Managing your investment in education.

Select a topic below to view details pertaining to the management of your higher education investment with funds from loans.

Federal Loan Options

Student must be degree seeking and enrolled at least half time in order to qualify for federal loans. Federal loans require the student to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please review the information below to learn the different types of Federal loans offered by the Department of Education. Need-based loans are determined by the student's expected family contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA and the Cost of Attendance (COA).

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Two types of Stafford loans exist: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. The type for which you qualify is based on the FAFSA information. The maximum loan eligibility each year is based on total credit hours earned and dependency status. Repayment for Stafford loans begins six months after you are no longer attending at least six credit hours. New students will need to complete online entrance counseling and a master promissory note in order to receive their loan.

  • Maximum Loan Amounts for an Academic Year for Dependent Students:
    • Freshman: $5,500 (up to $3,500 subsidized)
    • Sophomore: $6,500 (up to $4,500 subsidized)
    • Junior or Senior: $7,500 (up to $5,500 subsidized)
  • Maximum Loan Amounts for an Academic Year for Independent Students:
    • Freshman: $9,500 (up to $3,500 subsidized)
    • Sophomore: $10,500 (up to $4,500 subsidized)
    • Junior or Senior: $12,500 (up to $5,500 subsidized)

Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans

The federal government pays the loan interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program and during a six month grace period after the student leaves school. Qualification for a subsidized loan is determined by the FAFSA. Repayment interest on a subsidized loan for undergraduate and graduate student loans is a fixed interest rate.

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Students who do not qualify, in whole or in part, for a subsidized loan can still receive an unsubsidized loan. These loans have a fixed annual interest rate that accrues once the loan is paid to the students account. Students have the option to pay the interest while they are attending college.

Students usually receive a Direct Loan for an entire academic year (two semesters); with one half of the total loan amount being disbursed each semester. Funds are automatically credited to the student's account in the Cornerstone University Accounting and Finance Office.

In order to receive a Federal Direct Student Loan at Cornerstone University, you must be able to answer yes to the following statements:

  1. You have been admitted to Cornerstone University.
  2. You have applied for federal financial aid through the FAFSA form, it has been processed and Cornerstone University has received the results.
  3. Your financial aid application has been reviewed by Cornerstone University Student Financial Services Office and a financial aid award notification has been sent to you for the academic year for which you want the loan.
  4. You have completed the Direct Loan entrance counseling with Cornerstone University.

If you meet all of the conditions mentioned above, you are now ready to complete your Direct Master Promissory Note. You will be directed to an external website to complete this process.

Complete Entrance Counseling | Master Promissory Note


Federal loan option for graduate students and parents of undergraduate students

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. This is a federal loan. Eligibility for this loan is not based on financial need or family income; the applicant will undergo a credit check. The maximum loan amount is the total cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student may receive. Repayment may begin as early as 60 days after disbursement; deferment is possible. The PLUS Loan is a fixed rate loan with a 4% origination fee will be deducted from the amount of the loan. Example: School balance = $5,000 with 4% fee. Gross loan amount to request: $5,000/.96= $5,208. Even if you have had a PLUS loan in prior years, federal regulations require you to reapply through the Direct Loan process. You will be given the option to cover the balance of the bill or obtain the maximum allowed under cost of attendance. If a parent is denied a PLUS loan, the student may receive additional unsubsidized loan funds.

Apply for a Parent Plus Loan

Interest Rates Applied to Federal Loans

Although Direct Stafford loan and PLUS loan interest rates vary by year, rates remain fixed for the life of the loan and will not exceed the stated interest rate cap. Loan interest rates are summarized below.

PLUS Loans (Parent and Graduate)

Loan Type Interest Rates for 2020-21 Interest Rate Cap
Undergraduate Direct Loans
Graduate Direct Loans
PLUS Loans (parent and graduate)

Alternative Loan Information

Alternative loans are available to help meet education costs not covered by federal, state, institutional financial aid and personal resources. These loans are provided by a bank, require a credit check and usually require a cosigner. To view a list of lenders for the school year and to apply for a loan, go to the external Web site, FastChoice.

If you decide to use an alternative loan, we encourage you to select one of our primary lenders. If you select a primary lender, the amount of your alternative loan will be reflected on your tuition statement. For any questions about alternative loan please contact Student Financial Services.

Once you are approved for a loan, review the interest rate and fees that will be charged for your loan.

Applications for alternative loans should be completed by August 15 for fall semester (Dec 15 for spring semester). Applications completed after August 15 (Dec 15 for spring semester) may cause delays in the loan approval. Loans not approved by August 24 for fall semester (Jan 1 for spring semester) may result in late fees on the student account.

Exit Counseling Process

When you have graduated or are no longer attending Cornerstone University you need to update your records for the Federal Student Loan Program. This includes your contact and reference information. Please click on the link below to proceed with the exit counseling form. This is an online form and does not need to be done in the office.

Complete Exit Counseling Requirements