Loan Process for 2019-2020

CSM has an online process to request Federal student loans.  Click here to complete this new process.

CSM participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, which include the Federal Direct Student Loan Program and the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) program. You may apply for either loan for the fall or spring semester. Students should make other arrangements to pay during the summer, such as FACTS or cash payment.

Each of these programs has a separate application form and other special application requirements which can be obtained from the Financial Assistance Department.  Both Direct Student and PLUS loans require at least half-time (six credits per semester) enrollment. The college will approve only one loan at each grade level (freshman or sophomore).  

Please understand:  The loan amount you are eligible for may be reduced should you not attend the fall and spring semesters.  Example:  If you are eligible for a $3,000 loan for both semesters, but you apply for just the fall semester, you may not receive the full $3,000. The amount would be based on the amount of unmet cost. In addition, you do not need to borrow the maximum amount you are eligible for in a semester or academic year. You should only borrow the amount that you need to cover your educational expenses. Example: If you are eligible for $10,500, but only need $5,000 to cover your costs, you should only borrow $5,000.

If you wish to apply for a Federal Direct Student or Federal PLUS loan, your loan application, entrance interview, master promissory note, and all other required applications/documents (e.g  FAFSA results, verification documents, etc.) must be received and completed in the Financial Assistance Department by the preferred filing dates:  November 1 for Fall, April 1 for Spring.

All students interested in considering these loans must speak with an FAD advisor at Leonardtown, Prince Frederick or La Plata campuses.

Federal Direct Loan Program:

To apply for a Direct Loan, students must meet with a Financial Assistance advisor to obtain CSM's Federal Direct Loan Request Form.  The applicant must complete and return the form to the Financial Assistance Department, as well as complete a Loan Entrance Interview and Master Promissory Note. The department will determine the student's eligibility for a loan, and send the application to the federal loan processor.

Eligible applicants demonstrating sufficient financial need will receive a Subsidized Direct Loan, where the federal government pays the interest on the loan while the borrower is in school. Eligible applicants without financial need will receive an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, where the borrower either pays the interest on a regular basis or agrees to let the lender "capitalize" the interest, i.e., add the interest to the loan balance. Loan funds are sent to the college for delivery to the student. Repayment begins after you graduate or otherwise cease to be at least a half-time student. Additional information related to CSM's Direct Loan process can be found here.

Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS):

Federal PLUS loans are made to parents of dependent students who may borrow up to the full cost of attendance per academic year per dependent child in college. Generally, parents must begin repayment within 60 days of the disbursement of the loan. Parents and students must meet with a Financial Assistance advisor to obtain CSM'S Federal Parent PLUS Loan Request Form.  This loan has a separate application form. PLUS loans are not based on financial need, and borrower credit-worthiness is a factor.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates for the program are fixed and may change from year to year. The interest rate for Direct and PLUS loans are set by Congress.


Interest Rates by Disbursement Dates

Loan Type

First Disbursed between
July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018

Subsidized LoansFixed at 4.45% 
 Direct Unsubsidized LoansFixed at 4.45% 
 Direct PLUS LoansFixed at 7.00% 


Loan Fees: 

Loan fees for the program are fixed and may change from year to year. The loan fees for Direct and PLUS loans are set by Congress.


Loan Fees by Disbursement Dates

Loan Type

First Disbursed between
October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017

First Disbursed between
October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018

 Direct Subsidized LoansFixed at 1.069% (effective 10/1/16)Fixed at 1.066% (effective 10/1/17)
 Direct Unsubsidized LoansFixed at 1.069% (effective 10/1/16)Fixed at 1.066% (effective 10/1/17)
 Direct PLUS LoansFixed at 4.276% (effective 10/1/16)Fixed at 4.264% (effective 10/1/17)


Contacting Your Loan Servicer

If you already have a student loan and you wish to find out who services your loan and how to contact them, click hereYou'll be able to find out who holds your student loan, who guaranteed your loan and who you can call to find out more about your loan. This service is provided by the National Student Loan Clearinghouse and is placed on the College of Southern Maryland web site for your convenience.  

Please Note: The Maryland Higher Education Commission offers a student loan repayment program aimed at encouraging nurses, nurse faculty and teachers to work in certain areas and fields in Maryland. Should you be interested in more details please go to:

Private Loans

The college believes that there are many avenues open to families that may assist them in paying for education. If you use loans to pay for your education, it makes sense to use the Federal Direct Loan Program first. The loan has a relatively low interest rate and (some) do not have to repaid until after you graduate from college. We encourage you to file the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so FAD may determine their eligibility for the Federal Direct Loan program.

For families looking beyond these loans, the Financial Assistance Department (FAD) will complete private loan applications. All necessary forms must be submitted to the FAD office. 

What are the differences between federal and private student loans?

Federal Student Loans


Private Student Loans


Repayment does not begin until you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment to less than half time.

Many private student loans may require payments while you are still in school.

The interest rate is fixed. View current interest rates on federal student loans. 

Private student loans can have fixed or variable interest rates, some greater than 18%.

Students with financial need will likely qualify for a subsidized loan where the government pays the interest while you are in school at least half-time.

Private student loans are not subsidized. The federal government will not pay the interest while you are in school. 

Interest may be tax deductible.

Interest may not be tax deductible. 

You may be eligible to have some portion of your loans forgiven if you work in public service. Learn more about the loan forgiveness programs.

It is unlikely that your lender will offer a loan forgiveness program.


For a full comparison of the differences between federal and private loans click here.