Students can apply for a federal student loan and parents for a Parent PLUS Loan up until the last day of classes or June 30 of the academic year, whichever comes first. However, the student must have already filed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the college financial aid office must have received a valid output document, such as a Student Aid Report (SAR) or Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).
Provided that the student was eligible for the student loan funds (e.g., the student was enrolled on at least a half-time basis and met other federal aid eligibility requirements), the student may obtain a federal student loan for the prior payment period, not just the current payment period. For example, a student may apply for the Direct Loan in the spring and be retroactively awarded the loan for the fall academic term in addition to the spring. Late disbursements can occur up to 180 days after the end of the payment period.
Other types of federal student aid, however, may be subject to payment period caps or funds availability. For example, the Federal Pell Grant is limited to the current payment period. So, if a student applies for federal student aid during the spring academic term, the student can receive the Pell Grant only for the spring, even if the student would have been eligible for the Pell Grant during the fall. Campus-based aid, such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) may be subject to fixed federal and college allocations. If the student applies for financial aid late, the funds may already have been exhausted; similarly, for institutional financial aid available from the college’s own financial aid funds.
Students can apply for private student loans at any time.
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