Financial Aid Office
Types of Financial Aid


Loans are sources of funding that allow you to spread the cost of education over time. They are available from various sources, including federal and state governments and private lenders. Federal and state loans must be accepted prior to the end of the enrollment period to allow sufficient time for the school to certify the loan and to meet enrollment and disbursement requirements.

When you take out a student loan, you must pay it back - with interest - even if you do not complete your education. We recommend that you only borrow what you need to cover your educational costs and work part-time in school to pay for books and personal supplies to help keep your debt loan down. Students and parents have the right to cancel loans (all or in part) if they choose not to borrow as much. Contact the SCSU Business Services Office for additional information about loan cancelation.

Loan Code of Conduct

St. Cloud State University values the integrity in the actions of its employees and expects them to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and University policies in performance of their duties according to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. The Student Loan Code of Conduct applies to:

  1. all employees of the University who have any responsibility with respect to education loans; and
  2. all employees of the University who are employed in the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Loans

The federal loan program requires students and parents (for dependent students) to apply for financial aid with the FAFSA. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to qualify for federal loans. There are three types of federal loans:

Private Loans

Many banks and credit unions provide educational loan options, commonly referred to as private loans. These loans may have higher interest rates than federal loans and generally should be considered as a borrowing option after you have considered federal loans. Compare PLUS v. private loan options before deciding which option which might be best for you.

St. Cloud State University does not endorse any one lender. We do provide FASTChoice as a way for you to compare private loan options. Please note that should you decide to borrow under the private loan program, you may select any lender of your choosing and are not required to select one from this list of lenders.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): We are aware of four lenders that currently allow students who are out of compliance with the SAP policy to apply to their private loan program. Those lenders are Citizens One, Sallie Mae, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo.

Some students may not qualify for federal or private loans, or may choose not to use loans that require interest to be paid.  There are some private organizations that provide interest-free loans that students may want to consider.

Loan Entrance Counseling

Required of all first-time borrowers under the federal Direct loan. Loan funds will not be disbursed until you have completed loan entrance counseling. If your loan funds arrive at the University before you have completed loan counseling, the funds will be held for ten days and then returned to the lender if loan counseling has not been completed.

Next Steps for Loan Borrowers

If you are close to graduating, taking less than 6 credits, or will not be attending next semester, there are some important things you should know about your options regarding your loans. Click here for a helpful checklist to keep you on track.

Loan Exit Counseling

Required of all borrowers under the federal Perkins, federal subsidized Direct, federal unsubsidized Direct loan, and federal TEACH Grant programs.  Federal regulations require that you complete loan exit counseling once you graduate, withdraw, or drop below a half-time (6 credits) enrollment level, or in the case of a TEACH Grant once you leave school or are no longer eligible for the TEACH Grant. . Exit counseling also helps you understand your borrower rights and responsibilities, as well as providing you tips and information on how to manage your student loans.

Loan Servicers

When you borrow a federal loan (student Direct, Parent PLUS, or Grad PLUS), the Department of Education (your lender) assigns your loan to one of the federal loan servicers. Your servicer does not depend on where you live or went to school. Your servicer will contact you via email or U.S. mail when your loan funds are disbursed. If you don't know or can't remember who your servicer is, you can look up this information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) using your FSA ID that you use to sign your FAFSA and your Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Loan Terminology

Now that you have decided to borrow, what do all of those terms mean? It is important for you to know and understand what they mean to make sure you are an informed borrower. For complete lists of loan terms, visit the Minnesota Office of Higher Education site.

Bessie E. Campbell Emergency Loan

The Bessie E. Campbell Emergency Loan provides financial assistance to St. Cloud State University students who have unexpected, temporary emergency expenses. Allowable expenses include auto repairs, emergency travel, medical expenses, and textbook purchases.

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