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Loans are borrowed money that must be paid back to the lender over a period of time, usually starting after the student leaves school. Students with financial need may qualify for subsidized loans with reduced interest rates.

Loans can be sponsored by the federal or state government or by private lenders.

Federal Student Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loans are low-interest loans from the federal government that can be used to help pay for tuition and other costs related to your education. Almost all students are eligible to receive Stafford Loans, regardless of credit history.

Depending on your financial need you may qualify for one of the two types of loans:

  • Subsidized Loans: The Federal Government pays interest on the loan while the student is still enrolled at a college. Therefore, the total amount repaid by the student is less than an unsubsidized loan. The Department of Education limits the maximum period of time during which first-time borrowers can receive Subsidized Loans.

    Students may not receive a Subsidized Loan for more than 150 percent of the published length of their program. If you are enrolled in a two-year associate's degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive a Subsidized Loan is three years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years). 
  • Unsubsidized Loans: The student pays all interest accrued on their loan, meaning that the loan costs more than a subsidized loan.

All federal loans must be repaid. Repayment begins six months after a student's enrollment drops below six credit hours, including students who are attending part-time, graduating, or withdrawing.

Eligibility for Student Loans

How to Apply for Student Loans

  • Complete the FAFSA form to be considered for both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Use school code 010345 for Cincinnati State.
  • After receiving FAFSA notification, first-time borrowers will need to complete the Department of Education’s Entrance Loan Counseling.
  • Complete a loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), unless you completed an MPN previously in the past 10 years. Use school code 010345 for Cincinnati State. 
  • Complete the Cincinnati State Direct Loan Acceptance found in MyServices by selecting “General Forms” underneath “Financial Aid”.
    • The Direct Loan Acceptance form must be completed each year if you wish to continue accepting loans. 

Federal Parent Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loans) enable parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases stepparents) of dependent students to borrow funds to help pay for their child’s education. Loan amounts vary by credit rating and cost of attendance, and may cover full or partial tuition.

Eligibility for Parent Loans

How to Apply for Parent Loans

  • Student must complete the FAFSA form to be considered for PLUS loans. Use school code 010345 for Cincinnati State.
  • Parent should sign into using their Federal Student Aid ID, select “Request a Direct PLUS Loan,” and complete the online application.

State Loans for Nursing Majors

The Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NEALP) provides educational loans to students enrolled in approved nursing programs in Ohio, and offers partial loan cancellation to student borrowers who work as nurses in the state of Ohio after graduation.

Eligibility for Ohio Nursing Loans

  • Meet Cincinnati State’s General Eligibility Requirements for financial aid.
  • Be an Ohio resident.
  • Be enrolled in or accepted by an approved nurse education program at an Ohio school.
  • Have proven financial need as determined by FAFSA.

How to Apply for Ohio Nursing Loans

  • Complete the FAFSA form. Use school code 010345 for Cincinnati State.
  • Complete the NEALP application (online application available from 6 am to 8 pm)

Private Loans

Many private lenders offer loans to students who do not qualify for federal loan programs or who need additional financial assistance to cover educational costs. It is recommended that students take full advantage of all government loans available to them before considering a supplemental private loan.

Eligibility for Private Loans

In addition to the requirements of individual lenders, Cincinnati State's policy requires that to take out an educational loan you must:

  • Be enrolled in at least 6 eligible credit hours.
  • Maintain standards described in Cincinnati State’s policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Keeping Track of Student Loans

Students can get up-to-date information on their federal loans through the National Student Loan Database (NSLD). This site lets students:

  • see how much you have borrowed
  • review any outstanding balances
  • track your loan disbursements

Financial Aid Tips

Learn more about financial aid applications and eligibility in our Financial Aid Tips.

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