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Campus Alert

Carroll students may potentially access four federal student financial aid programs.

To be eligible, a student must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • have a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program of study
  • be a degree or certificate candidate
  • meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for any of these programs. Renewal application materials are required each year for all programs.

Types of Aid

Carroll participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. This program allows students and parents to borrow funds at low interest rates to pay for education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education lends the money directly to eligible students and parents through the student’s school. Learn more.

Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to show financial need.


  • Low interest rates – the annual percentage rate will not suddenly spike due to sudden economic changes.
  • Funds are guaranteed to be available from the U.S. Treasury.
  • One Master Promissory Note (MPN), good for 10 years, may be completed online.
  • Repayment starts six months after graduation or when student status drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Flexible repayment plans.
  • Online student account access.

Loan Types

Direct Loans are applied for by completing the FAFSA. Direct loans include Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS loans, and they are eligible to be used for loan consolidation.

  • Subsidized Loans – For students who demonstrate financial need, based on their FAFSA. No interest is charged while the student is enrolled in school as long as he/she maintains at least a half-time status. These loans remain interest-free during deferment and grace periods.
    During a deferment period, the student is not required to make loan payments. This could be while he/she is still enrolled, before graduating.
    Grace period is the span of six months after a student graduates, before he/she is required to start making loan payments.
  • Unsubsidized Loans – These loans not based on financial need, and charge interest during all periods, including the time when the student is in school.
  • PLUS Loans – Unsubsidized loans borrowed by the parent or legal guardian for dependent students, including those who are graduate students. PLUS loans charge interest during all periods.


View the following and more information at




This free federal grant program provides funds to eligible full- and part-time undergraduate students.

This free federal grant program provides assistance to undergraduate students enrolled in at least three billable hours, are federal PELL grant recipients, and who demonstrate exceptional financial need.

Grants may range from $100 to $4,000 per year (dependent on funding). Priority is given to PELL recipients.

This program provides jobs for students who have financial need and who must earn a part of their educational expenses.

Application Process and Guidelines

If you need financial aid to attend Carroll and are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA allows you to apply for federal, state and need-based Carroll financial aid.


  • Include Carroll’s Federal School Code: 031007. Adding the school code will allow Carroll to receive your FAFSA information.
  • Complete the application for the year you plan to attend college.
  • Keep a copy of your FAFSA application.

You must complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online if you are borrowing a Federal Direct Stafford Loan at Carroll for the first time.

Once you have filed the FAFSA, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter notifying you of any grant and scholarship money that you are eligible to receive. The award letter also notifies you of your Stafford Loan eligibility.

Once you have reviewed and accepted your financial aid award, you may apply for the loan online.

If you are a returning borrower, you will have your accepted Stafford Loan amount processed under their existing loan application (MPN) by Financial Aid.


Direct Loan Program – Loan and Disbursement Processing

The student needs to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Carroll determines the student’s eligibility and loan amount. A separate loan application is not required for the Direct Loan program.

A loan fee (also called an origination fee) is charged for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans. The fee is a percentage of the amount of each loan the student receives, and is subtracted proportionately from each loan disbursement.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans with a first disbursement date between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, have a loan fee of 1.5%.
  • Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2010, have a loan fee of 1%.
  • The loan fee for all Direct PLUS Loans is 4%.

Master Promissory Note (MPN) Processing

The Direct Loan Electronic MPN website performs edits during the MPN completion process, which eliminates most errors and the need for follow-up.

Paper MPNs submitted with errors are returned to Carroll/student for correction. As such, Carroll generally interacts with the student. However, COD Applicant Services (800-557-7394) is available to assist students and their endorsers, when applicable, with Direct Loan MPNs and related documents.

Direct Plus Loan Processing

As an alternative to a school-based PLUS application process, parents and student borrowers can request a Direct PLUS Loan, complete an MPN, and initiate a credit check at

Before submitting a PLUS Loan online request, parents and students should verify with Carroll’s Financial Aid office that it will accept and process the request. If Carroll does not use the Direct PLUS Loan Request process, will initiate a credit check upon receipt of the origination record from Carroll.

A credit check can be processed once a parent or student completes a MPN, which includes the applicant’s authorization for a credit check to be completed, or Carroll’s credit check authorization form. A credit check can be initiated by Carroll via the COD website or by the COD System upon receipt of the Direct PLUS Loan origination data.

A credit check is valid for 90 days; as such, the COD System will not initiate another credit check if one was completed within the past 90 days. Borrowers will receive written confirmation of the credit check result.

Endorsers of Direct PLUS Loans may complete the endorser addendum online at

Credit appeals and endorser questions should be addressed to the COD Applicant Services team at the COD School Relations Center at (800) 557-7394.

Loan Limits

The U.S. Department of Education sets borrowing limits for the Direct Lending (DL) programs, as indicated in the table below. Carroll has the right to deny any loan request based on such factors as unwillingness to repay, borrowing history and academic progression.

Visit the National Student Loan Database System for Students to view your previous borrowing history.

Annual and Aggregate Loan Maximums

Grade Level Base Amount (Subsidized/Unsubsidized eligibility determined by a Financial Aid Counselor) Additional Unsubsidized Amount
Grade Level 1 (1 – 29 completed credits) $3,500 Dependent*: $2,000 Independent: $6,000
Grade Level 2 (30 or more completed credits) $4,500 Dependent*: $2,000 Independent: $6,000

Aggregate Loan Limits

Dependent Undergraduate** $31,000 (Subsidized aggregate limit may not exceed $23,000)
Independent Undergraduate** $57,700 (Subsidized aggregate limit may not exceed $23,000)
Graduate/Professional $138,500 (Subsidized limit may not exceed $65,500)

*If you are a dependent student who has a current PLUS loan denial on file with our office, you may be eligible to borrow an additional $4000 in an unsubsidized loan.

**As an undergraduate student, the maximum loan amount you may borrow may need to be prorated in certain circumstances. For example, loans must be prorated if you, the borrower, are enrolled in an eligible program of study that is shorter than a full academic year, or when a you are enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more but you remain for a period of study that is shorter than a full academic year. A Financial Aid Counselor will notify you if your loan must be prorated.

Borrower Benefits and Communication

Carroll provides you with information on eligibility requirements, conditions for losing benefits and regaining lost benefits. This information is communicated in:

  • Master Promissory Notes (MPN) and related documents
  • Direct Loan counseling materials
  • Disclosure statements
  • Quarterly statements
  • Brochures
  • Letters and/or emails
  • Special outreach initiatives

The information is provided at multiple points, including:

  • During counseling
  • At disbursement
  • During school
  • During grace period
  • During repayment (including deferment and forbearance periods)
  • Upon inquiry
  • From 

Entrance and Exit Guides

New Loans

  • The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program ended July 1, 2010. No new loans, including consolidation loans, have been made under the FFEL Program since that date.
  • Graduate and professional students are not eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans for any period of enrollment (loan period) that begins on or after July 1, 2012.

Loan Interest Rates by Disbursement Date

Loan Type First Disbursed July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013 Disbursed After June 30, 2013
Direct Subsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students) Fixed at 3.4 percent Fixed at 6.8 percent
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Fixed at 6.8 percent Fixed at 6.8 percent
Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional Students) Fixed at 7.9 percent Fixed at 7.9 percent

Grace Periods

  • Loans that were/are first disbursed from July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2014, the federal government will not pay the interest during the student’s grace period. 
  • Graduate and professional student borrowers with Direct and FFEL PLUS loans that were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, receive an automatic deferment while in school and a six-month deferment (comparable to a grace period) after they graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.

New Repayment Plan – Pay as You Earn

Like the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan (Pay As You Earn) is based on your income and generally offers the lowest monthly payments of the income-driven plans.

Direct Loan borrowers whose federal student loan debt is high relative to their income may be eligible for Pay As You Earn. Students who make payments under the Pay As You Earn plan for 20 years and meet other requirements, may have the remaining balance of their loan(s) canceled. Additionally, students who work in public service and have reduced loan payments through Pay As You Earn, after they have worked 10 years, the remaining balance could be canceled.

Students should contact their loan holder or servicer, or visit for more information about the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan.

Forbearance and Deferred Payment

Deferments, forbearance and extended repayment plan options are available with Direct Loans. 

  • Deferments and Forbearance
    • Deferments – temporarily delay your principle and interest payment
    • Forbearance – stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment for up to 12 months if you are temporarily unable to make loan payments due to poor health or other acceptable reasons. 
  • Extended repayments – make lower monthly payments over a longer period of time.

Direct Loan Servicing capitalizes all unpaid interest including:

  • Upon entering repayment.
  • Upon expiration of a deferment period.
  • Upon expiration of a forbearance period.
  • Annually if you are repaying under the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan in which payments do not cover monthly interest accrual.