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Financial Aid

Direct (Stafford) Loan

William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

This loan is commonly referred to as the Federal Direct Loan Program. Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of the student’s eduction after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with Carthage College’s school code (institutional code: 003839), before you will be considered for a Direct Loan. 

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans available to students:

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan

Your eligibility is based on your financial need and your academic level (see charts below). You don’t have to make any payments until six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half time. The government pays the interest while you are in school and during your six-month grace period.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan

Your eligibility is not based on financial need. You may borrow the cost of education minus all other financial aid you receive, up to the amount allowed for your academic level (see charts below). You have two choices for paying interest: You may pay it while you are enrolled full time, or it can accrue and become part of the principal that you will owe. You begin making payments six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half time.

Interest Rate and Origination Fee

The interest rate for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan to undergraduate students for the 2016-2017 school year is 3.76%, and the rate for unsubsidized loans is 3.76%. The current rate for graduate students is 5.31%. 

There is also an origination fee based on the amount of the total loan; this origination fee of 1.068% is deducted from your loan before you receive the funds.

Applying: Loan Application Requirements

If you are a first-time Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan borrower, before you can receive any funds to your account you must complete the following two steps:

1. Electronic Master Promissory Note (EMPN)
2. Electronic Pre-Loan Entrance Counseling

NOTE: Please wait until after June 1, 2016 to complete this process for loans for the 2016-2017 award year!

Loan Eligibility Amounts: The maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan amounts available vary according to academic level and dependency status. Please see the tables below for more information.

Dependent Undergraduate Students (whose parents were not denied a PLUS loan)

Academic Level Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts) a Dependent Undergraduate may Borrow

Freshman

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500

Sophomore

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500

Junior/Senior

$5,500

$2,000

$7,500

 

Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)

Academic Level Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts) an Independent Undergraduate may Borrow

Freshman

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500

Sophomore

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500

Junior/Senior

$5,500

$7,000

$12,500 

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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