Current and continuing students: the financial information for the upcoming school year can be found on the portal at

Loan Information

Loans are typically a large part of the average financial aid package; however it is up to the student to decide how much they need to borrow based on their own individual financial situation. This year, the full amount will be processed. You may request less than the amount listed on your award letter by e-mailing the amount you wish to borrow to

Please remember the financial aid package is based on one academic year at a time. The package represents the aid that you are eligible to receive during the current academic year and you can apply for additional aid the following academic year by filling out a renewal FAFSA. An academic year is defined as August-July for Financial Aid purposes at NNU.

Currently there are two Federal Loans available, subsidized and unsubsidized.

"Subsidized" means the interest on the loan is paid by the government while the student is enrolled at least half time. No interest or principle payments are required until six months after the student graduates, withdraws from school, or drops below half-time status. Ability to participate in this program is determined by FAFSA results, which calculate your need.

"Unsubsidized" means interest is accruing continuously from the day the funds disburse. You can choose to pay the interest while enrolled or defer it and add it to the principle of your loan, as long as you are attending at least half time. If you do not qualify for the subsidized limit, students may receive an unsubsidized loan to make up the difference. During the 2010-2011 academic year, this loan had a fixed 6.8% interest rate. Fees of 0-3% are withheld from the borrowed amount by the lender or guaranty agency. However, the student must repay the full loan amount.

Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan is available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program to help pay for educational expenses. The Office of Financial Aid awards subsidized or unsubsidized loans, or a combination of both, based on financial need. The table below shows limits on subsidized and unsubsidized loans for both dependent and independent students.

Federal Direct Student Loan Limits

Year in School Dependent (Subsidized) Independent (Subsidized) Dependent (Additional Unsubsidized) Independent (Additional Unsubsidized)
Freshman $3,500 $3,500 $2,000 $6,000
Sophomore $4,500 $4,500 $2,000 $6,000
Junior $5,500 $5,500 $2,000 $7,000
Senior $5,500 $5,500 $2,000 $7,000

Subsidized v. Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized Stafford Loan Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Based on financial need. Not based on financial need.
The federal government pays the interest on the loan while you are enrolled in school at least half-time. Interest begins accumulating as soon as funds are disbursed until the loan is paid in full. Accrued interest will be added to the balance of the loan. (You are not required to pay the interest while you are in school, but we recommend that you do.)
Undergraduate student fixed interest rates:
4.66 percent for loans disbursed on/after July 1, 2014.
Undergraduate student fixed interest rates:
4.66 percent for loans disbursed on/after July 1, 2014.
Graduate student fixed interest rates:
as of Fall 2012, subsidized Stafford loans are no longer available for graduate students.
Graduate student fixed interest rates:
6.21 percent for loans disbursed on/after July 1, 2014.
Origination fees:
1.072 percent for loans first disbursed on/after December 1, 2013.
1.073 percent for loans first disbursed on/after October 1, 2014.
Origination fees:
1.072 percent for loans first disbursed on/after December 1, 2013.
1.073 percent for loans first disbursed on/after October 1, 2014.

Parent PLUS Loan

The PLUS Loan is for parents borrowing on behalf of dependent students. The PLUS loan is in the parent's name and cannot be transferred to the student. A parent can apply for a Direct parent loan on the web at using the parents PIN number. Approval for this loan is based on a simple credit check.

The amount you may borrow annually is determined by subtracting the financial aid awarded to the student (including any loans) from the total costs of attendance determined by the school. There are no annual borrowing limits set by the federal government. However, the amount you can borrow may be impacted by creditworthiness. Please refer to the award letter sent to your student by the NNU Office of Financial Aid to determine the amount of PLUS loan you may need to borrow.

Parent borrowers must:

  • Be borrowing on behalf of a dependent undergraduate student;
  • Be either a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National or eligible non-citizen;
  • Not be in default on any education loan or owe a refund on any education grant;
  • Not have an adverse credit history as defined by the Department of Education.

The PLUS loan interest rate is a fixed rate of 7.21%. The current origination fee is 4.292. The origination fee goes to the federal government to offset program costs, the remaining amount is sent to the school. These loan funds are electronically disbursed in two disbursements (one in fall and one in spring) directly to the school and posted to the student's account. Even though a fee is deducted, parents are responsible for repaying the entire loan amount. Loan terms vary based on total amount borrowed. Re-payment of this loan begins within 60 days of the final disbursement unless the parent borrower has requested deferment. If a parent is denied the PLUS, the student automatically becomes eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funds.

Alternative Loans

If you need additional funding to supplement your financial aid package, alternative student loans are an option. Alternative loans are private loans offered by lending institutions. They are not part of the federal government’s Direct Loan program.

We encourage you to first file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for all other available aid programs before pursuing alternative loans. Our office strongly encourages you to first utilize any grants, scholarships, work study employment and federal student loan eligibility before considering alternative loans. The interest rates and repayment terms with alternative loans are generally less favorable than those of the federal student loan programs.

Northwest Nazarene University does not recommend any specific lenders for private alternative loans. If you decide to utilize an alternative loan, we recommend comparing the loan products and lenders to find the best interest rate and repayment options for your situation. Please remember that you will have to pay back these loans with interest, so only borrow what you need.

NNU uses ELMSelect as an online, lender-neutral platform to display a historical list of lenders and education loan products that our students have used over previous years. These lenders have not been ranked and are presented in no particular order.


For Federal Direct Student Loan Programs, loan repayment begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status for the loans you have borrowed while attending NNU. The exact schedule and amount of your repayment will not be known until your loan repayment begins. Check with the Department of Education for more information and loan repayment calculators to assist you in estimating your monthly payment.

If you had student loans prior to attending NNU, please be aware that you may have already used your 6 month grace period for those loans. As soon as you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status and even possibly with half-time status if you do not have a new loan for that year, you can enter repayment on those prior loans immediately.

For loan deferment options, it is best to contact the Department of Education. If you are unsure who your lender is, please sign into using your FAFSA pin number or contact the Office of Financial Aid. This wesite will only show your federal student loan and grant history and does not include any alternative or outside loans you may have borrowed.


The United States Government through the Office of Education has made funds available for several Federal Grant Programs. Available funds are allocated on the basis of greatest financial need to applicants filing by the designated dates. Because such need is a confidential matter between the family and the college, public announcement of the amount of grant awards is not made.

Federal Pell Grant
All undergraduate students are urged to apply for the Pell Grant. Eligibility is determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education will e-mail a confirmation that your FAFSA information has been received. You can then check your Student Aid Report (SAR) at the same website where you completed your FAFSA (

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) provide assistance to undergraduates with no prior undergraduate degree and who demonstrate exceptional need. Application for this type of financial aid is done by filling out and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Basic eligibility requirements must be met, as determined by the federal government. The amount of the award is based on the expected family contribution and the availability of funds. These grants are given only to those students who are awarded Pell Grants. The maximum FSEOG award at Northwest Nazarene University is $200.