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Lending Program & Self-help Aid

Student Lending Options

Student loans are a type of financial aid that is offered to cover educational costs that are not covered by scholarships or grants.  Student loans are funds that are applied to direct and indirect educational costs at the time the payment is due but must be paid back to the lender in the future. The lender may be the US Government, Soka University of America, or a private lending institution such as a bank. You may choose whether or not to accept the loans and borrow funds or to decline your lending options

How to fund education is often the first major financial decision a student will make. With or without the help of family and friends, deciding whether or not to borrow student loans, and in what amounts, can be a difficult and stressful process.

The Soka Office of Financial Aid offers full counseling to students who have completed a financial aid application or a FAFSA.  We encourage you to look at your financial aid package as a whole and determine how much you can afford to pay out of pocket, how much can be paid with a payment plan and lastly how much you will be able to afford to pay back in the future if you decide to borrow funds now. If in doubt, ask us!  We are here to help you make sound financial decisions even before you decide to attend SUA.

Not all loans are created equal! The decision to borrow funds to support your education should be entered into with eyes wide open.  Below a summary of the loans available to students describes only the brief outline of what the loans are all about.  Please check out the links associated with the descriptions to get a better understanding of each lending program.

Federal Direct Loans for Students

Soka University of America participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program, in which borrowers obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education. These loans are available through the US government and are only available to eligible US citizens or eligible permanent residents.  The loans are guaranteed by the US government without the consideration of a credit check. These loans are more commonly referred to as Stafford Loans and are available, depending on eligibility, as Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Stafford Loans have both annual and yearly limits.

To Apply for Loans please visit: www.studentloans.gov
You must complete:
1. Entrance Counseling
2. Sign Master Promissory Note

Subsidized Loans - are based on financial need.  Interest accrued while the student is in school is paid by the federal government and therefore an interest free loan until the student graduates. After a grace period of six months from the time of graduation, or last day of attendance, interest begins to accrue at 3.4%.

Unsubsidized Loans - are available to students regardless of income and assets, and there is no interest subsidy.  Interest will accrue at 6.8% from the time of disbursement. Several repayment options are available; students should consult their individual Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) for specific terms of repayment.

Annual Loan Limits - Stafford Loans

Dependent Students (whose parents were not denied a PLUS loan)

Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

First-Year

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500

Second-Year

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500

Third-Year and Beyond

$5,500

$2,000

$7,500

Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans

First-Year

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500

Second-Year

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500

Third-Year and Beyond

$5,500

$7,000

$12,500

 

Institutional Loans for International Students

Access Loans – are available to international students with demonstrated need, for up to the cost of room and board with a fixed interest rate of 6.8%.

International students interested in applying for an Access Loan will be required to annually submit certain financial documents for review by the Financial Aid Office.  Access Loans, if granted, will not exceed the cost of room and board for a single academic year.

Student Eligibility is determined by the International Financial Aid Application.

Soka Loans – are available for independent international students to cover education related expenses that exceed expenses covered by the Access Loan. The loan must be applied for annually. The loan is limited up to the cost of attendance (COA).

Parent Lending Options

Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) – are government-insured loans that are made to parents of dependent students.  Parents may borrow PLUS up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received during the years the dependent student is an undergraduate.  The interest rate is fixed, annually, at 7.9%.  There is no interest subsidy for this loan.  Repayment begins within 60 days after loan disbursement. Loan approval is based on a credit check run through the US government. Not all parents will be approved.   If the parent is not approved, students may request a larger amount of unsubsidized loans.

To apply for PLUS Loans please visit: www.studentloans.gov
You must complete:
1. Complete PLUS Request Process
2. Sign Master Promissory Note

Approval is determined by the US Federal Government through a specific request process.  Loans must be requested for every year the parent wishes to borrow funds.

Soka Parent Loans – Soka Parent Loans are available to parents of international students, up to the cost of tuition, less other aid, with a fixed interest rate of 8.5%.

The request and application procedure for parent loans will be sent via email to eligible students.

Student Self-help Aid

A number of opportunities exist for new and continuing students to earn funds toward their education while participating in a meaningful employment experience at Soka.

Federal Work-study Program (FWS) –   is funded by a combination of federal and institutional funds and is only available to US citizens and eligible permanent residents.  This program allows a student to earn money towards his/her tuition while working on campus. Awards are limited and vary depending on need. This type of award is considered an award and is counted toward the financial aid package which cannot exceed the cost of attendance (COA).

To be eligible an applicant must have demonstrated need through completing a FAFSA and by checking the “Interested in Work-study” box on the FAFSA.

Student Employment Program – is funded by the university and is available to all students regardless of need or geographic origin. This is not awarded as part of the financial aid package. Students may apply for this program regardless of need.

Students must apply for individual jobs at the university through the Human Resources Department; employment is remunerated hourly or by project. 

Resident Assistant Program (RA) – is coordinated through the housing department.  This program is considered an award and is included as part of the financial aid package which cannot exceed the cost of attendance (COA). If a student is already receiving enough aid to partially or fully cover the cost of tuition and room and board, the remuneration of the RA program will be adjusted so that the COA is not exceeded by aid awarded.

Only continuing students are eligible to participate in this program.  Eligibility is determined annually through the housing department.