Applying for Student Loans

Northwood University participates in the Federal Direct Loan program. Listed below is a brief summary of the Federal Direct Loans. All borrowers must complete a Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN). Please note that first time borrowers who receive loans are required to participate in mandatory Entrance Counseling or contact the Financial Aid Office for a personal interview, before loan proceeds will be released.

Entrance counseling is not required for returning students who previously completed this requirement. Upon completion of your education, you will be required to participate in Exit Counseling or contact the Financial Aid Office for a personal interview.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program 2012-2013

The following federal loan chart and information is subject to change at any time depending on the actions of the federal government. Please research your loan options carefully and borrow responsibly. For additional information regarding specific federal student loan interest rate and fee information, please visit the Federal Student Aid website at






Financial need is determined by Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)




No interest charged while student enrolled at least 1/2 time, during grace period, and deferment periods




Not based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA




Interest is charged during all periods




Parent must be credit worthy




Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)




Student must be enrolled at least 1/2 time, student and parent must be US citizen or eligible non-citizen




Student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress




Loan is borrowed from U.S. Dept of Education




Repayment begins 6 months after the student graduates, falls below 1/2 enrollment, or withdraws from school




Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Deferments are available upon request.




No prepayment penalties




Dependent undergraduate students: freshman: $5,500 (no more than $3,500 subsidized); sophomore: $6,500 (no more than $4,500 subsidized); and junior/seniors $7,500 (no more than $5,500 subsidized).

Independent undergraduate students: freshman: $9,500 (no more than $3,500 subsidized); sophomore: $10,500 (no more than $4,500 subsidized); and junior/seniors $12,500 (no more than $5,500 subsidized).

First-time Borrowers:

You must complete a Master Promissory Note(MPN) online at

You must also complete an Entrance Counseling session online at

Creating a FSA ID

The FSA ID - a username and password - has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at, or by going directly to:

In order to create and ID you must have a valid email address. You will create a username and password along with answer questions regarding name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information, and challenge questions and answers. You will receive an email secure code to verify the information before proceeding to the website.

If you have never had a PIN or FSA ID before it will take up to 72 hours to activate for you to electronically sign the FAFSA. We suggest you create a FSA ID as soon as possible.

Previous Borrowers:

You do not need to complete an MPN or Entrance Counseling if you have completed them previously.

Accepting, Rejecting, or Changing your Loan Amounts:

Northwood University uses Passive Confirmation for the acceptance of Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan awards. This means you will receive the loan amounts shown on your Official Award Letter unless you notify us that you do not want them.

  • If you want to accept the Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and loan amounts shown on your Official Award Letter you DO NOT need to take action. The Financial Aid Office will process your loan if all other requirements as outlined below are met.*
  • If you want to reject your loan(s) or change the loan amount(s), you DO need to take action. First, go to the WebAdvisor tab at
    • To reject your loan(s), select Accept or Reject Financial Aid Loan Awards. Select Year 2014. You will see all your financial aid awards at the top of the page. At the bottom of the page you will see the loan(s) that you are able to Accept or Reject. Please choose Reject from the drop down beside the loan or loans you want to reject. If you are rejecting your loan(s) you must do so within 14 days of receiving your award letter. If you decide later on that you want to borrow, you can go back into WebAdvisor and accept eligible loans.
    • To change your loan amount(s), go to the Financial Aid section, click on Financial Aid Forms and select the 2014-2015 Federal Direct Loan Change Form. This form must be completed and signed and can be mailed or faxed to the Financial Aid Office. Please note: You may only lower the loan amounts awarded.

IMPORTANT: Federal Direct Loans are governed by federal regulations. Before the Financial Aid Office processes your reject or change requests, the staff will check to be sure the resulting loans meet Federal requirements. For example: If you have both subsidized and unsubsidized loan eligibility, your unsubsidized loan must be zeroed out before we can reduce your subsidized loan. If we cannot process your reject or change request due to Federal requirements we will contact you. Otherwise, you will receive a revised award letter with your requested changes.

PLEASE NOTE: The school will notify you via e-mail that your loans have been disbursed and that you have the right to cancel all or a portion of a loan. If you want to cancel all or a portion of your loan(s) you must do so within 30 days of the date the school sends you this notification.

*Before processing your loan(s) you must have completed the following:

  • New students must have paid a commitment fee to the University.
  • Returning students must be registered or pre-registered for classes for the period of enrollment of the loans.
  • New student loan borrowers must have completed their Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Passive Confirmation is not used to accept PLUS and GradPLUS loans. Procedures for acceptance and application are below:

Federal Direct PLUS Loan (for parents of undergraduate students)

Parents of an undergraduate student can apply for a credit-based Federal Direct PLUS Loan to assist with out-of-pocket educational expenses on behalf of the student. The parent must be a credit-worthy US citizen or eligible non-citizen.

Parents can defer repayment if their student is enrolled at least half-time (6 hours), and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. If the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is denied, the student will be eligible to borrow up to an additional $4,000 for freshmen and sophomores or $5,000 for juniors and seniors of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

  • To apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, the parent must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and a Federal Direct PLUS Loan application online at Your Department of Education-issued PIN will be required to complete the MPN, as it becomes an electronic signature. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from . If you have previously borrowed for this student you do not need to complete a new MPN.
  • Next complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request form. This form must be completed and signed and can be mailed or faxed to the Financial Aid Office. The form may be found on the Financial Aid Forms page.

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan (for graduate students)

A graduate or professional student can apply for a credit-based Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan for up to the student's cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance.

  • To apply for a GradPLUS Loan, the student must complete a pre-approval credit check and a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at Click the Sign In box and choose Request a Graduate PLUS Loan. This will produce an instantaneous credit decision. Approved borrowers can proceed to selecting the student name to complete the Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). Paper MPN's can be requested from the Financial Aid Office. If you have previously borrowed a GRADPLUS Loan you do not need to complete a new MPN.
  • First time borrowers must complete mandatory Grad PLUS Entrance Loan Counseling at
  • Next complete and return the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form. This form must be completed and signed and can be mailed or faxed to the Financial Aid Office. The form may be found on the Financial Aid Forms page.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact your Financial Aid Office.

Private (Alternative) Loans

Private loans are available from private lenders for students whose cost of attendance has not been met with other financial aid and have exhausted federal loan options. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is normally not required to apply for a private loan. Private loan programs differ from federal loans, such as Stafford, Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loans, in several important ways:

  • Annual and total loan limits are higher.
  • Interest rates and fees vary by lender.
  • Rates are normally variable and change on a quarterly basis.
  • Loan approval and the rate of interest are based on credit approval and approval is not guaranteed.
  • Most students will be required to secure a co-signer.
  • Loans are not federally guaranteed; therefore, they do not have the same deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits.

The terms and conditions for private loans vary greatly. Students are advised to compare loan programs before choosing a lender. Interest rates, fees, and other provisions of these programs are subject to change by the lender. Contact the lenders directly for detailed information on individual loan products.

If you have already taken advantage of federal grants and loans and still find the need for funds, keep in mind the following tips and guidelines when considering a private education loan.

  • Always borrow conservatively -- borrow only what you need.
  • Check first with your local bank or credit union to see if they offer alternative educational loans.
  • Use the internet to research lenders.
  • If you have had a private loan in the past, we recommend you stay with the same lender.
  • Northwood University cannot certify loans that are submitted too early. Please use this guide to determine the earliest acceptable application date; if you apply prior to the dates listed below, your loan may be cancelled:
    • June 1st for a Fall/Spring loan
    • May 1st for a Summer loan

Questions to ask when considering a private loan (Expand)

The choice of a lender is your personal decision and we do not recommend any one in particular. We strongly urge you to do your research and ask the following questions when selecting a lender:

  • Have I explored and exhausted all other means of educational funding?
  • What is the interest rate?
  • Is the interest rate variable?
  • How often does the interest rate change?
  • When does interest begin accruing?
  • Is interest deferred while in school?
  • How often does the interest get capitalized?
  • What are the annual program maximums?
  • Is there an application fee?
  • Are there processing fees?
  • Are there any enrollment requirements? (Undergraduate, full or part-time, in a degree-seeking program, etc.)
  • Can I borrow to pay a past semester’s debt?
  • How long does it take to process the loan?
  • Is a co-signer required?
  • Is credit-worthiness a requirement?
  • When does repayment begin?
  • What are the minimum monthly payments?
  • How long is the repayment period?
  • What will my estimated monthly payment amount be?
  • What repayment options are available to me?
  • If I am having difficulty making payments, what options do I have?
  • If payment must be made while enrolled, can I handle these payments?
  • Are there pre-payment penalties?
  • Are there deferment or forbearance options available?
  • Can this loan be consolidated with other educational loans?
  • What is the source of the funds?
  • Is the lender reliable?
  • Where is the lender located?
  • Whom can I contact with questions or problems?
  • How long has the lender been in business?
  • Does the lender service its loans or are they sold to another lender or servicer once the loan has been disbursed to me?
  • If applying at a credit union, do I have to be a member?

Financial Aid Office
4000 Whiting Drive
Lower Level Miner Hall
Midland, Michigan 48640
Phone: 989.837.4230
Fax: 989.837.4130

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST