Traditional Graduate Student Aid

Your application for financial assistance has been reviewed and Benedictine University is pleased to provide the enclosed Financial Aid Award Letter.  Your Financial Aid Award Letter indicates the type(s) of assistance and total amount of funds you are eligible to receive for the academic year.

Your financial aid award is based on the assumption that you will enroll at least half-time (one course) each summer, fall, winter, or spring term.  If you enroll for more than 3 semester or 4 quarter hours per term, and have been awarded less than the maximum $20,500 please contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine your eligibility for additional Federal Direct Loan funds.

Financial Aid Programs

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a low interest loan that has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.  You must be a degree seeking student and maintain at least half-time enrollment in a graduate program.

Interest accrues from the date the loan is disbursed, however you may choose to defer principle and interest payments while you are in school.  Repayment begins six months after the student completes the program, ceases enrollment or drops below half-time enrollment.

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program is an additional loan available for graduate students.  Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of education less other financial aid resources.  The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%.  It is recommended that students first borrow their full eligibility of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan before applying for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.

Federal Direct Loan Steps for Borrowers

  • Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) All borrowers must complete a MPN, a legal document required for the Federal Direct Loan and/or Federal Direct PLUS Loan Programs.  You can complete the MPN online at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Complete an Entrance Counseling session – A first-time borrowers of Federal Direct Loans at Benedictine University is required by federal law to complete Federal Loan Entrance Counseling.  You can complete loan counseling online at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Complete the Graduate PLUS Request – The PLUS Request gives authorization for a credit check and allows the student to indicate the requested loan amount.This can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.  After you complete the request, if you are approved for a Graduate PLUS loan, Graduate PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling and a Graduate PLUS MPN must also be completed at www.studentloans.gov.

Award Acceptance

You are only required to sign and return your award letter if you choose to make one of the following adjustments:

  • Reduce an Award – If you choose to reduce award amount(s), make changes next to the award amount(s) on your Financial Aid Award Letter.
  • Decline an Award – If you choose to decline an award, circle the "D" next to the award amount(s) on your Financial Aid Award Letter.
  • List Outside Aid – All external sources of financial aid assistance must be reported on a copy of your Financial Aid Award Letter and mailed to the Office of Financial Aid.

If you make adjustments please sign, date and return your award letter within 14 days.

Disbursement of Student Funds

All loan proceeds are disbursed in equal disbursements over the number of terms for which you are awarded.

Your student loan proceeds are sent to Benedictine University via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and you will be notified of this transaction by email to your BenU student email address.  Please note: All Federal Direct loans are subject to an origination fee.  The fee will be deducted from the amount you are borrowing before each disbursement is credited to your account.

Example of Loan Disbursements for Semester Based Programs

The following example is based on a student attending one 3 credit hour class each semester starting in the Summer Term.

Financial Aid Award

Summer Term

Fall Term

Spring Term

Total

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

$6,834

$6,833

$6,833

$20,500

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Up to cost less

other aid awarded



*If your enrollment varies, or your start term is other than summer semester, your awarding will look different than presented above.

Example of Loan Disbursements for Quarter Based Programs

The following example is based on a student attending one 4 credit hour class each quarter starting in the Summer Term.

Financial Aid Award

Summer Term

Fall Term

Winter Term

Spring Term

Total

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

$5,125

$5,125

$5,125

$5,125

$20,500

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Up to cost less

other aid awarded



*If your enrollment varies, or your start term is other than summer quarter, your awarding will look different than presented above.

Refund Process

The Student Accounts Office evaluates students' accounts weekly for credit balances.  If your loan disbursement is in excess to your charges for that term, the Student Accounts Office will process the credit and mail a refund check to you.  This process typically takes 14 days after your loan disbursement is reviewed and released by the Office of Financial Aid.

Enrollment Requirements

You must maintain at least half-time enrollment in an eligible degree program.  For financial aid purposes, half-time is defined as three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours.

If you drop below half-time, withdraw from class, or have no enrollment, the loan funds will be returned to the federal government, and all subsequent disbursements cancelled.  If you received a refund check prior to withdrawing from class an adjustment may be made to your loan.  This may result in balance to your student account, preventing you from registering for your next class.

Financial Aid defines enrollment status differently from the Registrar.  The Financial Aid standard (see below) is used to determine loan eligibility and for loan deferments and veterans education benefits certification.  The Registrar standard is used for all other reporting.

Enrollment Status

Financial Aid

Registrar

Half-time

3 sem hrs or 4 qtr hrs

4.5 sem or qtr hrs

Full-time

6 sem hrs or 8 qtr hrs

9 sem or qtr hrs



Office of Financial Aid
BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY
Lownik Hall - Main Floor
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Email: financialaid@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6100
Fax: (630) 829-6101