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Loans & Self-Help

Student Loans

Student loans are funds that must be repaid over a period of time.  It 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. 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 borrow or decline your loans.

"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 Office of Financial Aid at SUA offers full counseling to students who have completed a financial aid application or a FAFSA.  We encourage students to review their financial aid package as a whole and determine how much he/she can afford to pay out of pocket, how much can be paid with a payment plan and lastly how much he/she will be able to afford to pay back in the future if he/she decide to borrow funds now. We are here to help students make sound financial decisions even before he/she decide to attend SUA.

Below is a summary of the loans available to students. Please check out the links to get a better understanding of each loan.

Federal Direct Loans for Domestic 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.

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.  2013-14 fixed interest rate is 3.86%.  Interest rate will change yearly based on the 10-year treasury note index.

Unsubsidized Loans - are available to students regardless of income and assets, and there is no interest subsidy.  Interest will accrue from the time of disbursement. Several repayment options are available; students should consult their individual Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) for specific terms of repayment.  2013-14 fixed interest rate is 3.86%. Interest rate will change yearly based on the 10-year treasury note index.

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

Soka Loans (Student)– are available to international students.

International students interested in applying for an Soka Loan will be required to annually submit financial documents for review by the Financial Aid Office.  Soka Loans, if granted, will not exceed the cost of attendance minus other aid for a single academic year.

Student Eligibility is determined by the International Student - Financial Aid Application.

 

Parent Loans

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 any other financial aid received.  Interest rate will change yearly based on the 10-year treasury note index. There is no interest subsidy for this loan.  Repayment begins within 60 days after loan disbursement. Loan approval is based on a credit check. Not all parents will be approved.   If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may obtain an endorser or the student may request additional unsubsidized loans.

 

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 an income towards his/her cost of attendance 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. This is not awarded as part of the financial aid package. Students must apply for individual jobs at the university through the Human Resources Department

Resident Assistant Program (RA) – is coordinated through the Housing Department for continuing students.  This program is considered an award and is included as part of the financial aid package which cannot exceed the COA.

Veteran Benefits - The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts program at Soka University of America is approved for veterans by the Bureau for Postsecondary and Vocational Education. These benefits are available for veterans and children or spouses of certain deceased or disabled veterans.  Application for benefits may be made through any Department of Veterans Affairs regional office, online at www.gibill.va.gov.  Students are encouraged to notify the Office of Financial Aid that  they are participating in a VA program during the admissions process to ensure timely processing before the student arrives for classes.