Financial Aid Quick Reference
The Financial Aid Office will assist you in administering loans from a variety of student loan programs,
including loans available from federal, state and private resources. On most loans, the student is the
borrower and must complete the loan application process, which includes signing a promissory note. Parents
are eligible to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan on behalf of their dependent student. Students should read
and understand their Financial Aid award letter to ensure all paperwork requested by the Financial Aid
Office is received.
SALT MONEY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Paul Smith’s College has partnered with the nonprofit organization American Student Assistance (ASA) to
provide access to SALT. The SALT program teaches students to be financially savvy and borrow wisely for
college and beyond. This is a free lifetime membership for Paul Smith’s College students. Modules are
available to assist students through many milestones in their lives, from entering repayment period on
student loans to purchasing a car or home, obtaining credit scores and more.
Upon enrollment in their first semester at Paul Smiths College, students receive an email from SALT with
registration instructions. Students may also contact SALT Member Support for more information.
(855) 469-2724 (toll-free)
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
Federal loans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. only. Complete the FAFSA
to be considered for the loans listed below. First-time student borrowers are required to complete loan
entrance counseling and Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to disbursement.
Award amount: see chart below
Interest: undergraduates, see below
Payment terms: six months after leaving school or dropping below half-time status
Available to undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half time (six credit hours per semester for
undergraduates). Federally funded Stafford Loans come in two kinds: subsidized and unsubsidized.
The subsidized Stafford Loan is based on need, as determined by the FAFSA. No interest accrues while you are
enrolled at least half time. Beginning July 1, 2012, subsidized Stafford Loans will be available to
undergraduate students only.
The unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to students regardless of need, and interest begins to accrue at
disbursement. You may choose to make payments while enrolled or defer payment until you leave school.
Stafford Loan Amount
Freshmen: up to $5,500 per year (plus $4,000 per year unsubsidized for independent students)
Sophomores: up to $6,500 per year (plus $4,000 per year unsubsidized for independent students)
Juniors/seniors: up to $7,500 per year (plus $5,000 per year unsubsidized for independent students)
HOW TO APPLY: A completed FAFSA and a loan promissory note and entrance counseling are required
for both types of Stafford Loans. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for all Stafford
and PLUS loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. New students must accept
or decline Stafford Loans offered on their award letter. The student must sign and return a copy
of their award letter to the Financial Aid Office.
To disburse your federal student loan(s), the following documentation is required:
Loan Master Promissory Note
Loan Entrance Counseling
INTEREST RATES: The following fixed interest rate schedule applies for undergraduate Stafford Loan borrowers
for the subsidized portion of their loan only. The following interest rates apply for loans made in the
academic year indicated:
2012-13 term: 3.4 percent
2013-14 term and beyond: 6.8 percent
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for undergraduate students accrue at a fixed 6.8 percent interest rate.
Award amount: $500-$5,000
Interest: 5 percent
Payment terms: nine months after leaving school or dropping below half-time status
Available to full-time undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need (determined by the FAFSA and the college).
No interest accrues while you are enrolled at least half time (six credit hours per semester).
To disburse your Perkins student loan, the following documentation is required:
Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Loan Entrance Counseling
Instructions to complete the MPN and Loan Entrance Counseling online will be sent to your Paul Smith’s email account
from our loan administrator, shortly after the beginning of the semester.
Direct PLUS Loans for students
Award amount: cost of attendance minus other financial aid (a FAFSA is required to request of PLUS loan)
Interest: 7.9 percent fixed
Payment terms: 60 days after disbursement. Borrowers can also request in-school deferments from the Department
This is a credit-based loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half time. The annual
limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives.
The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for all PLUS Loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan
Program. The borrower will pay a fee of 4 percent of the loan amount, deducted each time a loan disbursement is made.
HOW TO APPLY:
To request a PLUS Loan, parent borrowers submit an application with the Department of Education at
www.studentloans.gov. The Department of Education will notify the College and the borrower of loan approval or denial.
Parent borrowers must also submit a PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the funds are disbursed to the college.
To disburse your Parent PLUS Loan, the following documentation is required:
Request a PLUS loan
PLUS Loan Promissory Note (MPN)
If a parent is denied a PLUS Loan, the student becomes eligible for an additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan
(freshmen/sophomores up to $4,000; juniors/seniors up to $5,000). Parents denied the PLUS Loan for credit
reasons also may pursue an endorser option to be approved for the loan. Applicants who are denied for credit
reasons will be asked to pursue this option during the online application process.
FEDERAL LOAN REPAYMENT
After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a grace period of six months for
Stafford Loans (nine months on Perkins) before beginning to repay your loans. Your first payment is due within
60 days after your grace period. Your lender(s) will notify you of your payment due dates.
Federal regulations require that you complete a loan exit counseling session before you graduate and every time
you drop below half-time status. The counseling session provides information about how to manage your student loans.
Use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Financial Aid Review service for information on loan and/or grant amounts,
outstanding balances, loan status, lender contact information and disbursements.
Several repayment plans are available. Generally, you'll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan,
depending on which plan you choose. Learn more.
You may be able to consolidate your Stafford Loans, if you have at least one loan in grace, repayment,
deferment or default status. In-school status loans are not included. Learn more about consolidation loans.
The parent-borrower has the option of beginning repayment either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed
or six months after the dependent student drops to below half-time enrollment. Parent-borrowers must request
deferment from the Department of Education/Servicer each year they wish to delay repayment. During this time,
interest may be paid or capitalized.
If, at any time, you're having difficulty making payments, please contact the Department of Education/Servicer.
A customer representative will be happy to discuss the options available to help keep you from defaulting on
your student loans.
Many private banks and lenders offer loans for financing educational costs. However, we recommend you exhaust
all federal aid options before taking an alternative loan (federal loans are generally less expensive). A FAFSA
is not required for alternative loans. Students who wish to take an alternative loan and do not complete the
FAFSA must complete private loan application through the lender of their choice 60 days prior to the start of
Award amount, interest and payment terms vary. These are credit-based loans and students must complete the
lender's application process.
Lenders may require a co-borrower, that the student makes payments while in school, or have other stipulations.
Even if not required by the lender, students may choose to apply with a cosigner because it could reduce the
interest rate. See Paul Smith’s alternative loan lender list for more information:
Financial Aid & Cost, Private Loan Lenders and Requirements.