Federal Loans

Types of Federal Loans

You may wish to consider paying for some of your NIU expenses with federal loans, which are funded by the federal government. You must be enrolled at least half-time to receive loans (other aid may be available if not enrolled half-time). There are several types of federal loans for which you may be eligible.

If you’re a current NIU student who has a Federal Perkins Loan, contact us for more information.

Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note

For first-time borrowers of a Direct Student Loan, a student must complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note, which is your loan agreement in which you promise to repay your loan(s) to the U.S. Department of Education.

Don't forget this step! Your loans will not be disbursed until it is complete.

Loan Request Deadlines

Requests for Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS loans will be processed throughout the semester of enrollment. However, in order to guarantee disbursement of your loan(s), all requests - SAP, Verification, Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) and the acceptance of your loan must be received by final deadline date (last week before the semester ends.) Requests received after the final deadline cannot be processed.

Regardless of the loan period, any loan you wish to borrow must be accepted before you cease enrollment. For example, if you accept a loan(s) after the end of the fall semester or have a fall loan based on spring enrollment, federal regulations prohibit us from disbursing your loan until you have official spring enrollment (at least half-time). Spring enrollment is considered official at the end of the two-week add/drop period.

National Student Loan Data System

You can view the total amount of federal loans you have borrowed on the Federal Student Aid website. This site displays information on your loan amounts, outstanding balances, loan status and loan servicer. Students and parents of students who agree to utilize a federal student loan will have their information submitted to Federal Student Aid. This system is accessible to authorized users at guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions in addition to students.

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