Skip to Content


Borrowing loans to cover your educational costs can help you achieve your educational goals. You should always use federal loans first because they generally carry lower, fixed interest rates and often have more favorable terms than private loans.

Remember to only borrow what is needed! Loans must be repaid and any additional loans will increase your monthly payment.

Department of Education Repayment Estimator

Most loans to students are disbursed via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Funds are applied directly to the student account to pay for any outstanding charges. Any excess loan funds are disbursed to the student (for Stafford loans) or the parent (for PLUS loans). You may request to use direct deposit for any refund balance. Additional information on direct deposit can be found on the myClarkState student portal.

Clark State processes Federal Stafford and Parent PLUS Loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loans are designed to assist a student in paying for educational expenses through a low interest loan program.

  • Current interest rates are subject to change yearly. For the most recent information please visit

  • You have between 10 and 25 years to repay the loan, depending on the amount owed and the type of repayment plan.
  • You will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment.
  • You must have financial need to receive a Subsidized Federal Stafford Direct Loan. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues on a subsidized loan during at least half time attendance and certain other periods.
  • You do not need to have financial need to obtain an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Direct Loan. Also, the interest is not paid for you, however you may request to have the interest capitalize.

Federal Direct Loans are limited to $5,500. Independent students may qualify for more. Also, any student in an eligible associate degree or certificate program who has completed at least 30 credit hours may apply for a grade level 2 loan (an additional $1000). Loans will be awarded based on remaining financial need and all other eligibility requirements. It is important to only borrow what is needed for your educational costs. Remember, these loans must be repaid and any additional loans will increase your monthly payment.

Students requesting additional loan funds must complete, in its entirety, the Financial Aid Request Form found on our Financial Aid Forms web page. All loans must be accepted on the Student Finance Tab in Self-Service.

A "dependent" student is eligible to request a maximum of $5,500 per year for the first year of undergraduate study (of which no more than $3,500 can be subsidized) and $6,500 for the second year (of which no more than $4,500 can be subsidized).

An "independent" student is eligible to request a maximum of $9,500 for the first year of undergraduate study (of which no more than $3,500 can be subsidized) and $10,500 for the second year (of which no more than $4,500 can be subsidized).

How to Apply
Students should complete the steps below to apply for either the Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents of eligible students may apply for a Plus Loan if the other aid they are receiving is not sufficient to cover their educational expenses.

  • Parents must be credit worthy to receive a Plus Loan and may require a co-signor.
  • Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.
  • Current interest rate on this loan 5.30% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021.
  • The borrower (parent) is responsible to pay all the interest.

Steps to Apply and Accept the Parent PLUS Loan

  1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    NOTE: Students and parents must create a FSA ID as an electronic signature. The FSA ID will also be used later on to sign the PLUS loan application and promissory note.
  2. Submit any requested documents to the Financial Aid Office and review the final student financial aid award.
  3. Determine if you are eligible for a Parent PLUS loan. Eligibility requirements include:
    a. You must be the biological or adoptive parent of a current student
    b. Your child must be a dependent undergrad enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) each semester you want to borrow PLUS loan funds
    c. Your child must meet all other financial aid eligibility requirements including meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress
    d. You must not be in default on any federal student loans
    e. Your credit must not be “adverse”
    f. Credit decisions should be completed no earlier than July 1, 2020 and are valid for up to 180 days
    g. If “adverse” credit is determined, student could be eligible for additional unsubsidized student loans
  4. Calculate how much you can borrow. The student financial aid award letter includes a Budget. The Budget represents average costs for tuition, fees, books, housing and miscellaneous expenses. The combination of all financial aid awards cannot exceed the Budget. You can borrow Parent PLUS loan funds in an amount that does not exceed the difference between the Budget and all other financial aid.
  5. Complete a Parent PLUS loan application. The information you submit will be provided to Clark State in 2-3 business days. If your application is denied, you can reapply with an endorser OR your student can contact the Financial Aid Office to apply for additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan for students. The amount of the additional Unsubsidized loan can vary but, added to other financial aid, cannot exceed the Budget listed on the financial aid award letter.
  6. Complete a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note.

Your student will receive notification that the financial aid award was revised to include the approved Parent PLUS loan. Parents will receive a disclosure notice from the U.S. Department of Education that includes the loan amount, loan origination fees, disbursement amounts and dates.

For more information please see:

Federal Student Loans:Direct PLUS Loan Basics for Parents.

Questions? We're here to help!

Financial Aid - Springfield Leffel Lane