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Non-Traditional Graduate Student Aid

Non-Traditional Learning Team Programs (cohort format)

Financial Aid Programs

Your financial aid award is based on the anticipation that you will enroll in each course that is indicated on the academic calendar provided for your Learning Team group.

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.  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
  • Complete an Entrance Counselingsession – 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
  • 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  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

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 two equal disbursements over the student's academic year.

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 Learning Team Programs

Financial Aid Award



Second Disbursement


Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan




Federal Direct PLUS Loan


Up to cost less other aid awarded



The first disbursement is released at the beginning of your academic year and the second disbursement is released upon successful completion of half the credits and weeks of your academic year



Enrollment Requirements

Financial aid awards assume the student will maintain continuous enrollment.  Students must earn at least 24 semester credits and 30 weeks in one academic year for their loan eligibility.  If you alter the pattern of your academic year or decide to withdraw from a class, it is your responsibility to notify the academic advisor and the Office of Financial Aid.

If you withdraw from class, or are out of attendance for more than 30 calendar days, 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.

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