Loan Programs

Federal Loans

We’ve teamed up with Solutions of ECMC to answer all of your student loan repayment questions.

Solutions is a service of the non-profit organization ECMC and is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans. Their resources are available to you free of charge. To contact a Solutions Student Loan Repayment Advisor, email or webchat, or call them at 877.331.3262.

Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

If you choose to borrow through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, you must complete the entire loan request process. All first-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), the Online Entrance Counseling, and starting in the fall of 2021, an annual student loan acknowledgment confirmation. All of these processes may be completed at studentaid.gov; you will login with your personal information along with your FSA User ID. This is the same information that was used to access and sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note if you are a first-time borrower for the 2020-21 academic year, this process will not be available until mid-April. In addition, the Financial Awareness Counseling listed is not able to be substituted as the required Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. All loan steps and verification, if selected, must be completed in order for us to obtain this financial aid in your name. Your Direct and/or Direct PLUS Loan will not be valid or disbursed to the school until you complete all steps in the loan process.

Bluefield University utilizes passive loan acceptance for subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans, which means that once a new borrower has completed the initial steps for borrowing, the loan will be processed. New borrowers need only take action by completing a change in aid form if he or she is declining the loan, or making changes to the type or amount offered. Subsequent borrowers need only take action by completing a change in aid form if he, or she, is declining the loan or making changes to the type or amount offered in the financial aid award letter.

Federal law requires that we inform you of the average Stafford Loan indebtedness (Subsidized and Unsubsidized). Bluefield University’s average loan indebtedness is approximately $22,421, with an average monthly payment of $258.02. Bluefield University encourages students and parents to borrow conservatively and responsibly. Click here to estimate your student loan repayment. Students and parents can begin repayment at any time to reduce total debt without penalty. Check out the University Scorecard for more information on our total federal direct debt after graduation for undergraduate borrowers.

Subsidized Direct Loan

The Subsidized Direct Loan requires a financial need, which is determined by using a federal formula. These loans are “subsidized” in that the government pays the interest for you during the following periods:

  1. while you are enrolled in school at least half-time or six credits,
  2. for the first six months after you leave school, the “grace period,” and
  3. during a period of approved deferment.

Unsubsidized Direct Loan

The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not based on financial need and is available to all federally eligible students regardless of income and assets. Because these loans are not subsidized by the government, you are responsible for all interest that accrues during in-school, grace, and deferment periods. You may choose to make payments to cover the accruing interest while in school, or you may simply allow the interest to accrue and be included in the amount you owe when you begin repayment.

Federal Direct Stafford Annual Loan Limits

Grade Level Dependent (Subsidized & Unsubsidized) Independent or Dependent with PLUS Denial
Freshman (0-27 Earned Credits) $3,500 (sub) + $2,000 (unsub) $3,500 (sub) + $6,000 (unsub)
Sophomore (28-57 Earned Credits) $4,500 (sub) + $2,000 (unsub) $4,500 (sub) + $6,000 (unsub)
Junior (58-91 Earned Credits) $5,500 (sub) + $2,000 (unsub) $5,500 (sub) + $7,000 (unsub)
Senior (92+ Earned Credits) $5,500 (sub) + $2,000 (unsub) $5,500 (sub) + $7,000 (unsub)

Graduate & Professional School Students

The Federal Stafford loan is a low-cost, fixed-rate federal student loan available to graduate and professional school students, not just undergraduate students. Federal Stafford loans are the most common – and among the lowest-cost – way to pay for graduate and professional school. As of July 1, 2012, only unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans are available to graduate students. Listed below are some benefits of the Federal Stafford Loan for Graduate and Professional School Students:

  1. Low fixed interest rate (unsubsidized).
  2. Borrow up to $20,500 per year.
  3. No payments while enrolled in school.
  4. Acceptance not based on credit.

 

Federal Direct Plus Loans

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent students (by FAFSA dependency rules, not IRS dependency rules) to help them pay for their child who is enrolled in school at least half time and is making satisfactory academic progress. Direct PLUS Loans are not based on financial need, and parents of all income levels may apply. Parents may borrow an amount equal to the cost of attendance minus any other aid. Repayment begins within 60 days after the second disbursement with a minimum monthly payment of $50 and a maximum repayment term of 10 years. Payment deferment may be available upon approval from The Department of Education.

If your parent chooses to borrow under the Direct PLUS Loan Program, he or she must complete a PLUS Loan Request form. This can be located on our Forms and Resources page. Your parent may also use the request a Direct PLUS loan at studentaid.gov as well but will still need to complete our plus loan request form. Once approved, he or she will then complete a PLUS loan master promissory note. These processes will not be available for the 2020-21 academic year until mid-April. Remember, your parent will need to complete and sign a Loan PLUS Loan Request Form, which can be accessed from Forms and Resources.

Direct Grad Plus Loans

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The student must be enrolled at least half time and make satisfactory academic progress. Eligible students may borrow an amount equal to the cost of attendance minus any other aid.

  1. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  2. The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  3. The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

If you choose to borrow under the Direct PLUS Loan Program, you must complete a direct plus loan request form through our Forms and Resources page. You may also use the Request a Direct PLUS loan at studentaid.gov but will still need to complete our plus loan request form. Once approved, you will then complete a PLUS loan master promissory note. Again, these processes will not be available for the 2020-21 academic year until mid-April. Remember, you will need to complete and sign a Loan PLUS Loan Request Form, which can be accessed from Forms and Resources.

Interest Rates

Loan Type Borrower Type Loans First Disbursed on or After 7/1/19 & Before 7/1/20
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate 4.53%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate 4.53%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate or Professional 6.08%
Direct PLUS Loans Parent & Graduate or Professional 7.08%

Appeal Process

Should you or your parent wish to appeal an adverse credit decision, take the following steps:

  1. Contact Application Services at 800.557.7394 to speak with a representative from the U.S. Department of Education (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) or
  2. Find an endorser for the loan and complete an official endorser addendum located on the federal website. This must be submitted with the ticket number assigned to you by the U.S. Department of Education Application Services Department.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will implement changes to the adverse credit history provisions for the determination of an applicant’s eligibility for a Direct PLUS Loan. The regulations also added a requirement that PLUS Counseling must be completed by Direct PLUS Loan applicants (by parents of dependent undergraduate students, as well as graduate/professional students) with an adverse credit history who qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history, or who document to the satisfaction of the Department that there are extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information.

The new PLUS Counseling requirement will apply to all Direct PLUS Loan applicants with an adverse credit decision date on or after March 29, 2015, regardless of the academic year or loan period associated with the Direct PLUS Loan. The counseling can be completed at studentaid.gov.

National Student Loan Data System

Please note that any originated loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This site is accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Need Help?

Borrowers may call for assistance filling out the electronic promissory note, appeal a denied credit decision, or endorser application questions at 877.623.5082. Borrowers may call for assistance with repayment, deferment questions, and entrance and exit counseling questions at 800.848.0979. Please contact the Financial Aid Staff in Bluefield Central with any questions regarding the status of your Federal Direct Loan at 276.326.4215.

For a list of frequently asked questions concerning direct loans, visit the Student Loans FAQ page.

Private Education Loans

Private loans (alternative loans) can help bridge the gap between federal aid and out-of-pocket expenses. When planning for your educational journey, it is recommended to maximize all other resources first, including federal loans, which typically have lower interest rates and better loan terms. Bluefield University cannot make recommendations to students on loan lenders and as a result, cannot provide advice on choosing a lender. Elmselect is available to assist students and families in finding a private loan to help pay for their education. Students may borrow from any lender that offers educational student loans even if they are not listed on this list.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231