St. Mary's College of Maryland
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Questions?

Contact Us:

Office of Financial Aid
Glendening Hall, Room 130
240-895-3000

Nadine Hutton, Director
nlhutton@smcm.edu

Denise Merican, Assistant Director
dmmerican@smcm.edu

Robert Maddox, Assistant Director 

Marsha Wilcox, Financial Aid Coordinator
mlwilcox@smcm.edu

Direct Loans

St. Mary's students who file the FAFSA and meet federal requirements may borrow funds under several Direct Loan programs, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Since a student loan must be repaid after graduation or withdrawal from the college, it represents a serious commitment on the part of the student.

Federal Direct Loan Program

  • Student loans with fixed interest rate of 6.8% for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

    • Subsidized is need-based; the government subsidizes the interest while you are enrolled. 

      • Annual maximums for subsidized loans are:

        • $3,500 (year 1), $4,500 (year 2), $5,500 (year 3) and $5,500 (year 4)

    • Unsubsidized is not need-based; you will be charged interest until the loan is paid in full. If you allow interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized and added to the principal.

  • Repayment begins six months after graduation, dropping below half-time, or withdrawal, and is for 10 years.

  • Interest may be tax-deductible.

  • The Department of Education has various repayment options. For further information about repayment, go to http://www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov/.

  • A student who enters into public service employment can have any remaining balance on Federal Direct Loans forgiven after 10 years of repayment while in public service work.

  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for automatically debiting your payment from your checking account when you begin repayment

  • Federal regulations require two equal disbursements, so you will receive by electronic funds transfer half in the fall and half in the spring.

  • Federal funds cannot be disbursed until the first day of class each semester.

  • The federal government deducts a 1% loan fee from each disbursement.

  • First-time borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling before the first disbursement at www.studentloans.gov. You will need to have your Department of Education issued PIN for this process. If you do not have your PIN, in the box "Manage My Direct Loan," click on the "PIN site" link to go to the official PIN website at www.pin.ed.gov

    • In order to complete the Entrance Counseling, in the box "Manage My Direct Loan," first Sign In, then click "Complete Entrance Counseling" and work through the session.  It will take about 30 minutes to complete.  Your results will be sent to St. Mary's College electronically. 

  • First-time borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the first disbursement at www.studentloans.gov. You will need to have your Department of Education issued PIN for this process. If you do not have your PIN, in the box "Manage My Direct Loan," click on the "PIN site" link to go to the official PIN website at www.pin.ed.gov.

    • In order to complete the MPN, in the box "Manage My Direct Loan," first Sign In, then click "Complete Master Promissory Note" and work through the session.  The entire session takes about 30 minutes to complete and must be completed in one session, so be sure to allow enough time before you begin.  Your results will be sent to St. Mary's College electronically.

  • NOTE: If you are a returning student and previously borrowed a Federal Direct Loan, you DO NOT need to complete a new MPN.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program

This is non-need-based, credit-worthy loan that a parent may borrow in his or her name to assist with the student's educational costs.  If you wish to borrow, we suggest that you wait until June 1 to apply, as the federal government will have to check your credit a second time if you apply too early.  In order for timely fall disbursement, please make sure you have completed all of the steps by July 15. 

If you wish to borrow, here is the 3-step process:

  1. Student must complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Department of Education PLUS application- the parent borrower must complete at www.studentloans.gov. In the box "Manage My Direct Loan," first Sign In, then click "Request a Direct PLUS Loan."
  3. Master Promissory Note (MPN)-the parent borrower must complete at  www.studentloans.gov.  In the box "Manage My Direct Loan," first Sign In, then click "Complete Master Promissory Note."  Please note:  If you have previously borrowed a PLUS loan at St. Mary's for the same student, it is not necessary to complete a new MPN.
  • Current fixed interest rate 7.9%

  • Maximum loan amount for which a parent may apply is financial aid cost of attendance minus any previously awarded financial aid. Flexible repayment terms with up to 10 years to repay, which includes interest-only payments or deferring principal and interest payment while the student is enrolled. Interest may be tax-deductible.

  • No penalty for early repayment or payoff.

  • Provides a built-in insurance for death and disability that applies to both the borrower and the student at no additional cost. 

  • Federal regulations require two equal disbursements, so PLUS funds will be applied to your student's St. Mary's account by electronic funds transfer, half in the fall and half in the spring.

  • Please note:  Due to loan fees charged by the federal government, the PLUS disbursement each semester will be 4% less than the amounts actually borrowed.  

  • Even though the parent is technically the PLUS borrower, some of our parents have made arrangements with their students to share in the repayment.

  • We recommend that you apply for the entire academic year at one time (rather than a semester at a time) so that a credit check will only be performed once, as that makes for easier processing.

  • If the parent is denied a PLUS loan due to credit reasons, then there will be two options:

    • The parent may obtain an endorser for the amount requested, OR

    • The student would be eligible for additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan (up to $4,000 for freshmen and sophomores and up to $5,000 for juniors and seniors).

Aerial view of St. Mary's College of Maryland campus

St. Mary's College of Maryland
18952 E. Fisher Rd
St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3001
240-895-2000