Loans are the primary type of aid available to help pay for summer classes. Students can choose to borrow either a federal loan or a private student loan, while a parent may borrow a federal Parent PLUS loan.
Students must not have used their full federal loan eligibility during the academic year and have eligibility still available in order to use a federal student loan. For example, juniors are eligible to receive a maximum of $7,500 between their subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans during the fall and spring semesters. If they only use $5,500 during the academic year, they will still have $2,000 in federal loan eligibility that they could use during the summer semester.
All undergraduate students who need to apply for aid for the summer session, whether it’s a federal loan or a private loan, must complete a Summer Aid Application through their FAOnline account (under the Apply Online tab). The form becomes available to undergraduates on April 1 each academic year.
In addition to the Summer Aid Application, students who wish to use a federal student loan or a Parent PLUS loan to help pay for their summer courses must have already submitted a FAFSA for the current academic year. The FAFSA is not required for students who will use a private student loan.
Parents can apply for the Parent PLUS loan online. It is recommended that parents applying for the loan wait until after April 1. Credit checks done for PLUS loans are only good for 90 days; once the 90 days have passed, a new application will need to be submitted.
Undergraduates are not able to apply for summer aid until April 1. Applications are usually reviewed at the beginning of May, with award notifications sent to students via email before the start of the first summer session.
Applications for the federal Parent PLUS loan and private student loans can be submitted after April 1 as well, but should not be submitted earlier than 90 days before the start of classes. Credit checks done for PLUS loans and most private loans are only good for 90 days; once the 90 days have passed, a new application will need to be submitted.
Keep in mind that applications with private loan lenders can take up to 3-4 weeks’ processing time before the loan funding is actually sent to the University. Processing time for federal student loans and the Parent PLUS loan is normally 2 weeks, depending on when the application is submitted and when all loan requirements have been completed.
Students do have the option of studying abroad during the summer. Offices like Modern Languages and Cultures and the Center for Study Abroad have information available on the various programs that are offered for summer study. In addition to the federal loans and private loans that students may use to help pay for these programs, individual departments also have funding available to help cover costs. It’s a good idea to touch base with the department offering the program to find out what is involved in applying for these grants and scholarships.
Students occasionally study through non-UR programs offered by other institutions. After working with the Center for Academic Support to confirm that credits will be accepted toward their degree, we recommend students schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding options.
A Consortium/Contractual Agreement is required when a student participates in a program or attends courses at another institution, but will remain a matriculated student at UR, receiving financial assistance. University scholarship/grant assistance cannot be used for courses at another institution, but students may have eligibility to receive federal or private loans to help with their costs.
Students should schedule an appointment with their financial aid counselor to discuss their options and to receive the Consortium/Contractual Agreement document. The form requires information and signatures from several offices at Rochester as well as the host institution, so we recommend that you start the paperwork as soon after April 1 as possible. Institutions must be eligible to receive Title IV funding in order to enter into a Consortium/Contractual Agreement with Rochester.