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Self-Help Aid

Financial Aid Handbook

Self-help aid may be need or non-need-based. Students apply for these funds by completing the FAFSA. Once awarded, the Office of Financial Aid will provide any additional paperwork that may be necessary. Self-help aid requires work for compensation or repayment of low- interest student loans. Eligibility for these programs is determined yearly and requires that the FAFSA be filed each year.

Work-Study Awards

Coe's work-study program provides part-time employment primarily on campus. Awards are based upon calculated financial need as determined by information provided on the FAFSA. Need-based employment is funded by the Federal Work Study program. Students awarded Federal Work Study will be given priority in filling work-study positions.

Many students are offered employment as part of their financial aid offer. Employment awards generally range between $1,300 to $2,000 per year, with the average student working 5-9 hours per week. The wage rate is $9.25 per hour. The work-study award is not a guarantee of employment.

First-time work study students - The Office of Financial Aid manages the work study program for first-time students. All first-time Coe students who have been awarded Work Study as part of their financial aid offer are eligible to apply for employment. First-time work study awardees will be emailed instructions about how to apply for a work study position by the end of June. It is important to apply for a position in order to be hired.

Students returning to their previous position - The hiring process for returning students is the responsibility of the student and their supervisor. Typically, students will be notified if they are being retained in their current position from the previous academic year. If they are not being retained, but remain eligible for work-study, they may search for positions on Handshake.

As a part of Coe's requirement for participating in the Federal Work Study program, we have established a number of community service positions. These positions include work at area non-profit agencies and in local schools. Students may apply for a community service position in Handshake.

It is not possible for Coe to make up any award that is not earned. Students may use work study earnings to cover the corresponding portion of their balance due. However, students will be required to pay any shortfall at the end of the academic year. Coe will not make up a declined work award with other aid.

Federal law requires that students complete standard federal and state employment forms (W-2, I-9) before they may begin working. The Coe Human Resources Office will make this paperwork available during Summer and Fall orientation. Forms are also available on Two forms of identification are required, generally a valid driver's license and social security card or a passport. Time sheets must be completed, signed by a supervisor and submitted to the Coe College Payroll Office for all hours worked. The first payroll month is October. Students are paid on the 10th of each month for hours earned the previous month. Work study wages are taxable income and should be included on a tax return if you are required to file. Students wishing to apply student employment earnings directly to their Coe student account to pay tuition and fees, etc. must complete a Student Employment Payroll Deduction form. Student employment earnings may be directly deposited into personal bank accounts, after completion of a Student Employment Direct Deposit form.

Click here to view the Work Study Handbook

Federal Perkins Loans

This program was discontinued on October 1, 2017. After this date no new loans will be made.

Coe utilizes ECSI to provide loan servicing for outstanding Federal Perkins Loans. Loan servicing includes management of loan repayments and/or forgiveness if applicable. An exit interview is required for Perkins loan borrowers graduating or ceasing enrollment at Coe. Students can complete their entrance/exit interview at

Repayment and accrual of interest begins nine months after graduation or a student's enrollment drops below half- time study (half-time enrollment is defined at 2 course credits at Coe). A fixed interest rate of 5% is charged on the unpaid balance. Interest begins to accrue at the time of repayment. Deferments are available if a student enters the military, volunteer service in a private nonprofit organization, VISTA, or Peace-Corps type organization, serve as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, serve in an internship preceding a professional practice or change schools and continue to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

Upon entering repayment status on a Federal Perkins Loan, certain cancellation provisions are available. The standard repayment period is 10 years. Institutions may extend the repayment period for the Federal Perkins Loan up to 10 additional years for low-income individuals. Additional details regarding repayment obligations can be found on the Federal Perkins Loan promissory note.

Total loan amount: Number of payments: Approximate monthly payments: Approximate total interest charges: Approximate total repaid:
$4,000 120 $42 $1,091 $5,091
$5,000 120 $53 $1,364 $6,364
$15,000 120 $159 $4,091 $10,091

A Federal Perkins loan may be consolidated. A Federal Direct Loan Consolidation can simplify payments, but it can also result in the loss of some benefits.

Advantages of Consolidation:

  • Combine multiple loans into one
  • Can lower monthly payments
  • Up to 30 years to repay
  • Fixed interest rate
  • Access to forgiveness programs such as Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF). See #12 below
  • Access to alternative Income Driven Repayment plans such as Pay As You Earn.

Disadvantages of Consolidation:

  • A longer repayment period may result in more payments and more interest
  • Possible loss of some deferment and forbearance benefits
  • Possible loss of some cancellation benefits
  • Possible loss of grace period
  • Possible loss of the interest subsidy
  • Possible increase in the interest rate

There are loan forgiveness provisions under both the Federal Perkins Loan program and the Direct Loan program. There are specific repayment and forgiveness benefits available to borrowers of the Direct Loan program that are not available to Perkins Loan borrowers.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan

This loan must be repaid by the student. The Direct Loan program allows students to borrow low-interest loans directly from the federal government. To qualify for a Direct Loan, a student must file the FAFSA, be admitted to a degree or certificate program, and be enrolled at least half-time (two course credits).

Loan Types

There are two types of Federal Direct loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. The interest rate for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans processed during the 24-25 academic year will be fixed at 6.53 percent. A 1.057% origination fee is subtracted from the loan funds. Please note, interest rates, subsidies, and origination fees may change. Updated information will be published as it becomes available.

A student must have financial need to receive a subsidized loan. Financial need is not required to be eligible for an unsubsidized loan. During the time that a student is enrolled on at least a half- time basis (two course credits in Fall and Spring terms) and during grace and deferment periods the federal government will pay the interest on a subsidized loan. Interest will accrue during all periods on an unsubsidized loan. A student can pay the interest during in-school periods or add the interest to the loan's principal. Principal payments begin after the six-month grace period.

Annual Loan Limits

The Office of Financial Aid will use the following progression for determining the maximum undergraduate annual loan limits for student loans:

Course credits earned: Grade level: Federal Direct Loan amount:
0-7.9 Freshman $5,500
8.0-15.9 Sophomore $6,500
16.0 and above Junior/Senior/5th Year $7,500

A minimum $2,000 of the annual loan limit is unsubsidized. Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 in unsubsidized per year.

Independent students and dependent students whose parents were denied for a parent PLUS loan due to adverse credit are eligible to borrow additional funds under the unsubsidized loan program. Freshman and sophomores may borrow an additional $4,000 and juniors and seniors may borrow an additional $5,000.

These annual loan limits are the maximum yearly amount a student can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Contingent upon a student’s cost of attendance and other financial aid, a student may not qualify for the maximum annual amount.

Aggregate Loan Limits

Dependent undergraduate students can borrow a cumulative maximum of $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized). Independent undergraduate students and dependent students whose parents were denied a parent PLUS loan can borrow a cumulative maximum of $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized). Graduate students can borrow a cumulative total of $138,500.

Acceptance of Loan

While the financial aid offer will list a student’s maximum annual eligibility, students are encouraged to borrow wisely. Borrowing the unsubsidized portion of the Direct Loan can significantly increase a student’s loan debt because interest will be charged from the time the loan proceeds are disbursed. A student can contact the Office of Financial Aid to reduce or decline the loans in the financial aid offer or complete and submit the Financial Aid Adjustment Form to our office.

  • First-time borrower
    • A first-time borrower must complete loan entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note (MPN). Students can complete their MPN and entrance counseling at any time on the Department of Education Direct Loan website at: In addition, the Office of Financial Aid will provide information to first-time borrowers in mid-June that will guide them through this process.
  • Previous borrower
    • A MPN can cover up to 10 academic years of Direct Loans. Generally, a student is only required to sign a single MPN for any Direct Loans  processed by Coe College. Unless a previous borrower informs the Office of Financial Aid of their wish to decline or cancel a loan that was offered to them in their financial aid offer, the Financial Aid Office will process the Direct Loans  for the amount listed on the offer.


A disclosure statement will be sent from the Direct Loan Origination Center to the student for each Direct Loan originated on the student’s behalf by the Office of Financial Aid. The disclosure statement provides information about the type of Direct Loan , the loan amount, and the disbursement dates. Once the loan has been disbursed, the student will be contacted by the servicer. The loan servicer manages the repayment of the Direct Loan on behalf of the federal government.

Full academic year loans will be disbursed in two equal installments, one at the beginning of each term. All loan proceeds must first be applied to any outstanding balance on a student’s account. Excess funds will be refunded to the student borrower by the Coe College Business Office.

A student will be notified by the Coe College Business Office via email when a disbursement has been applied to the student’s account. A student can 'opt out' of electronic notifications (in favor of paper) via A Direct Loan disbursement can be reduced or canceled upon request of the student. The Office of Financial Aid can return loan funds on the student’s behalf up to 60 days after the funds were disbursed.

Exit Counseling

Upon graduating, withdrawal, or enrollment of less than half-time, a Direct Loan borrower must complete exit counseling. A student will receive information about the rights and responsibilities as a borrower, including payment and deferment options and the contact information for the servicer of the loan(s). An exit interview can be completed electronically on the Department of Education Direct Loan website at: or in person at the Office of Financial Aid.


Once a student is no longer enrolled at least half-time, repayment begins after a six months grace period. During the grace period, the student will receive repayment information from the loan servicer, including the first payment due date. Information on the servicer assigned to a student’s loans can be found on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at:

The Direct Loan program offers several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. Generally, students have 10 to 25 years to repay their loan, depending on the repayment plan that they choose. Detailed information on repayment options is provided during the mandatory entrance and exit counseling sessions and on the Department of Education Direct Loan website:

Deferment options may be available to students who are: at least half-time enrollment, serving in a graduate fellowship, in a rehabilitation training program, serving under the Peace Corps Act, serving under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, serving as a volunteer for a tax-exempt organization, conscientiously seeking but unable to find employment, or experiencing economic hardship. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information and assistance.

Federal Student Loan Statistics of Student Borrowers at Coe College

  • Median total borrowing (Direct and Perkins Loans): $28,105
  • Median payment monthly payment: $291
  • Percentage of borrowers (3-year cohort) who default on their Direct loan: 0.0 (due to repayment pause)

Repayment of Your Student Loans

The timely repayment of student loans is an important part of your student responsibilities. If you decide to borrow you should only borrow what you need. The Office of Financial Aid at Coe College provides you with comprehensive information about your loans during your enrollment at Coe in order for you to make the most informed decisions regarding borrowing. Before borrowing you should estimate the amount of debt you may be able to afford and use available online loan calculators to determine monthly repayments. For quick access, sample loan repayment schedules are also available.

Borrowing is a responsibility – take it seriously!

Consolidate Your Federal Student Loans

If you have multiple federal student loans (Perkins and Direct) you can consolidate them into a single Direct Consolidation Loan. Consolidation of your loans may help simplify repayment. However, there are tradeoffs so be sure to learn about the potential advantages and disadvantages before you consolidate.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

This loan must be repaid by the parent who signed the promissory note. The PLUS loan is available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who filed a FAFSA and are enrolled at least half- time in a degree granting program. More information provided in our Resources.

Federal Loan Servicers

The "servicing" of Federal loans (Direct and Parent Loans) are managed by several different entities. Contact and general information about federal loan servicers is available online. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the name of the company servicing your federal loans so you can read and respond if necessary to any correspondence. The Office of Financial Aid will provide you with the name of your loan servicer annually or you can contact our office at any time for that information.

Coe Institutional Loans

These institutional loans have limited availability. If you are eligible for an institutional loan it will be listed on your financial aid offer.

Canfield, Crimson & Gold, McElroy and Smith funds are loans and must be repaid. Interest accrues on the unpaid balance from the date the funds are credited to the student account. The interest rate will be determined each June for new loans for the upcoming award year. Each loan will have a fixed rate for the life of the loan. The interest rate for the Coe institutional loans has been set at 3.75% for the 2023-24 academic year.

These loans are serviced by ECSI on behalf of Coe College. ECSI will initiate the online signing of promissory notes by contacting the student directly at their Coe College email address. ECSI will also manage the repayment of your loan which will begin six months after graduation or after you cease to be enrolled in college at least half-time in a degree or certificate program.

Alternative Loan Programs

Coe understands that in exceptional cases families need to pursue alternative loans to help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and your financial aid package as offered by Coe. Our office is not able to recommend a specific lender to you. However, for your convenience we are able to provide you information about historical borrowing trends at Coe College.

Students and parents should always exhaust all federal options before considering a private loan.  Private loans tend to cost more than the loans offered by the federal government. Interest rates and origination fees can vary by lender. Approval of an alternative loan is contingent upon credit approval by the individual lenders. Most traditional age students will be required to secure a co-signer.