If you decide to take out a loan, then make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually have more benefits than loans from banks or other private sources.
The following loans are listed in order of recommendation.
Direct Subsidized Loans
Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based awards. The federal government pays the interest on the subsidized loan while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time in school.
A student’s eligibility to receive gift aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, must be calculated before loan eligibility can be determined. Specifically, a minimum half-time (six financial aid eligible credit hours) enrollment must be maintained in a financial aid eligible program of study. All eligibility and verification requirements are the same as for the Federal Pell Grant.
Firstly, Students complete the FAFSA to apply. Those who have financial need and meet all other eligibility requirements will receive a financial aid award communication. Thereafter, the award email notification will direct students to their eSTORM account where students can access their specific award information. If no loan is offered, the student may request a loan by completing a Loan Request form.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Low interest, non-need based loans are available to students who do not qualify for a maximum Direct Subsidized Loan. All other requirements are the same as those for the Direct Subsidized Loan except that the borrower is responsible for payment of the interest on the loan from the date the funds are disbursed. Additionally, these loans must be requested by completing the Loan Request form.
To participate in the loan programs, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Loans are not processed retroactively for prior completed semesters.
Furthermore, students must accept the loan to have it processed. This is done through self-service on eSTORM. All summer loans must be requested via a Loan Request form after registering for summer classes.
Disbursement of Loan Funds
SWIC establishes a disbursement schedule when certifying the loan. A loan that covers fall and spring semesters will be disbursed the 6th week of the fall semester and the 6th week of the spring semester. A fall only or a spring only loan is disbursed the 6th and 11th weeks of each semester. Summer loans for existing borrowers are disbursed on the 4th and 6th weeks of the semester. Summer loans for first-time borrowers are disbursed on the 5th and 6th weeks of the semester. The loan funds are sent to SWIC electronically and applied to the student’s account. If the loan funds and other financial assistance exceed what you owe, excess funds will be disbursed in a check that is mailed to the address on file with the Office of Enrollment Services. All eligibility requirements must be met on the date the loan is disbursed.
Note: Changes in enrollment may require that the amount of your loan be revised. Dropping below six (6) financial aid eligible hours of enrollment will result in future disbursements being canceled.
Students who have loans guaranteed (accepting the loan on eSTORM, Loan Entrance Counseling completed, and a signed Master Promissory Note) and have loan funds in an amount greater than tuition and fees will be able to charge books at the Barnes and Noble bookstore located on the Belleville and Sam Wolfe Granite City campuses.
First-time financial aid students interested in purchasing their books with their excess financial aid must access their eSTORM account, enter their Student Center, click the View Financial Aid link (and year) and click the green button on the bottom of their award screen. Additionally, they must click ‘agree’ for the Financial Aid Office to notify the bookstore of availability to use funds for purchasing books with financial aid. A valid SWIC ID is required when purchasing books and supplies. Books may be charged the week prior to the start and for 2 weeks after the start of the fall and spring semesters and the week prior to the start and for one week after the start of the summer semester.
All student loan borrowers must attend an exit counseling session prior to withdrawal from school or graduation. This can be completed on the Web by going to Studentaid.gov. Completed exit loan counseling information will be sent to the school electronically.
|Dependent Student Loan Limits|
|Class||Base Loan Amount||Additional Unsubsidized Loan|
|Freshman||$3,500.00 per year||$2,000.00 per year|
|Sophomore||$4,500.00 per year||$2,000.00 per year|
|Aggregate Totals||$23,000.00 Sub||$31,000.00 Sub/Unsub Combined|
|Independent Student Loan Limits|
|Class||Base Loan Amount||Additional Unsubsidized Loan|
|Aggregate Totals||$23,000.00 Sub||$57,500.00 Sub & Unsub Combined|
Note: Students who expect to borrow for summer term need to reduce borrowing in fall and spring.
Dependency status is determined by the FAFSA. To be classified as a sophomore you must have earned at least 30 semester credit hours before the start of the fall semester of the current academic year. If a student is transferring from another institution to Southwestern Illinois College, all prior borrowing at other schools is considered in the yearly maximums.
Direct PLUS Loans
Parents apply online at studentaid.gov. This loan is not based on need but is subject to approval by the Financial Aid, Veteran Services, and Student Employment Office. SWIC students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an institutional PLUS Loan Application and complete all requests for documentation and verification to receive a PLUS loan.
Direct PLUS Loans are disbursed following the same procedures as Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Loans may not be certified for amounts greater than the cost of attendance minus other aid.
Students may also borrow through the Alternative Loan Program.
Alternative loans will be certified at the student’s request. Loans may not be certified for amounts greater than the cost of attendance minus other aid. Alternative loans are certified one semester at a time once a student is enrolled in that particular semester. Alternative loans are disbursed the week prior to the start of each semester or later, based on when certification requests are received by the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office.
For more information about any of the above loan programs, contact the Department of Education at studentaid.gov or the Financial Aid, Veteran Services, and Student Employment Office.
To participate in the federal loan programs, the student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Loans are not processed retroactively for prior completed semesters.
Loan Entrance Counseling and Federal Direct MPN
SWIC participates in the Direct Loan Program. All students must complete a Loan Entrance Interview for Direct Loans and a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Visit studentaid.gov and complete the steps noted as “Entrance Counseling” and “Sign Master Promissory Note.”
Loan Exit Counseling
If student loan borrowers drop below six financial aid eligible hours per term, then they must complete Exit Counseling. If student loan borrowers are no longer enrolled, then they must complete Exit Counseling. Students can complete Loan Exit Counseling online.