Colorado Christian University
Education Loans for Adult and Graduate Students

Education Loans for Adult and Graduate Students


Watch this video from StudentAid.gov to learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out loans for college.

Student Loans for Adult Students

Undergraduate and graduate student loans can be an important financial resource for students who need help getting through school and are willing to pay for their education with future earnings. As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, beginning July, 2010, federal student loans are no longer made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

Instead all new federal student loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education under the Direct Loan Program. This change does not impact the process of applying for federal loans, or the amount of federal aid that students are eligible to receive.

Students in CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies (CAGS) who are interested in receiving federal student aid should continue to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each school year that they wish to be considered for graduate or undergraduate student loans. Students must be attending a minimum of six credit hours (undergraduate) or three credit hours (graduate) to maintain Federal Stafford Loan eligibility. Students must also be enrolled in coursework that satisfies the degree requirements for an eligible program of study.

Below are the detailed descriptions of different loan options available for CAGS students.


Federal Subsidized Stafford loans

A Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan is a low-interest loan made to the undergraduate student for education-related expenses. The student must demonstrate financial need for Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan eligibility. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time (six credit hours per semester), and during a 6 month grace period following the student’s separation from school.

Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans have a standard repayment term of 10 years, and repayment does not begin until 6 months after graduation or dropping below half time status.

Graduate and professional degree students are no longer eligible for Federal Subsidized Stafford loans. Loans made on or after July 1, 2012 will be Federal Unsubsidized Stafford only.

Undergraduate students who are new Federal Subsidized Stafford loans borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 have subsidized loan eligibility limited to 150 percent of the length of their academic program.

The 150 percent limit means students in a four-year program will be eligible for subsidized student loans for an equivalent of six years, and students in a two-year program are eligible for subsidized student loans for an equivalent of three years. Students who reach this limitation could continue to receive Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans provided they meet all other eligibility requirements.

Once borrowers reach the 150 percent limitation, eligibility for an interest subsidy also ends for all outstanding subsidized loans that were disbursed on or after July 1, 2013. At that point, interest on those previously borrowed loans would begin to accrue and would be payable in the same manner as interest on unsubsidized loans.

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available for education related expenses to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. The Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount is determined by the amount the student can borrow based on cost of attendance and other financial aid awarded.

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans have the same terms as the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan except that the student, rather than the government, pays the interest while the student is still in school. For students who choose not to pay the interest while in school, the interest will accrue and be capitalized. In other words, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and that amount will also be assessed interest.

Federal Stafford Loan interest rates

The interest rate for undergraduate Federal Stafford loans first disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is fixed at 2.75%. This rate applies to both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

The interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans first disbursed to graduate and professional students between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is fixed at 4.30%. This rate applies to Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans only as graduate and professional students are not eligible for Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans.

Interest rates on federal student loans are set by Congress, and are calculated using a base 10-year Treasury Note index with an add-on amount for each loan program. All Federal Stafford Loans are variable-fixed. The interest rate can change from year to year, but the rate for each new loan is fixed for the life of the loan. Please see below for a detailed table of 2019-2020 Federal Stafford Loan interest rates.

Effective for loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Loan TypeGrade Level2020-2021 Fixed Rate
SubsidizedUndergraduate2.75%
UnsubsidizedUndergraduate2.75%
UnsubsidizedGraduate/Professional4.30%
PLUSParent/Graduate5.30%

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. This means the money received will be less than the amount actually borrowed. Students are responsible for repaying the entire amount borrowed, not just the amount received.

The loan fee for Federal Stafford Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020 is 1.059%. The loan fee for Federal Stafford Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2021 is 1.057%.

Total Federal Stafford eligibility loan amounts per year

Dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to:

  • 0-29 credit hours - $5,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
  • 30-59 credit hours - $6,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
  • 60+ credit hours - $7,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

Independent undergraduate students and dependent students whose parents have been denied a Federal PLUS Loan can borrow up to:

  • 0-29 credit hours - $9,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
  • 30-59 credit hours – $10,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
  • 60+ credit hours - $12,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

Graduate students can borrow a maximum of $20,500 per year through the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program. The cost of attendance for graduate programs varies by tuition costs, etc. Additional loan options may be available.

For more detailed information about the Federal  Stafford Loan programs visit the U.S. Department of Education web page for Federal Stafford Loans.

Entrance Counseling

If students are eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized or Unsubsidized), they need to complete an Entrance Counseling session. This session covers the rights and responsibilities of a Federal Stafford Loan borrower and is a federal requirement prior to obtaining the loan funds.

After you have completed the Entrance Counseling session, you will complete and sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Financial aid disbursements begin after the add/drop deadline of your first enrolled course of the semester. Course participation and attendance will be determined before financial aid is disbursed. For all CAGS students, any financial aid credit balance that remains after tuition and fees are covered will be refunded in week three of the first enrolled course of the semester.

Students who have previously received Federal Stafford loan funds from CCU are not required to complete the Entrance Counseling Session. Students who have previously received Federal Stafford Loan funds must complete a new MPN.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Federal PLUS loans are low-interest loans made to the parent of a dependent undergraduate student attending at least half time (six credit hours per semester). A Federal PLUS loan is subject to credit approval. A parent may borrow up to the cost of education as determined by CCU's Director of Financial Aid, minus any other aid received. Students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible to receive a Federal Parent PLUS loan.

The interest rate for Federal Parent PLUS loans disbursed between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, is 5.30%. The Federal Parent PLUS loan is variable-fixed. The interest rate can change from year to year, but the rate for each new loan is fixed for the life of the loan. Federal Parent PLUS loan interest rates are set by Congress and tied to a base 10-year Treasury Note with a 4.60% add-on, calculated annually.

A Federal Parent PLUS loan is disbursed in two equal disbursements — the first in the fall semester, and the second scheduled for the spring semester. Payments may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time at CCU. Because of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, beginning July, 2010, all Federal Parent PLUS loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education under the Direct Loan Program. Parents can visit the U.S. Department of Education site to complete the PLUS request process.

Federal PLUS loans have loan fees that are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. This means the money received will be less than the amount actually borrowed. Parents are responsible for repaying the entire amount borrowed, not just the amount received.

The loan fee for Federal Stafford PLUS Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020 is 4.236%. The loan fee for Federal Stafford PLUS Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2021 is 4.228%.

Private Education Loans

Many lending institutions offer education loans to students enrolled in a degree seeking program to assist them in meeting the costs of higher education. For those students whose eligibility for Federal Loan programs do not meet their financial needs, it may be necessary to look to Private Credit loans for additional assistance.

These loan programs are credit-based and some students may require a co-borrower to qualify. All freshman students are required to have a co-borrower, regardless of previous credit history. Interest rates and repayment terms vary by lender. If students choose an Alternative loan, we do recommend that they borrow conservatively.

Choosing a lender for your Alternative Loan is a personal decision and it is important students research available interest rates as well as repayment options and borrower benefits. CCU advises students to select a lender through ELMSelect. On this site we have recommended lenders based on the quality of products and services they provide to CCU students and families. You may evaluate each lender, and make a selection based on the benefits provided to you the borrower.

After you have research and chosen a lender, you will begin the loan application process. After the Alternative loan has been approved and the promissory note has been signed, CCU will certify the loan. Funds are usually disbursed within 10-15 business days, or the beginning of the semester.

Return of Title IV

When a student withdraws, takes a leave of absence, ceases attending, or is administratively withdrawn during a semester, CCU is required by Federal regulation to determine the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance (Federal Pell, FSEOG, TEACH Grant, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan) that the student earned as of the student's withdrawal date. Based on the withdrawal date, CCU determines the percentage of the payment period completed. The payment period is the total number of calendar days that a student is scheduled to complete prior to ceasing attendance. The unearned portion of the Title IV aid must be returned to the appropriate Title IV program(s).

Determining enrollment status for return of Title IV funds

A student is considered enrolled in a module is the course the student is enrolled in does not span the entire length of the payment period. Courses offered in 5, 7, 8, or 10-week blocks are considered modules. 

If prior to ceasing attendance, a student drops modules that have not yet started, the dropped modules will NOT be included when determining the student's payment period, however the student's eligibility for Title IV funds may need to be recalculated. In other words, the student is not considered a withdrawal for a return of Title IV funds calculations, but the student's eligibility for Title IV funding for the term may be impacted by the drop.

If a student drops modules that have not yet started after ceasing attendance in all courses, the dropped modules will be included in determining the student’s payment period. Any adjustments to a student's enrollment status made after the student ceases attendance have no bearing on the Return of Title IV requirements.

Withdrawal date

The student's withdrawal date will be one of the following:

  • The date the student begins the official withdrawal process OR
  • For the student who ceases attendance without notifying CCU, the last date of class attendance or participation in an academically-related activity.
  • If the student ceases attendance before he or she begins the official withdrawal process, the last date of class attendance will be the withdrawal date.
Withdrawal date for students enrolled in modules
  • A student who withdraws from a module or has ceased attendance is considered withdrawn if the student has not provided confirmation of intent to attend a later module in the same semester.
  • A student is not considered a withdrawal if the student has given written intent to attend a later module during the same semester. However, if the student fails to attend the later module, the date of withdrawal reverts to the original withdrawal from the prior module, and the later module will be included in the period of enrollment.
  • A student who begins but fails to complete the final module in a semester is considered to have withdrawn
  • A student who receives a failing grade for the final module(s) in a semester may be considered withdrawn. CCU will determine if the student ceased attending and is therefore considered a withdrawal.
  • The Return of Title IV funds process will begin as soon as possible after it is determined that a student has withdrawn or ceased attendance, but no later than 45 days after the determination of withdrawal. If the student returns for a later module in the semester, the Return of Title IV funds will be reversed.
Earned and unearned Title IV financial aid

The percentage of the payment period the student attended is used to calculate the amount of the student's earned versus unearned federal aid funds. Please note, the requirements of the Title IV program regarding when student withdraw are separate from CCU's refund policy. Students who have received a refund of federal financial aid funding may also be charged for any Title IV funds CCU was required to return.

  • If a student completes over 60% of the days he or she was scheduled to complete, the student is considered to have earned 100% of the Title IV funding for the semester.
  • If a student completes 60% or less of the days he or she was scheduled to complete, the amount of aid that the student has not earned (i.e. unearned aid) must be returned to the specific Federal program. The remaining earned aid may not be sufficient to cover the University charges and the student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges and financial aid refunds. Students with an unpaid balance will not be allowed to continue their enrollment in subsequent semesters until the balance is paid in full.
  • If the total amount of Title IV aid that a student earned is greater than the total amount of Title IV aid that was disbursed to the student as of the date of determination, the difference between these amounts will be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement. A post-withdrawal grant disbursement payment will be made to the student’s account, and a notification sent by email. A post-withdrawal loan eligibility will be communicated to the student via email. Students must notify CCU in writing of their interest in receiving the loan within 14 days of the notification. Once CCU receives this acceptance, the loan funds will disburse to the student’s account. No response will result in forfeiture of the student’s loans for the period of enrollment.

Contact Info

  • Service Central
    Phone: 303-963-3040
    or 844-25-START
    Fax: 303-963-3231
    Email: financialaidsupport@ccu.edu