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Step 3: Understand and Apply for Your Loans

Step 3 for Academic Year 2014-2015

This information found on this page and on the related links you will find within this page have not yet been updated for the 2014-2015 year. Typically this step does not begin until early June (Admitted Students) and mid-July (Continuing students) for the academic year which follows.  Once we have updated all of the information on this page for 2014-2015 (in June 2014), we will send you an email directing you to review and take any of the necessary actions required on this step. Until then, you can still read over the 2013-2014 information found here to get a broad overview of this step in the process. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

Step 3 for Academic Year 2013-2014

In this step, we will help you:

Understand the loans you have been offered

Below is a general outline of the loans that may be included in your financial aid package. Remember, you can login to MyHLS Financial Aid  and click on the Accept Awards tab to see your aid package. For more specific loan rates and terms, click on the link related to the loan you have been offered. Additionally, you will want to read the Education Loans Overview section of our web site for more loan details before signing or applying for any loan.  The standard budget establishes the annual limit on financial aid (grants and loans from all sources) available to each student. While a number of students choose to live under the standard budget and borrow less funds, others have a need to use a combination of resources that add up to the maximum amount of their budget.  

Domestic Students:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: All domestic graduate students are eligible for a total of $20,500 through this program.  
  • Federal Perkins Loan: All domestic grant recipients receive $2,700 through this program. This amount can change from year to year depending on our annual allotment.
  • Harvard Law School Loan: All domestic grant recipients receive $4,900 unsubsidized funds through this program. Additionally, some domestic students with dependents will receive subsidized funding through this program.  The amount will depend on financial need as determined by our office. No action is required until late August when you will be instructed to sign the promissory note for this loan during Step 5 of the financial aid process.
  • Required Supplemental Base Loan : All domestic HLS grant recipients are required to borrow $15,000 through either the Federal Direct GradPLUS program or any other educational supplemental loan program of your choosing as part of the mandatory base loan amount totaling $43,100. (note filing deadlines below). You need to submit a loan application for this amount in order to have these funds anticipate to your term bill account towards fall term charges.  You can find the loan applications link here.
  • Optional Supplemental Loan:  All domestic students have the option of borrowing the Federal Direct GradPLUS loan program or any private educational supplemental loan to the maximum amount of their student budget. (note filing deadlines below)

International Students:

  • Harvard Law School Loans: All international students are eligible for a total of $20,500 in unsubsidized funds through this program. International students who are also grant recipients will receive an additional $2,700 in subsidized funding and $4,900 in unsubsidized funding for a total subsidized amount of $2,700 and a total unsubsidized amount of $25,400. These adjustments are made in order to imitate the Perkins and Harvard Law School loan funding that domestic grant recipients receive.
  • Required Supplemental Base Loan: All international HLS grant recipients are required to borrow an educational loan of $15,000 through the lender of their choice as part of the mandatory base loan amount totaling $43,100. (note filing deadlines below).  You need to submit a loan application for this amount in order to have these funds anticipate to your term bill account towards fall term charges.  You can find the loan applications link here.
  • Optional Supplemental Loan:  All international students who meet the lender qualifications, have the option of borrowing private educational supplemental loans to the maximum amount of their student budget. (note filing deadlines below).  Returning students can determine the amount of their optional supplemental borrowing by viewing their student budget on the Messages tab on My HLS Financial Aid and subtracting from that number their current aid package total.  Entering students will have an optional supplemental borrowing amount included in their award.  In order to receive any optional funds, you must apply for a supplemental loan.  Borrowers who already have a required supplemental base loan and want to borrow more funding should simply add any increased amount to the application making one application for all supplemental borrowing (both required and optional).

If you are interested in LIPP, you should pay attention to your maximum LIPP eligible borrowing figure, and try not to borrow more than that amount. To see your maximum LIPP eligible borrowing amount, login to MyHLS Financial Aid and click on the Messages tab.

NOTE! All loans will be disbursed in two separate disbursements; one each semester.  Be certain to borrow the amount you will need for the entire academic year.  Additionally, if you are borrowing from a loan program that deducts fees prior to disbursement, you may increase your loan by the amount of the fees and we will increase your budget for this expense.  Likewise, if you decide that you do not need or want to borrow as much as you initially thought, you can request a loan adjustment before the second disbursement takes place in January.

 

Know the loan application deadlines

If you apply for your supplemental loan funds prior to June 30th, your loan should be processed in time to be reflect as an anticipated financial aid credit on your first e-bill in early July. If you apply after June 30th, but before August 1st, it should appear as an anticipated credit on your August e-bill. Applications received after this date will be processed daily and can be used towards your balance due in lieu of payment. If all of your financial aid is not in place by August 9, 2013 you could be placed on financial hold blocking your ability to add or drop classes, receive a cash advance, and incur a possible fine of $250. 

If your anticipated financial aid credits exceed the total of your e-bill charges, you will be eligible for a fall cash advance that can be used for living expenses. A cash advance is money that the University advances to you, interest free, based on the fact that you will soon have loans and/or grants that will disburse to your student e-bill.   Eligible students who have all of their financial aid in place by August 9, 2013 will receive a cash advance the first part of September. Students who receive a cash advance should budget the funds for living expenses for the entire fall semester. Spring term cash advance checks will be disbursed no later than December 20, 2013 (if anticipated financial aid credits are greater than e-bill charges). See the Cash Advance & Refund section of our web site for more details.

Now you are ready to go to the Loan Application Links page!

Last modified: April 24, 2014

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