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Financial Aid FAQ's for Semester/Year Study Away Programs

Can I receive financial aid for my semester/year study away program?
YES, if you are registered as a Concordia College student participating in a program approved through Global Learning you can qualify for financial aid.  Your financial aid will still be determined based on financial need, just as if you are studying here on-campus at Concordia College.  Be aware that all financial aid and scholarship eligibility requirements set by the issuing party/institution must be upheld in order for you to receive these funds as well as remain eligible in the future.

Are there "additional" grants or scholarships available for study away?
No, there are no additional grants or scholarships available for study away participants.  The only additional financial aid available would be in the form of loans.  If you are already using your Federal Direct Loans, the additional loan would have to be taken out in the Federal Direct Parent Loan program or a private loan.  See below for additional details on these loans.

I want to take out loans to cover the costs, what do I do now?
If you would like to visit with the Financial Aid Office about additional loan options, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 218-299-3010 to schedule an appointment to review your options.  Please, make sure that you have your most recent FAFSA complete!  Financial aid awards for the academic year will not go out until after May 1st prior to the beginning of the academic year.

If you are taking out a private loan or your parent is taking out a Federal Direct Parent Loan, you will need to complete the actual loan application(s).  We suggest you complete the applications online at http://www.cord.edu/Offices/Finaid/Types/loans1.php.  If you already know what loan program you are planning to use, you can go online and complete the loan application process.  Once the applicatoin is complete the lender will forward that information to the Financial Aid Office to verify that you are eligible for the loan and the dollar amount you requested.  Note:  Please allow plenty of processing time for your loan applications before you depart.  This is in case your lender or the Financial Aid Office is in need of additional information from you before you depart.  This is especially true with private loans as that processs can take 30 days or more to receive funds.

I am using a tuition exchange program.  Will I be able to receive this benefit for my study away program?
No, tuition exchange benefits are not applicable to study away.  If you have questions about your specific exchange program, please contact the Financial Aid Office.  You are still eligible to apply for FAFSA, and the Financial Aid Office will determine if you are eligible for any need-based aid.

How do I find out the cost of my study away program?
You will work with your Study Away Advisor to determine the cost of your program.  You will receive an Estimated Expenses Guide that will detail the costs of your program the semester prior to your departure.

I have received the Estimated Expenses Guide from my Program Coordinator, now what?
The guide you receive will be sent to the Financial Aid Office by Global Learning so they have a record of your study away costs.  Once you have been accepted to a study away program, Global Learning will let the Financial Aid Office know.  At that time, the Financial Aid Office will factor the additional expenses into your cost of attendance at Concordia College.  These costs will be added to your cost of attendance to allow you to borrow additional loans if needed.  This adjustment in your cost of attendance will not change any of your financial aid other than allowing you the ability to apply for and borrow additional loans to cover these expenses.

There is 'Spending Money' itemized on my Estimated Expenses Guide.  Will I be billed for that?
No, spending money (among other things like airport transfer, passport, or visa) is only factored into the budget as an option to you.  It allows you to apply for loans to use for extra personal expenses you may have prior to or while studying away.  Concordia College does not bill you for this.  If you are planning to take out loans in order to receive a refund to be used for spending money, you must apply for additional loans to cover this.  All loan funds will come directly to the college and credit to your bill in the Business Office.  Concordia College will only issue a refund for funds that are in excess of your charges at Concordia College.

Are there deposits or prepayments that need to be made for my program?
Yes, you will be required to pay a $200 application deposit prior to the application deadline.  Your application will not be acknowledged if the deposit is not made by the application deadline.  You will pay the deposit to the Business Office and upload a scanned copy of your receipt to your application to your online application where your Study Away Advisor will acknowledge its acceptance.  Please see the Payment and Refund Policy or speak with your Study Away Advisor for any questions regarding refunds, non-payment, or deadlines.


Financial Aid Steps For Study Away
1.  The semester prior to your departure, meet with your Study Away Advisor to receive your Estimated Expenses Guide and review the costs of the program.
2.  Complete the next academic year's FAFSA after January 1st and submit any other additional documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office.
3.  Receive your financial aid reward.
4.  If you are in need of additional loan options to cover the extra expenses, please contact the Financial Aid Office to schedule an appointment to discuss what additional loans are available to you.
5.  Complete the additional loan applications if you choose to take out additional loan funds.
6.  Contact the Business Office to make sure that you have made the appropriate arrangements to receive a refund check if you have taken loans greater than what you are billed for by Concordia College and are expecting to receive a refund.


FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT LOAN AND PRIVATE LOAN INFORMATION

Federal Direct Parent Loan
- The Federal Direct Parent Loan is not a need-based loan and is in the parent's name.
- Parents can borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus other student aid.
- It requires the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%.
- This loan has a 4% origination fee that is deducted from the loan at the time of disbursement.  This means that the amount that is deducted from a Direct Parent Loan disbursement is 4.0%. (Example:  $1,000 loan X .96 = disbursement amount of $960)
- Payments begin after the funds are fully disbursed.  The repayment term is up to 10 years.  There is no grace period like there is with the Student Direct Loan program.  The Direct Loan Servicer will allow the parent to postone payments on the Direct Parent Loan while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time.  Contact the Direct Loan Servicer to make this arrangement.
- Eligibility for the Plus Loan depends on a modest credit check that determines whether the parent has an adverse credit history, but there are no debt-to-income requirements.
- If the parent is denied a Federal Direct Parent Loan based on creditworthiness, the student is eligible for an additional unsubsidized Direct Loan of $4,000 or $5,000 depending on grade level.
- The loan is discharged if parent or student dies or parent becomes totally and permanently disabled.
http://www.cord.edu/Offices/Finaid/Types/loans1.php

*We recommend that you do not complete next year's Federal Parent PLUS or prival loan applications until after May 1st as credit can expire on the loans.

Private Loans
- Most private loans have a variable interest rate, but some also offer a fixed rate option as well.
- Variable and fixed interest rates are tied to student and co-signer credit history.  Students without an established credit score will need to have a creditworthy co-signer.  Students who have a creditworthy co-signer will generally get a better interest rate from their lender.  Co-signers are required for the majority of private loans.
- You can borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus other student aid.
- You must meet the income and the debt-to-income ratio requirements as a student borrower or co-signer.
- Fees vary based on the lender.  The lender may charge an origination or repayment fee.  The orgination fee may be added to the principal loan amount or deducted from your loan disbursement.
- Schools must verify enrollment and verify that you are eligible for the amount you requested.
- Before borrowing a private loan, we encourage you to meet with a staff member in the Financial Aid Office to assist you with your loan needs.  You should only consider a private loan after exhausting all federal loan borrowing limits.
- Loans may not be discharged if the student borrower becomes disabled or dies.
- Interest accrues while the student is in school.  Some programs require students to make minimum monthly payments or interest-only payments while in school  If payments are deferred while the student is in school, make sure to contact your lender to determine when payments will begin after you graduate or leave school.
- To view the list of private loan programs and compare rates and benefits, go to www.ConcordiaCollege.edu/financialaid.

*We recommend that you do not complete next year's Federal Parent PLUS or prival loan applications until after May 1st as credit can expire on the loans.


QUESTIONS? Who do I contact?
Financial aid eligibility/retention and loan options - Financial Aid Office at 218-299-3010 or finaid@cord.edu
Billing or financial aid refund requests - Business Office at 218-299-3150
Program specific costs, deposits, and deadline information - Global Learning at 218-299-3927 or global@cord.edu