Title IV program ineligibility of foreign institution programs offered in the U.S. can be found in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-18.) Under §600.54(c), an eligible foreign institution may not enter into an arrangement under which a Title IV-ineligible entity provides any portion of the eligible institution’s programs (except for affiliation agreements for the provision of clinical training for foreign medical, veterinary, and nursing schools).
The grace period, whether here or in the US, always starts when the student is no longer enrolled at least half time. Once students cease academic activity, they are considered as the equivalent of "Graduated" regardless of the date of parade on stage. In the case of US Federal loans for Postgraduate Students the date of submission of their thesis is the end of their academic activity so their grace period begins from then and not after the conferring ceremony the following January. Undergraduate students are reported as graduated once the spring semester results are released in mid June.
Distance Education Programmes
Distance Education programmes at Mary Immaculate College are not eligible for US Federal Aid loans.
The regulations are as follows:
Under §600.51(d), a program offered by a foreign institution may not include any use of a telecommunications course (distance education), correspondence course, or direct assessment, except that distance education technologies may be used to supplement and support instruction in a classroom located in the foreign country where the students and instructor are physically present