Self-Help Assistance

The term "self-help" refers to either borrowing and/or working. Loans must be repaid by the student and/or the parents. Employment or work-study provides a moderate resource that can assist the student in meeting part of his/her expenses.

Summaries of the various self-help programs are as follows:

Federal Loans

Federal Stafford Loan

Students who demonstrate a financial need as determined by federal guidelines will be eligible to borrow a Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan. Students who do not demonstrate need in the application process will have the option of applying for an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. The major difference between these two loans is that the student who borrows an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan is responsible for the interest that accumulates while he/she is in school. With the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, the federal government pays interest and other costs during the period of enrollment. Repayment by the student begins six months after he/she is no longer enrolled at least on a half-time basis.

The interest rates on loans made during the 2016-17 academic year are 3.76 percent for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduates. Annual borrowing limits are $5,500 for freshmen (0 to 28 hours); $6,500 for sophomores (29 to 58 hours); and $7,500 for juniors and seniors (59 hours or more). Graduate levels are at 5.31 percent, and the annual borrowing limit is $20,500.

Federal Perkins Loan

This federal loan is a need-based, five percent interest loan made to students by Grace College. Interest does not accrue during the time the student is in school. A beginning amount was granted to Grace from the federal government that, combined with repayments to the fund from previous Grace borrowers, determines the number and amount of loans that can be made available. Most loans do not exceed $2,000 per year due to limited funds. There is a nine month grace period after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. At this time, the Perkins loan has been phased out, but it could potentially be reinstated for the 2016-2017 year.

Federal PLUS Loans

This is a non-need-based loan program that allows parents to apply to borrow funds to pay for college expenses. A parent may apply to borrow a maximum of the student's cost of attendance minus any student financial aid. The PLUS loan has an annual interest rate of 6.31 percent for the 2016-2017 academic year. Monthly repayment on PLUS loans begins within 60 days after the second disbursement of the loan. Deferment may be requested at the time of application for the loan.

Student Employment

Part-time employment may be available to qualified students who wish to work in order to help meet part of their expenses. On-campus, we offer need-based Federal Work-Study and non-need based Grace Work Study Positions. Also offered are employment opportunities in off-campus community service through the Federal Work-Study Program. Student employees average approximately 10 hours per week and receive paychecks every two weeks for their work. (This process may vary for those in off-campus Federal Work-Study positions.)

Questions?

Email Financial Aid or call 800-544-7223, ext. 6162.