Saint Catharine College Clock Tower photo

Federal Financial Aid Resources


Grant Funding


Direct Loans

To apply for a federal student loan, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® ). Based on the results of your FAFSA, your college or career school will send you a financial aid offer, which may include federal student loans. Your school will tell you how to accept all or a part of the loan. 

 Before you receive your loan funds, you will be required to:

  • complete Entrance Counseling, a tool to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan; and
  • sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), agreeing to the terms of the loan.

Direct Parent PLUS Loan

This federal loan program provides funds to the parent of a dependent student. The amount of this loan cannot exceed the cost of attendance less other financial aid. Borrowers pay the lender an origination fee when each loan is made. Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement, and the first payment is due within sixty (60) days. The interest rate is a variable rate based on Treasury Bill rates plus 3.1 percent and cannot exceed 9 percent. The lender of this loan is the Federal Department of Education.

To qualify for a PLUS loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history. Your credit history may be considered adverse if you are experiencing any of the following credit conditions:

  • Bankruptcy discharge within the past five years. 
  • Voluntary surrender of personal property to avoid repossession within the last five years.
  • Repossession of collateral within the last five years.
  • Foreclosure proceedings started.
  • Foreclosure within the last five years.
  • Conveying your real property that is subject to a mortgage (by deed) to your lender to avoid foreclosure (deed in lieu of foreclosure).
  • Accounts currently 90 days or more delinquent.
  • Unpaid collection accounts.
  • Charge-offs/write-offs of federal student loans.
  • Wage garnishment within the last five years.
  • Defaulting on a loan, even if the claim has been paid.
  • Lease or contract terminated by default.
  • County/state/federal tax lien within the past five years.


Resource Links

FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Federal Student Aid website

Selective Service Registration

National Student Loan Data System for Students

The SmartStudent TM  Guide to Financial Aid