On this web page you will find information concerning:
- Your initial loan offer as part of your Financial Aid Award Package
- Federal Stafford Loan Limits
- Requesting a loan increase
- Requesting a loan decrease and/or cancellation
- Federal Parent PLUS Loans and Dependent Students
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loans for Masters and Doctorate candidates
- Private (Alternative) Education Loans
When you file a FAFSA, and include Chicago State University (CSU) as one of the schools to which you wish your FAFSA information to be sent, we will, upon receipt of your Student Aid Report (SAR) issued by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) once your FAFSA has been processed, send you notification that a Financial Aid Award Package has been generated for you. Notification will normally be by e-mail (unless you did not provide an e-mail address on your FAFSA, in which case regular U.S. Postal Service mail will be utilized). Your package will include an itemization of the loans for which you are eligible based either upon your enrollment status as CSU, if you are a continuing student, or, if you are a new student at CSU, your eligibility will be based upon your representations in your FAFSA as to what your academic standing will be at CSU once you have been admitted. If you are accessing this web page to see what loans you may qualify please go to our Your Financial Aid Award Package web page to review your eligibility.
Chicago State University will, assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, process your request for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan and, if you are a Masters or Doctorate candidate, we will process your request for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Additionally, we will, upon request from a parent, process a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan for a Dependent student.
Federal Stafford Loans have annual limits per grade level and academic program, as well as maximum lifetime limits. Please access the Federal Stafford Loan Limits (.pdf) chart for additional information.
There may be instances after you have accepted a loan, either in whole or in part, or declined a loan, that you change your mind. In that instance we will be happy to accommodate any request for a "revision". It will be necessary for you to download and submit the paper form below in order to have loans revised, canceled, reinstated, etc. This form is also available in the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Request for Increase, Decrease and/or Cancellation of Federal Loans (PDF)
Please submit this form to our office if you wish to request:
- an increase due to a change in academic (grade) level, or
- an increase if a parent has been denied a Parent PLUS loan, or
- reinstatement of a loan previously declined or canceled, or
- an increase in a loan previously only partially accepted, or
- decrease the amount of a loan already accepted, or cancel altogether.
Dependent undergraduate students may, in some instances, receive additional Federal Direct Stafford funds, over and above what is reflected on their initial Financial Aid Award Package if their parent(s) applies for and is turned down for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. The additional amount for which they would be eligible can be reviewed on the Federal Stafford Loan Limits (.pdf) chart.
If the parent of a student is turned down for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan the student may apply for additional Stafford loan funds. The student would accomplish this by submitting the Request for Increase, Decrease and/or Cancellation of Federal Loans (PDF) form to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Direct Loan's decision to fund a Parent PLUS Loan is based upon the applicant parent's credit rating/standing. When your parent applies for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) will check their credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, your parent must not have an adverse credit history. If they are found to have an adverse credit history, they may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS Loan if they do not repay the loan. In some cases, they may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if they document to the USDE's satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to their adverse credit history.
If there is an "Offered" amount for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan in your Financial Aid Award Package, as reflected in CSU X-press, you may accept the amount in full, or in part, and your parent may then go ahead and complete the PLUS application process by accessing the StudentLoans.gov web site. If the PLUS Loan is subsequently turned down by Direct Loans for credit reasons, CSU will generally receive confirmation within two business days after which time we will then process you for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford amount, provided you have requested the additional amount in writing by submitting a completed Request for Increase, Decrease and/or Cancellation of Federal Loans (PDF) form (discussed above). Please allow 5-10 business days for processing of the additional amount once a Parent PLUS has been denied.
If your parent is approved they have the option to cancel the loan should they change their mind. Of course, if they are approved, and then subsequently cancel, you will not be eligible to receive additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds.
Masters and Doctorate candidates may be eligible for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. If you find yourself in a situation where Stafford eligibility does not fulfill your requirements (perhaps you have exhausted Stafford eligibility) and you have remaining need in your student budget, you may apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan.
When you apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you document to the USDE's satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.
If there is an "Offered" amount for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan in your Financial Aid Award Package, as reflected in CSU X-press, you may accept the amount in full, or in part, and then may go ahead and complete the PLUS application process by accessing the StudentLoans.gov web site.
There may be instances where you may not qualify for Direct loans or it may be that you are not eligible for sufficient funding of your needs under this federal program. If that is the case you might wish to pursue a Private Education Loan. In most instances lenders will notify our office if you have applied for, and been approved for, a Private Education Loan and request that we certify your enrollment status/eligibility. In some instances you may need to either notify us that you have been approved or you may need to provide us with a paper certification form. For more information concerning this process check with your lender.
CSU does not maintain a Preferred Lender list for entities that offer Private Education Loans nor do we recommend any particular private lender or private loan product. We will perform eligibility certification for any private lender, or any loan product they offer, that you desire.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act, passed by Congress in August of 2008, made a provision that schools could provide a "historic lender list" to their students. The provision recommends that such a list include all private lenders that had provided loans to an institution's students over a set period of time. The recommendation suggests a time period of 3-5 years. In keeping with this recommendation we have reviewed our students' Private Education Loan lenders from the period beginning with the Fall 2010 semester through the Fall 2015 semester. Following is a listing, in alphabetical order, of all such lenders. Click on the lender's name and you will be taken to its web site.
Should any additional lenders provide Private Education Loan funding to our students they will be added to the above list.
Before applying for a Private Education Loan, we recommend you explore all other financial aid options (e.g., grants, scholarships, federal loans, and federal work-study options). Private Education Loans may cost more than federal loans because of higher unsubsidized interest rates and uncapped interest rates. Additionally, you may not have as many deferment options with a private loan as a Federal loan, nor can you consolidate a Private Education Loan with your Federal loans.
As part of the application process for a Private Education Loan you must complete a "Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification" form and submit it to your chosen lender. In most cases your lender will provide you with this document. In the event that they do not you may download the form from this web page.
You will need to download some of the forms/documents on this web site.