Student and Parent Loans

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At CWI, we are committed to helping you make smart choices - borrowing a student loan is a BIG commitment and should be considered carefully.  Please review the tabs below, learn the basics, and make wise decisions about your student loan debt.

Basics

Sometimes, grants, scholarships, work-study, and other forms of aid that don't have to be repaid won't cover the entire cost of your education.  You may need to consider borrowing funds, in the form of a student loan.  Before you borrow, be sure to:

  1. Apply for ALL of the grant and scholarship opportunities available to you.  Start with Federal Aid, CWI Scholarships, and Idaho Scholarships.
  2. Understand your tuition & fee charges vs. the full cost of your education.  Borrow only when absolutely necessary.
  3. Protect your future financial health - make a plan to avoid borrowing completely or borrow the smallest amount possible. Learn more and plan your strategy at BigFuture.org
  4. Select a smart loan repayment plan, be aware of all the "income sensitive" repayment options, know what to do if you have trouble making loan payments after you graduate.

If you decide to borrow a student loan . . .

There are some very important facts you need to know so you will be prepared for the future.  First, student loans are legal obligations that must be repaid and, unlike other forms of consumer debt (credit cards, car loans, etc.), student loans usually CANNOT be discharged in bankruptcy.  You will have to repay the amount you borrow, plus interest over time.  The interest is the "cost of borrowing" - the lower the interest rate, the less you will have to pay over time.

At CWI, between 25% and 30% of students borrow. There is one main source of student loan funding and one less utilized source:

  • The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Education offers Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans - the majority of CWI students who choose to borrow from one or both of these programs depending on need.  Federal student loans do not require a credit check and have reasonably low interest rates.  Repayment and forgiveness options are generous. By accepting and completing the requirements to receive a Federal Student Loan or Parent PLUS loan, you understand that loan information is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which is a system accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users.
  • Private lenders, like banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions also offer education loan products - less than 1% of CWI students choose to borrow from private student loan programs.  Private student loan borrowers must be credit-worthy and interest rates are usually market-based and competitive.  Repayment and forgiveness options are more restrictive than federal loans. Students typically initiate the application by applying through the lender of their choice. The lender would then contact CWI to complete the Self Certification form. CWI reviews each student's eligibility prior to completing the Self Certification form for eligible students. CWI will also provide the Self Certification form at the students request. CWI uses the same eligibility requirements for borrowers of private loans as it does for borrowers of Federal Direct Student Loans and encourages students to understand the unique benefits of Federal Student Loans.

Please be sure to research student loan basics by visiting the following helpful web resources: