Student Loans

Federal and private loans are used to supplement personal and family resources, scholarships, grants, and work-study. Loans accrue interest and must be repaid.

To be considered for any federal loan at Valdosta State University, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and have the results sent to the VSU Office of Financial Aid. Information provided on the FAFSA must be complete and accurate. Failure to resolve any problems with the processing of the application, or delays in resolving the problems, may preclude the student from being considered for these loans.

Loans are not automatically renewed. Borrowers must apply annually and continue to meet eligibility requirements, including satisfactory academic progress.



How to apply for loans

Student loans are funded by a variety of sources, including federal and state governments, and private lenders such as banks and credit unions. There are different requirements for eligibility, depending on the loan source, as well as different interest levels and repayment options. Review the resources below to learn more.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

    About Direct Subsidized Loans

    In short, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need.

    • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
    • Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
    • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
      • while you’re in school at least half-time,
      • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

    Am I eligible?

    To receive a direct subsidized loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to an undergraduate degree or State issued teaching certification awarded by VSU. Direct Subsidized Loans are available only to students who have financial need.

    Time Limits

    There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans.  If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program.

    For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years).

    Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.

    What if I don’t need all of the loan funds offered?

    Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying the Office of Financial Aid by submitting the Loan Cancellation Form within 14 days.

    Fees

    There is a loan fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed.

    Paying back your loan

    After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly.

    How to Apply

    CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE CHECKLIST!

    Getting through the loan process is not hard, but it is pretty detailed. The following is a list of the requirements for obtaining your student loans.

    Complete your Loan Counseling - Please note that you'll need your FSA ID or your email and your password to sign in!

    Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) - Again, you will need your FSA ID or email and password to complete this step.

    Accept your student loans by going to Banner Web at myvsu.valdosta.edu and do the following:

    1. Click BANNER
    2. Click on Financial Aid Application Menu
    3. Click on "Other Financial Aid Information"
    4. Click "My Award Information"
    5. Select "Aid Year Aug 20xx to Jul 20xx"
    6. Click "Award by Aid Year"
    7. Accept your award amount under the "Accept Award Offer" tab

    NOTE: If you are accepting uneven term amounts (more than a $1 difference) OR one term only, then please visit https://valdosta.verifymyfafsa.com and follow these instructions below:

    • Click the “Requests” link in the top/right corner of the page.
    • Click on the Federal Direct Loan Request form option.
    • Briefly explain why you are wishing to complete this form.
    • Fully complete the form that has been generated. Be sure to click the “SUBMIT” and “FINISH” buttons after completing and signing the form.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

    About Direct Unsubsidized Loans

    Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. VSU’s Financial Aid office will determine the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.

    • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. 
    • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

    Am I eligible?

    To receive a direct unsubsidized loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree or State issued teaching certification. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. You are not required to show financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

    Time Limits

    There is no limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

    What if I don’t need all of the loan funds offered?

    Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying the Office of Financial Aid by submitting the Loan Cancellation Form within 14 days.

    Fees

    There is a loan fee on all Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed.

    Paying back your loan

    After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly.

    How to Apply

    CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE CHECKLIST!

    Getting through the loan process is not hard, but it is pretty detailed. The following is a list of the requirements for obtaining your student loans.

    Complete your Loan Counseling - Please note that you'll need your FSA ID or your email and your password to sign in!

    Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) - Again, you will need your FSA ID or email and password to complete this step.

    Accept your student loans by going to Banner Web at myvsu.valdosta.edu and do the following:

    1. Click BANNER
    2. Click on Financial Aid Application Menu
    3. Click on "Other Financial Aid Information"
    4. Click "My Award Information"
    5. Select "Aid Year Aug 20xx to Jul 20xx"
    6. Click "Award by Aid Year"
    7. Accept your award amount under the "Accept Award Offer" tab

    NOTE: If you are accepting uneven term amounts (more than a $1 difference) OR one term only, then please visit https://valdosta.verifymyfafsa.com and follow these instructions below:

    • Click the “Requests” link in the top/right corner of the page.
    • Click on the Federal Direct Loan Request form option.
    • Briefly explain why you are wishing to complete this form.
    • Fully complete the form that has been generated. Be sure to click the “SUBMIT” and “FINISH” buttons after completing and signing the form.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan

    About Direct PLUS Loans

    A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a parent PLUS loan when made to a parent, and as a grad PLUS loan when made to a graduate student.

    • The U.S. Department of Education is your lender.
    • You must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be conducted. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if you meet additional requirements.
    • The maximum PLUS loan amount you can receive is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

    Am I eligible?

    To receive a parent PLUS loan, you must

    • be the biological or adoptive parent (or in some cases, the stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school;
    • not have an adverse credit history (unless you meet certain additional requirements); and
    • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. (Your child must also meet these requirements.)

    Note: Grandparents (unless they have legally adopted the dependent student) and legal guardians are not eligible to receive parent PLUS loans, even if they have had primary responsibility for raising the student.

    Time Limits

    There is no limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct PLUS Loans.

    What if I don’t need all of the loan funds offered?

    Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying the Office of Financial Aid by submitting the Loan Cancellation Form within 14 days.

    Fees

    There is a loan fee on all Direct PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed.

    Paying back your loan

    If you request a deferment, you will not need to make payments while your child is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after your child graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. If you do not request a deferment, you will be expected to begin making payments after the loan is fully disbursed (paid out).

    Interest will accrue on your loan from the date it is credited to the student account.

    A Direct PLUS Loan made to a parent cannot be transferred to the child. The parent borrower is legally responsible for repaying the loan.

    How to Apply

    CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE CHECKLIST!

    Getting through the loan process is not hard, but it is pretty detailed. The following is a list of the requirements for obtaining your student loans.

    FEDERAL PLUS LOAN ACCEPTANCE PROCESS

    1. Review the awarded amount on your award letter or on "My Award Information" on your student's Banner Web.
    2. The parent will need to go to https://studentloans.gov and sign in (The parent will need their FSA ID and PASSWORD to log in).
    3. Click on "Request a Direct PLUS Loan" to apply electronically and accept up to the maximum award offer listed on your student's Banner Web.
    4. If application is approved, complete the Master Promissory Note at https://studentloans.gov.
    5. If the application is denied, the student may request additional loan funds by completing the Parent PLUS Denial form at https://valdosta.verifymyfafsa.com

    If you want to apply by paper form, then do the following:

    1. Click here to access the online PLUS loan application.
    2. Fax or mail the form back to our office.
    3. Go to https://studentloans.gov and complete the Master Promissory Note, but please note that you'll need your FSA ID or your email and your password to sign in!

    Please check your STUDENT BANNER WEB and VSU email account frequently for updates.

  • Student Access Loans

    Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) offers the Student Access Loan Program (SAL) for eligible students attending an eligible University System of Georgia (USG), Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) or Private postsecondary institution in Georgia. The SAL is a 1 percent fixed rate loan, designed to assist undergraduate and technical college students who have a gap in meeting their educational costs.

    Learn More

  • Private (Alternative) Loan

    A private (alternative) education loan is a non-federal education loan borrowed from a private lender such as a bank, credit union or other financial entity and should be a student’s last resort for educational assistance.  Only students who need additional funds beyond what they do qualify for in Federal Student Aid (FSA) and non-federal aid should consider applying for a private education loan. 

    There are many private lenders that offer alternative loans.

    • Students should always consider the Federal Loan Programs first. 
    • The choice of which lender to borrow from is a decision that the student must make. 
    • The Office of Student Financial Aid will certify an alternative loan from any lender the student chooses. 

    VSU Private (Alternative) Loan Lender List:

    The Private/Alternative Loan Lender List includes all lenders VSU has certified alternative loans through over the last two years. Any new lender that approves an alternative loan for a VSU student will be added to the list the following Award Year.

    When applying for alternative loans, please keep in mind that it is:

    • The choice of lender is a decision that the student must make.
    • The Office of Student Financial Aid will certify an alternative loan from any lender the student chooses.
    • For the most up to date information regarding alternative loans through these lenders, check the lender’s website.
    • Borrower benefits and interest rates vary between lenders and their offerings.
    • We recommend that you compare multiple types of loans and various lenders to find the best loan fees, interest rates and terms for your situation.

    Lender List


    Private (Alternative) loan programs differ from Federal Direct Loans in several important ways.

    • Interest rates are normally variable rates that change on a quarterly basis.
    • Valdosta State University is not involved in the approval or denial decision for these loans. Questions regarding these loans should be addressed to the individual lender.
    • Students are responsible for researching the terms and conditions of all loan programs.
    • Alternative Loan approval and interest rates are based on applicant credit scores.
    • Alternative loans are not federally guaranteed; therefore, they do not have the same deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits as Federal Direct Student Loans.

     When completing applications for Private (Alternative) Loans, please use the following dates for your requested loan periods:

    One Term Only:

    Fall 2019: 08/19/2019 – 12/09/2019

    Spring 2020: 01/13/2020 – 05/04/2020

    Summer 2020: 05/14/2020 – 07/29/2020

    Multiple Terms:

    Fall 2019 & Spring 2020: 08/19/2019 – 05/04/2020

    Spring 2020 & Summer 2020: 01/13/2020 – 07/29/2020