Current Students

Having or needing to borrow for your education at Soka University of America is a wise investment.  Unlike borrowing for a car that depreciates over time, your wisdom, education and degree will last a life time.

We at Soka University of America (SUA), encourage you to apply for every need-based and self-help resource available prior to obtaining a student loan.  This includes applying for all Federal, State, institutional, and private grants, scholarships and student employment.  You will find many of these resources on our financial aid webpage at www.soka.edu.  The SUA Office of Financial Aid is always available to assist you.

Financial Literacy is more than just being able to balance a checkbook, compare prices or get a job. It also includes skills like long-term vision and planning for the future, and the discipline to use those skills every day.  Being aware of short- and long-term costs associated with student loans and other debts will help secure a strong financial future. 

What every student borrower needs to know

Before you borrow please read this. If you have already borrowed a student loan, pay particular attention to this Q&A as it will provide valuable information and hopefully keep you out of any legal issue’s concerning your student loan. Remember:  Federal student loans must be repaid!  Failure to repay your Federal student loan will result in default.  While in default, the Federal government can seize your tax refund, garnish your wages, place liens on your property as well as damage your credit. 

This Q&A will help answer most of your questions as you borrow and what you should do as you begin repayment once your graduate, withdrawal or attend less-than-half-time.

  1. How do I get a federal student loan?
  2. What are the different types of loans available for me?
  3. How much should I borrow?
  4. How do I track and manage my loans?
  5. What is Entrance/Exit Counseling?
  6. What is a Master Promissory Note?
  7. How do I consolidate my student loans?
  8. How do I repay my student loans?
  9. When should I begin repaying my loans?
  10. What repayment plans and calculators are available to me?
  11. What is loan default?
  12. What if I default on my student loans?
  13. How do I get help with my loan problems?

What are the different types of Student Loans?

Click here for our Loans & Self Help page. 

How do I get a Federal Student Loan?

To apply for a federal student loan, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Based on the results of your FAFSA, we will send you a financial aid offer which may include federal student loans. We will then follow up with you with instructions on how to accept all or a part of the loan. 

Before you receive your loan funds, you will be required to

  • complete entrance counseling, a tool to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan; and
  • sign a Master Promissory Note, agreeing to the terms of the loan.
  • review your 'To-Do' list via your SUA Learn Account and complete all required items. 

Contact the financial aid office for details regarding our process.

How Much Should I Borrow?

We strongly encourage borrowers to carefully weigh the need for loans and to borrow only what is actually needed. We encourage you to estimate and plan your repayment obligations prior to borrowing.  Borrowing in excess of what is actually needed means you must repay more at a later date. Your monthly payments will be higher and you may be paying over a longer period of time due to the interest that accrues on your loans.

For federal student and parent loans, borrowers should be aware of the repayment options that are available. In addition, there are a number of deferment or forbearance provisions available once the loan is in repayment. For some qualifying majors and professions, such as teaching, federal and state loan cancellation provisions can also be beneficial.

*Remember, loans must be repaid even if you did not complete your program and/or degree.*

How do I track and manage my Loans?

To keep track of your student loans or to contact your loan servicer for repayment, log onto to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID FREE (1-800-433-3243 FREE; TTY 1-800-730-8913). The PIN number that you used as your electronic signature for the FAFSA can also be used to gain access to NSLDS.

This website will not only show you all of the federal and private loans you borrowed, but also who the servicer is for your loan(s). The servicer is the entity you will be corresponding with to coordinate repayment.

If you have borrowed loans in the past through the FFEL Program (i.e. a federal loan serviced by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, etc.) these loans have most likely been sold to a third party processor. We cannot stress enough how important it is to know your loan servicer. 

What is Entrance/Exit Counseling?

Entrance Counseling:

The Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming. If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan as a graduate/professional student, the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans. At SUA, we have additional entrance counseling requirements for both Federal and Soka Loan Borrowers. Check with the financial aid office to be sure that the counseling available on this Web site satisfies its requirements for entrance counseling.

Exit Counseling:

Exit counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal/Soka student loan(s). If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program, the FFEL Program, or if you have taken out a Soka Loan you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave School

At SUA, we have additional entrance counseling requirements for both Federal and Soka Loan Borrowers. Check with the financial aid office to be sure that the counseling available on this Web site satisfies its requirements for exit counseling.

What is a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated and what deferment and cancellation provisions are available to you.

Click here for information to the following: 

  1. How do I consolidate my student loans?
  2. How do I repay my student loans?
  3. When should I begin repaying my loans?
  4. What repayment plans and calculators are available to me?
  5. What is loan default?
  6. What if I default on my student loans?
  7. How do I get help with my loan problems?