Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program are low-interest loans for undergraduate and graduate students. Eligibility is not based upon need. The student is responsible for paying all interest charges, and interest begins to accrue the day the loan is disbursed. Repayment of the unsubsidized loan may be deferred during in-school, grace, and deferment periods; however, the accrued interest may be capitalized.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are subject to origination and/or default fees of 1.051% which are deducted by Direct Lending before each disbursement. They have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%.
Eligible medical students may borrow up to $40,500 per nine-month academic year from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program. Loans may be prorated for 10, 11 and 12 month academic years, per federal guidelines.
The combined Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized aggregate loan limit for eligible medical students is $224,000. The aggregate loan amounts include any Federal Stafford Loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, Federal Direct Loans and Federal Consolidation Loans received as an undergraduate and/or graduate student.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based upon need. The student is responsible for paying all interest charges, and interest begins to accrue the day the loan is disbursed. Repayment of the PLUS loan may be deferred during in-school and deferment periods; however, the accrued interest may be capitalized.
A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history or documenting, to the U.S. Department of Education's satisfaction, extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are subject to origination and/or default fees of 4.204% which are deducted by Direct Lending before each disbursement. They have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.
Annually, eligible medical students may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received. There is no aggregate limit.
For more information on Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans, please visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/.
The National Student Loan Data System
As a consumer, you need to know that the U.S. Department of Education will post your Federal Direct Loan data on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which is accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders and institutions which the Department of Education has authorized access to this data.
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the national database of information about loans and grants awarded to students under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants during their complete life cycle, from aid approval through disbursement, repayment, deferment, delinquency, and closure. At any time, students can obtain a free report of their federal student aid history by logging into http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ and clicking on "My Data."
Students who are not eligible for federal student loans, scholarships, or other aid programs, or those who wish to supplement their financial aid package may opt to apply for funding through a private lender. While private loans, sometimes referenced as "alternative loans," may be a good option in some circumstances, students should be aware that these types of loans are not subject to the same oversight and regulations which cover federal loans, and they do not qualify for the same benefits as federal loans. The terms and conditions of loans made under Title IV may be more favorable than the provision of private education loans. In many cases, it is advisable for students to exhaust their federal eligibility before borrowing from a private lender.
The Department of Education provides a free resource to assist students with identifying the differences between federal and private student loans. In addition, all students should review their publication, Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid. Students are also encouraged to review Office of Financial Aid's list of private loan guidelines before applying to a private lender.
Any student who wishes to borrow from a private student loan will be required to complete the federal student aid application process and review their award notice before the private loan application can be processed by ACOM. The purpose of this measure is to assist students in making fully informed borrowing decisions by ensuring that they are made fully aware of their eligibility for federal student loans.
For students who conclude that private loans are the right option, we recommend that you review many lenders and compare costs and terms before borrowing. Our office will process a private loan application with the lender of your choice. However, we cannot recommend any particular private lender. All borrowing decisions are the responsibility of the student.
How to Apply
After selecting a lender, students should complete the following steps:
- Contact the lender and complete the loan application.
- Complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form.
- Contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance. Be prepared to provide your PELA Self-Certification Form, the loan ID number, and your lender's contact information.
The ACOM Advantage Program is designed to assist students who have not yet received their anticipated financial aid with educationally related costs other than tuition. These educationally related costs may include room and board, transportation, and supplies. For qualified students, the Program can provide a cash advance equal to the amount of financial aid that ACOM anticipates the student will receive minus the amount owed to ACOM for tuition and fees. The maximum cash advance available under this Program to any student for the Fall 2013 term is $11,000.
What is the difference between a credit balance payment and a cash advance payment?
A "credit balance payment," commonly referred to as a "refund," is a cash payment to you of the financial aid funds that remain in your student account after your tuition and fees have been paid. It is not an "advance" on anticipated financial aid funds to your account; rather, it is a payment of monies already received by ACOM for your scholarships, grants or loans that is disbursed to your ACOM student account.
A cash advance is also a cash payment to you; however, the payment comes from ACOM and the amount of the advance is based on anticipated financial aid funds that will be disbursed to your account at a later date. For example, suppose that your loan and/or scholarship funding has not been finalized and disbursed to your ACOM student account at the time that the Fall 2013 term begins. In this situation, we can provide a cash advance to assist with your other educationally related costs, which will be based on the amount of your anticipated financial aid. When the anticipated financial aid funds are actually disbursed to your student account, the amount remaining after tuition and fees have been paid will be used to repay the cash advance.
How much does it cost to request a cash advance?
There are no fees or other charges to participate in the Program.
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to request and continually qualify for a cash advance under the ACOM Advantage Program, you must:
- certify to ACOM that you will receive financial aid funds, exceeding tuition and fees, in an amount equal to or greater than the amount of the requested advance;
- be enrolled at ACOM and registered for the necessary number of credits required for your financial aid award(s), in courses that are applicable to your degree program;
- continue to meet all eligibility requirements of your specific financial aid award(s), which may include satisfying creditworthiness requirements and/or maintaining good academic standing; and
- provide any supporting documentation regarding anticipated financial aid funds that is required by ACOM's Office of Financial Aid.
How and when do I apply for a cash advance?
To request an advance, students will be required to mail or hand-deliver an original, signed Cash Advance Request Form to the Office of Financial Aid. Scanned, faxed, or incomplete applications cannot be accepted for review. In addition, students may be required to submit supplemental documentation which substantiates their anticipated financial aid funds.
Request forms will be emailed to all students during the first week of June. The deadline for priority processing is Friday, July 19, 2013.
How much can I request?
The maximum cash advance that can be approved for Fall 2013 is your anticipated credit balance (the amount of financial aid funds remaining in your account after tuition and fees are paid) or $11,000, whichever is less.
How can I estimate the amount of my cash advance?
The Estimate of Cash Advance Worksheet has been provided to assist you in determining a reasonable ESTIMATE of the maximum cash advance you may request under the ACOM Advantage Program. Your actual cash advance will be determined by the Office of Financial Aid in accordance with the terms and conditions of the ACOM Advantage Program and may differ from your estimate due to a number of factors.We cannot guarantee that the payment you actually receive will match your calculation.
How and when will I receive my funds?
All payments will be sent to your U.S. bank account via direct deposit. If you do not have direct deposit set up with the Bursar's Office at the time a particular payment is made, a paper check will be mailed to the address that is currently on file with the Registrar's Office.
Your cash advance will be made available as a series of up to five monthly payments. The first payment will be issued during the first week of class. Subsequent payments will be made during the first week of each month as shown in the chart below.
Eligible students may request an initial monthly payment of up to $3,000 in order to pay for up-front expenses such as an instrument package. All other monthly payments will be capped at $2,000 each.
Please note that due to varying processing and payment transfer times, students should expect to receive their funds within the payment windows shown in the chart below. If the payment window has closed, and you have not received your funds, please send an email to
and type "Cash Advance Payment Status" in the subject line. You will receive a reply to your inquiry within 2 business days. Please do not submit payment status inquiries before the corresponding window has closed.
||Aug. 5-9, 2013
||Sept. 3-6, 2013
||Oct. 1-4, 2013
||Nov. 4-8, 2013
||Dec. 2-6, 2013
Once the full amount of your anticipated financial aid, as reported on your Cash Advance Request Form, is disbursed to your account, you will no longer be eligible to receive cash advance payments. Additionally, if you withdraw from ACOM or cease to meet any of the eligibility requirements listed above, you will no longer be eligible to receive cash advance payments.
What happens if I don't receive my anticipated financial aid?
Like any other charge on your ACOM student account, the cash advance is a debt that must be paid. When it must be repaid depends on your situation, as shown below:
- If you receive the full amount of the financial aid you anticipated, as reported on your Cash Advance Request Form, you must repay the cash advance immediately upon receipt of that aid.
- If you do not receive the full amount of the financial aid you anticipated, as reported on your Cash Advance Request Form, you must repay the cash advance no later than May 30, 2014.
- If you withdraw from ACOM or cease to meet any of the eligibility requirements listed above, you must repay the cash advance immediately.
If, for any reason, you believe you will be unable to repay the full amount of the cash advance you received under this Program when it becomes due, please contact the Director of Financial Aid as soon as possible for assistance with exploring other student financing options which may be available.
What happens if I don't repay the cash advance by the due date?
If you don't repay the full amount of your cash advance by the applicable due date, you may be charged a late fee and ACOM's reasonable collection costs, as provided in the Request for Cash Advance. ACOM also may decline to release your records until the cash advance is repaid in full.
Is there anything else I need to know about this process?
Please keep in mind the following:
- A cash advance will appear as a charge on your student account. The charge will be repaid once sufficient financial aid disbursements are actually received by ACOM and applied to your account. If your financial aid disbursements include Title IV funds, you must complete an Authorization Statement to enable ACOM to automatically apply Title IV funds to your account to repay the cash advance. If you do not complete the Authorization Statement, any Title IV funds remaining after tuition and mandatory fees will be paid directly to you and you will be obligated to make a separate payment to ACOM to satisfy the cash advance debt on your account.
- Per federal regulation, the entire amount of a student's cash advance MUST be used for educationally related costs only. To learn more about what expenses are considered educationally related, please visit this website: http://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/Vol3Ch21213Jun14.pdf. If you have questions about whether you can use your cash advance for a certain expense, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
- You have 10 business days from the date of the cash advance payment deposit to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you feel that there has been an error in your calculated amount.
- Remember that this program is not an award of financial aid. Instead, it provides an advance of the money that would have been paid to you after ACOM receives your financial aid funds and tuition has been deducted. To qualify for participation, you must certify and document anticipated financial aid funds.