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A student loan is money for educational expenses that must be paid back with interest. Student loans can help you meet today's education expenses, but they will also bind you to a future of financial commitment that can typically last as long as 10 years. That's why it's important to fully understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower before you take out a loan. CSI offers student and parent loans from the Federal Direct Loan Program (loan funds come directly from the U.S. Department of Education). Please review the most current Direct Loan interest rates, payment plans, and other information at the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan website.

Important Information you should know about Federal Stafford Loans:

Types of Federal Stafford Loans

  • Subsidized Stafford Loans are "need-based." The federal government pays the interest to the lender as long as you are enrolled at least half time and during the "grace period" and authorized periods of deferment. Interest will begin to accrue when you enter repayment.
    • Direct subsidized loans now have time limitations! Find more information here.

  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans have no interest subsidy. The loan principal can be deferred, but you must pay the interest monthly or quarterly while enrolled or choose to defer the interest and have the interest added to the loan principal. This is known as "interest capitalization."
  • PLUS Loans are loans that parents may be eligible for to help cover the educational cost of their dependent student. There is no interest subsidy on these loans. The parent does generally have to pass a credit check to receive this loan. The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student will receive.

Other Important Information

  • Repayment begins six months after graduation, withdrawal from college, or enrollment at less than half-time.
  • All loans are disbursed in two equal installments, usually one in the fall and one in the spring.
  • First-time borrowers at CSI are required to complete entrance counseling before the loan can be released.
  • If you are a first-year, first-time borrower, CSI is required to hold your first student loan disbursement for 30 days. The 30-day count begins on the first day of the semester. This is a one-time hold and will not apply in subsequent semesters.
  • If you decide to borrow for one semester only, the loan must be disbursed in two equal installments with the second installment coming at the midpoint of the semester.
  • You must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive your Federal Student Aid. It is the student's responsibility to read and to know the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

  • Manage your Loans here.

How to apply for a student loan at the College of Southern Idaho

Direct Loan Application Instructions

STEP 1 - Apply for Federal Financial Aid and receive your award notification by e-mail

Complete the Federal Financial Aid Application online at Once your Federal financial aid application has been processed and you have received your award notification e-mail from the College of Southern Idaho Financial Aid Office, you may complete the following steps in order to finish applying for your student loan.

STEP  2 – Entrance Counseling

Students borrowing William D. Ford Direct Stafford Loans for the first time must complete an online entrance counseling session. Students who have completed an entrance counseling session at CSI previously do not need to repeat an entrance counseling session (Skip to step 3). Read and follow the instructions for completing the tutorial and quiz. You will be guided through the counseling session. Be sure to read everything carefully, as you will be required to complete a quiz at the end of the session. You will not be able to complete the session without answering every question.

IMPORTANT! - There are 4 additional steps required after completing the entrance counseling tutorial and quiz. You will be prompted and guided through the steps as follows:

  1. Enter your Personal Information
  2. Read and accept your Borrower's Rights and Responsibilities
  3. Select the Schools that should be notified that you have completed Entrance Counseling – be sure to include the College of Southern Idaho
  4. You're Done!

DO NOT EXIT THE COUNSELING SESSION UNTIL THESE STEPS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND YOU HAVE RECEIVED A CONFIRMATION MESSAGE. "Borrowers Rights and Responsibilities" page and retain it for your records. Your loan funds cannot be delivered to you without completing an entrance counseling session. Click here to complete your entrance counseling session now.

STEP 3 - Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

STEP 4 - Complete Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

STEP 5 - Review your NetPartner Account

If you indicated on your FAFSA application that you were interested in a student loan, your award notification, issued once your file is complete and awarded, will include a student loan offer. On your NetPartner account, you can accept, decline, or reduce the amount of student loan you have been offered. Remember, only borrow what you need!

Unsubsidized Loan Requests

Subsidized vs. UnsubsidizedThe difference between these two loans is that Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest while you are in school and the subsidized loans do not. Repayment for both the Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Student Loans does not begin until 6 months from the time you drop below 6 credits.

For information on current interest, rates and loan fees please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Requesting Unsubsidized Loans Checklist

  • Complete the student loan request found here
      • > Manage Loans > Loan Simulator > I want to Find the Best Repayment Strategy> Login using your FSA ID
      • Include the following on the request form: Enter the total amount of your student loans. Using your student loan balances, complete the repayment estimator find out what payment plan you like the most and what will your estimated payment be?
    • Email (, fax (208.736.3014), or walk-in:
      • On-campus: Taylor building, Matrix
      • Any outreach center: Mini Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, or Idaho Falls

Loan requests are processed within two weeks of submission.

How to apply for an Alternative or Private Loan

Private lenders, like banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions also offer education loan products - less than .05% of CSI students choose to borrow from private student loan programs. Private student loan borrowers must be credit-worthy and interest rates are usually market-based and competitive. Repayment and forgiveness options are more restrictive than federal loans.

Private loans are not subsidized or need-based. They also often require a parent to commit to repaying the money if the student fails to. The interest rates of private loans vary.

  1. Apply for federal financial aid using the FAFSA:

  2. Accept ALL federal aid offered by the financial aid office, this includes all direct student loans
  3. If you still have the need, meaning there is a difference in your cost of attendance and aid awarded, you may apply for an alternative student loan up to the cost of attendance.  You must apply with the lender of your choice.  Your lender will notify you if your credit is approved.
  4. Once approved by your lender you must notify the financial aid office in writing that you have an alternative loan that needs to be certified. Certifications will be for degree seeking students, half-time status, enrolled in eligible credits only. Certification and release of funds may take 2 weeks.  Email


How to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan at the College of Southern Idaho

Parent PLUS Loans are designed to help your parents or stepparents pay for your college costs. In order to be considered for a Parent PLUS Loan, you must first apply for Federal financial aid through FAFSA,, and accept all Federal student loans that are offered to you. If your parent's and/or stepparents determine that it is necessary to borrow additional funds to meet your educational expenses while attending the College of Southern Idaho, the following steps will need to be taken to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan:

  1. Complete a Parent PLUS Loan Application, Master Promissory Note (MPN), and PLUS Counseling online at under Parent Borrower (Please note, these are three separate documents.)
  2. Complete and submit a Parent PLUS Loan Packet to the CSI Financial Aid Office.

Loan Default

Loan Default

Loans are legal obligations. Before you accept a student loan, consider the amount you’ll have to repay over the years. Please consider carefully your future ability and willingness to repay borrowed money that must be repaid with interest, just like car loans and mortgages. Loans CANNOT be canceled because:

  • You didn’t like the education you received.
  • You didn’t get a job in your field of study.
  • You’re having financial difficulty.

If you don't pay back the loan as you agreed to do in your student loan promissory note, you may end up in default. A loan default can severely impact your credit status. If you default on any federal student loan, the federal government may take serious actions against you such as:

  • Your loans may be turned over to a collection agency.
  • You'll be liable for the costs associated with collecting your loan, including court costs and attorney fees.
  • You can be sued for the entire amount of your loan.
  • Your wages may be garnished. (Federal law limits the amount that may be garnished to 15% of the borrower's take-home pay.)
  • Your federal and state income tax refunds may be intercepted.
  • The federal government may withhold part of your Social Security benefit payments. (The US Supreme Court upheld the government's ability to collect defaulted student loans in this manner without a statute of limitations in Lockhart v US (04-881, December 2005).)
  • Your defaulted loans will appear on your credit record, making it difficult for you to obtain an auto loan, mortgage, or even credit cards. A bad credit record can also harm your ability to find a job.
  • You won't receive any more federal financial aid until you repay the loan in full or make arrangements to repay what you already owe and make at least six consecutive, on-time, monthly payments. (You will also be ineligible for assistance under most federal benefit programs.)
  • You'll be ineligible for deferments.
  • Subsidized interest benefits will be denied.
  • You may not be able to renew a professional license you hold.

Cohort Default Rate

  • CSI’s current 3-year Official Cohort Default Rate is 3.58%

Exit Counseling

Students who drop below six credits in any one semester or if graduating from the College of Southern Idaho, will be required to complete an Exit Counseling session. Log in to your student aid account using your FSAID to complete your Direct Loan Exit Counseling. If not completed a hold will be placed on the students CSI account which will prevent official transcripts from being released.

How do I find my loan servicer and access my student loan information?

Student Access

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. The information reported to the NSLDS database is accessible by schools, and other authorized NSLDS users.

Students can access a comprehensive view of their own Title IV loans and grant history including loan balances and servicer information at the following: You can also locate loan servicer contact information at the following: