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

Direct Loans

Most students take advantage of various federal loan programs which are administered through the NNU Office of Financial Aid. We share your concern about college debt and are committed to counseling and educating students and their families about the best options available.

Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan Program has been in existence since the early 1990's and provides two types of loans: Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Loans. A Subsidized Loan means that the government pays the interest on your loan while you are in school, in your grace period, or in deferment. The interest rate is fixed at 4.29% for the 2015-2016 school year as of July 1, 2015.

An Unsubsidized Loan accrues interest while you are in school and you are responsible for the interest payments. The interest payments can be made while you are in school or this amount will be added to the principal of the loan. The interest rate is a fixed rate of 4.29%. Both of these loans have a 1.068% processing fee. This amount is taken out before funds are sent to the school on the student's behalf.

To qualify for a Subsidized Loan you must demonstrate financial need. This is done by taking the information on your FAFSA form and analyzing it compared with your other financial aid. To qualify for an Unsubsidized Loan you do not have to demonstrate financial need, but the costs of your education must exceed any other financial aid you have been awarded.

To receive this loan a student borrower must be either a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National or eligible non-citizen and not be in default on any education loan or owe a refund on any education grant. The student must be at least half-time (6 credits) during a semester to receive this loan. Please refer to the award letter sent to you by the NNU Financial Aid Office to determine the type(s) and amount of Direct student loan you are eligible to receive. Once you have this information, you can apply online for the Direct student loan.

Federal Direct Student Loan Limits

Dependent Students

Year in School Subsidized Unsubsidized
Freshman $3,500 $2,000
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000
Junior $5,500 $2,000
Senior $5,500 $2,000

Independent Students

Year in School Subsidized Unsubsidized
Freshman $3,500 $6,000*
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000*
Junior $5,500 $7,000*
Senior $5,500 $7,000*
* Dependent students who receive a Parent PLUS loan denial, may qualify for the independent unsubsidized loan amount.

Rates, Fees and Terms

Loan Type Student Grade Level 2015-2016
Fixed Interest Rate
Origination Fee
(first disbursed after 10/1/2015)
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate Students 4.29% 1.068% 
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate Students 4.29% 1.068%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate/Professional Students 5.84% 1.068%
Direct PLUS Loans Parents of Dependent
Undergraduate Students and Graduate/Professional Students
6.84% 4.272%

Perkins Loan

**IMPORTANT** Effective October 1, 2015, the Federal Perkins Loan is no longer an authorized federal program. Students who received a Perkins Loan disbursement prior to June 30, 2015, will be able to continue to receive Perkins Loan funds in future academic years if need amounts merit awarding. However, students whose first Perkins Loan disbursement was July 1, 2015, or later will receive the funding for the 2015-2016 academic year, but not in future academic years. For more detailed information, please click here.

The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest, long-term loan which is provided by the federal government and NNU. This loan is awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) analysis.

NNU has very limited Perkins loans funds to offer its students in the coming year. The NNU Financial Aid Office will try to assist as many students as possible with the loan funds that are available, helping the neediest students and those who met the priority filing deadline (March 1st) for the FAFSA first.

As mentioned above, the Perkins loan is subject to fund availability, up to $4,000 may be borrowed by an undergraduate student per award year. The maximum cumulative amount an eligible undergraduate student may borrow is $20,000. The current interest rate is 5.0%. Interest begins accruing nine months after the student leaves school. The student's monthly payment will depend on the amount of the student's debt and the length of his or her repayment period, as well as the current interest rate.

While eligibility is based on need and fund availability, to receive this loan students must also be enrolled at least half-time and making satisfactory academic progress.

See more information on Perkins Loan repayment and credit.

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 6.84%. The current origination fee is 4.272%. 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 six (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. Please also contact the Department of Education regarding consolidation If you are unsure who your lender is, please contact the Financial Aid Office or log into using your FAFSA pin number. 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 Department of Education, has made funds available for several Federal grant programs. Supplemental Grant (SEOG) and LEAP awards are funds made available and allocated on the basis of greatest financial need to applicants filing by the designated dates. NNU awards SEOG to those who are eligible and have submitted their FAFSA by the NNU priority filing deadline of March 1, up until the funds are exhausted. LEAP grants are awarded to those students who are eligible and who filed after March 1, up until funds are exhausted. The Pell grant is solely determined by the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) on the FAFSA and the Federal Government's Pell amounts.

Federal Pell Grant: All undergraduate students are urged to apply for the Federal Pell Grant. As mentioned above, eligibility is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be submitted online at Once submitted, the student can find information at this same website in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR) which indicates eligibility for this grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). This grant is awarded to students with financial need as described above.


If a student withdraws from all courses during a semester, regardless of the reason, federal regulations require Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) to determine the amount of Title IV Federal aid that the student has earned. The Title IV aid programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized), Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), Federal Perkins Loans, TEACH Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

Though a student’s aid is posted to their account at the start of each period, funds are earned as the student completes the period. If a student withdraws during their expected term of enrollment the amount of Title IV aid that the student has earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received more assistance than has been earned at the time of withdrawal, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or by the student to the federal government. This is referred to as a Return to Title IV (R2T4).

Federal regulations require a recalculation of financial aid eligibility if a student:

  • officially withdraws from all courses for the semester;
  • stops attending before the semester ends without officially withdrawing;
  • fails all classes and/or;
  • does not complete all the sessions for which they were originally registered for in a period of enrollment.

Students who do not begin attendance in classes are not eligible for federal financial aid and must repay any federal assistance originally received.

The R2T4 calculation may result in the student and/or parents being responsible for directly returning additional loan amounts to the U.S. Department of Education.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that must be repaid is half of the grant funds received or that were scheduled to be received. Grant overpayments of $50 or less do not need to be repaid. Arrangements can be made through NNU or the U.S. Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

Determining the Amount of Federal Aid Earned
Students earn the Title IV Federal aid they originally received by remaining enrolled in and participating in all classes for which they are registered.  Participation may be through physical attendance or active participation such as submission of homework or participation in course discussions for online courses.

The amount of federal aid that has been earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if 30% of the period of enrollment has been completed prior to withdrawal, the student has earned 30% of his or her aid, but has not earned the remaining 70%.  Return of Title IV funds are based on this 70% unearned percentage

Once a student has attended 60% of the semester for which he or she is registered, the student is considered to have earned all of the financial aid originally awarded and will not be required to return any funds.

If the student received (or the student’s parent received on their behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, NNU must return an amount equal to the lesser of:

  • the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage, or
  • the students Title IV program assistance multiplied by the unearned percentage.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement of Title IV Funds
If a student does not receive all of the funds earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. Prior to disbursal of a post-withdrawal disbursement, the student must provide NNU with permission to do so. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that no additional debt is incurred.

NNU is entitled to use all or a portion of the student’s post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges.  NNU must be provided with permission from the student to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give NNU the requisite permission, the student will be offered the funds; however, this will result in a balance due to NNU.

For Students Enrolled in Modules
A student is considered withdrawn if the student does not complete all of the days in each session that the student was originally scheduled to complete.   NNU tracks enrollment in each session that does not span the entire fall, spring, or summer semester and combines the sessions to determine the students expected period of enrollment.   

NNU determines if a student enrolled in a series of modules is a withdrawal and subject to recalculation of federal financial aid eligibility based on the following questions:

  • After beginning attendance in the period of enrollment did the student cease to attend or fail to begin attendance in a course he or she was scheduled to attend?  If the answer is no, this is not a withdrawal. 
If the answer is yes, then:
  • Was the student still attending any other courses when the student ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in a course? If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal.
If the answer is no, then:
  • After ceasing to attend or failing to being attendance in a course did the student confirm with NNU that they will be attending a course in a session beginning later in the enrollment period? If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal.

If the answer is no, this is a withdrawal and the R2T4 calculation will be performed.

Refund Policy
The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from the NNU refund policy. Therefore, a student who withdraws may still owe funds to NNU to pay for outstanding institutional charges. NNU may also charge a student for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return.