Financial aid can include various loan programs. There are several types of student loans: federal, state and private. Unlike scholarships and grants, a loan is borrowed money that must be paid back with interest. If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand the terms and conditions.
Federal, State and Private Loans
Federal Student Loans
Loans made by the Federal Government usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options. If students want to pursue loan(s) offered through the Department of Education, they must be enrolled in at least six credit hours that count towards a degree program, complete entrance counseling, and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the appropriate loan type at studentaid.gov in order for this type of funding to disburse to their student account.
Please note: If an individual completes entrance counseling and an MPN on a student’s behalf or if a student completes the wrong entrance counseling or MPN, loan processing may be delayed. Additionally, parents of dependent students have the option of applying for a Parent Plus loan to assist their student with educational expenses.
Download the Federal Student Loan Comparison Sheet to see how federal loans differs from one another.
Federal Direct Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students as well as parents of dependent undergraduate students.
Direct Parent Plus Loans
Parent PLUS loans are unsubsidized federal loans that can be used to assist with educational expenses for dependent undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time.
All students seeking a Federal Parent PLUS loan must have their parents complete the application. Parents (borrowers) will begin the application, providing their information first and entering their student’s information later in the process. Applications that are not completed correctly cannot be processed. PLUS loans are processed through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and are part of a student’s financial aid package.
Loan funds are disbursed to the student’s account and applied to pay outstanding charges as needed. Parents may opt to have refunds issued directly to the student. Otherwise, the refund will go to the parent borrower. Please direct questions to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at [email protected].
Available to undergraduate students who are Texas residents.
Private Education Loans
A private student loan is a nonfederal loan issued by a lender, such as a bank or credit union. Private loan applications are completed with the lender and usually require a credit check. It is recommended that students and parents exhaust all federal student loan options before considering a private loan.
A&M-Commerce does not have contractual agreements with any private lender and as such there are no preferred private lender lists, contracts or endorsements of private loans.
We are happy to assist with your private education loan processes. Please be aware that school certifications of private education loans are not automatically completed by our office. Certification requests must be made by you, the student. The application cannot be completed for multiple award years. We want to make sure you are aware of the various federal and state financial aid programs before pursuing a private education loan.
You should contact our office when there is an approved private education loan that is pending school certification or if you have questions regarding a private education/alternative loan. Please send your inquiry or notice to [email protected]. A few points to remember:
- If you haven’t already applied for federal and state financial aid, you’re encouraged to do so by completing the FAFSA/TASFA.
- Once the FAFSA/TASFA has been received by A&M-Commerce and all necessary requirements are met, you may be awarded financial aid. We advise you to delay the application of a private education loan until you review your financial aid package.
Responsibilities of the Borrower
Upon certification and prior to disbursement of any private education loan, you will receive an email that certification is complete. The email includes a link to the self-certification form. This form is a requirement and once completed must be sent to your lender.
- Follow the instructions included in the self-certification form.
In order to complete Section 2 of the form, you will need to access your A&M-Commerce cost of attendance and your estimated financial aid by following these instructions:
- Log into your myLeo. Click the Student Resources tab. Click “Financial Aid Status.” Select the aid year from the menu, and submit. Click “Cost of Attendance.”
- Enter the “Estimated Cost of Attendance” (COA) amount on Section 2, Item A of the form (Example: a fall-only private loan would require you to provide the sum of the amounts for that term in each category).
- Returning to the Financial Aid Status page, click “Awarded.” Click “Award Overview.” Scroll to “Financial Aid Award by Term” and enter the total amount as your estimated financial assistance on Section 2, Item B of the form (Example: a fall only private loan would require you to provide the fall term total amount).
- If you have applied for financial aid but have yet to receive awards, report $0. Please reach out to [email protected]
- Complete Section 2, Item C using the formula on the form.
- Complete Sections 3 and 4 and submit to the lender. Do not submit this form to Financial Aid and Scholarships.
- If you have any questions, please email [email protected].