Carroll College, Helena Montana

Step 3 - Parent & Private Loans

Factors to consider when borrowing additional loans

All students' financial aid awards are originally packaged to an estimated Direct Cost of $38,230 (Full-time Tuition, Fixed Fees, and Room & Board).

Students have the option of borrowing up to the Cost of Attendance. The estimated 2014-2015 Cost of Attendance for full-time students is $42,930

  • Full-time Tuition - $28,670
  • Room & Board - $8,950
  • Fixed Fees - $610
  • Books & Supplies Allowance - $1,000
  • Transportation Allowance - $1,900
  • Personal Expense Allowance - $1,800

The Office of Financial Aid encourages all students to borrow responsibly.  The federal student loan programs generally provide better terms and conditions including a lower interest rate and fewer fees, therefore, we recommend borrowing federal loans prior to borrowing any private education loans.  In order to receive federal loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to apply online go to the FAFSA website.

Prior to borrowing either a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan or a Private Education Loan, it is recommended that you use the Loan Calculation Worksheet to determine the amount of loan you will need to borrow.   Please note that the Parent PLUS Loan is one alternative for paying the balance, the Business Office also offers an interest-free monthly installment plan.  For more information about Carroll's installment plan, visit the Business Office web page.

For an overview on the different terms of Private Education Loans vs. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, please review the comparison chart.


It is recommended you apply before August 1, 2015 for the 2015-2016 academic year if you want the funds available for fall semester payment. 

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Interest Rate for academic year 2014-2015 is fixed at 7.21%. Interest rates for academic year 2015-2016 will be available on July 1, 2015.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans disbursed after December 1, 2013 have a Default Insurance fee of 4.288%. 

The Default Insurance Fee for Federal Direct PLUS Loans where the first disbursement is made on or after October 1, 2014, the fee will be 4.292%.

Beginning late May, 2014 you may complete your Direct PLUS Loan Application online (includes pre-approval). Note: Students must have a processed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with Carroll College prior to processing a Direct PLUS Loan.

Processing a Federal Direct  Parent PLUS loan for 2015-2016:

  1. Make sure you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. For additional information about Direct Loans, review the  Direct Loan Basics brochure.  
  3. Complete the Federal Direct  PLUS Loan Request.  Parents must log into the website using their own SSN and Federal FAFSA PIN number. After logging  into the website, select the "Request Direct PLUS Loan"option located in the left margin of the page under the "PLUS Loan Process" tab.  If you are a first-time Direct PLUS Loan Borrower, you must proceed to item number 4 below and also complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note.
  4. Complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note
    a.  Go to the "Manage My Direct Loan" section and click on the
         green sign in button.
    b.  Fill in parent demographic information and Parent PIN
          for the parent who will be requesting the loan.  
    c.  Once signed in, select the Master Promissory  
          Note-Complete MPN option. 
    d.   Select the PARENT PLUS  option and complete the 4 required steps and submit.
  5. If you are denied a Direct PLUS Loan, you may appeal the denial or use an endorser through the website, or your student may choose to request additional Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds by contacting the Financial Aid Office.
     a. If your student accepts the additional Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan
         funds, he/she must complete specific loan counseling based upon the total
         number of additional Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans that the student has
         borrowed.  Your student must download the Parent PLUS Loan Denial Counseling
         Flyer and complete the correct counseling session based upon the total number of
         additional Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans that they have borrowed. 
         Disbursement of the loan will be held until the student completes the loan



  1. Make sure you have completed a Federal FAFSA form first and have borrowed all federal loans prior to borrowing Federal Direct Parent PLUS or private student loans.  If you elect to waive your right to borrow federal loans, please contact the financial aid office to complete a waiver form. 
  2. Prior to applying for a private education loan, you must complete private loan counseling based upon the number of private education loans you have borrowed during your education.  First time borrowers must complete Financial Awareness Counseling, students who have previously borrowed a private loan must select the appropriate LifeSkills Lesson as listed on the Private Student Loan Counseling Flyer.  Disbursements will be held until online counseling has been completed.  Download the Private Student Loan Counseling Flyer to determine which counseling session you must complete.

    The FASTChoice lender comparision tool includes the most common additional loans used by Carroll College students over the last three to five years.  Students are free to borrow from any lender they choose even if they are not on our list.  If you have questions or would like to request application forms, contact the lending institutions or our office at 1-800-992-3648, ext. 5425 or 406-447-5425.

Factors to consider when you are looking for an additional loan:

  • Method of determining the interest rate of the loan/credit scoring
  • Types of repayment plans
  • Early repayment options
  • Other borrower benefits
  • Late payment penalties
  • Origination fees, up-front fees, back-end fees
  • Opportunity for forbearance (example: during graduate school)
  • Cosigner requirements
  • Length of repayment term


Please contact us at .



Title IV HEA Federal student and/or parent loans are submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system. 

Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application

PLEASE NOTE: All Parents borrowing the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan must complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application process on the Student Loans website.  First-time borrowers must also complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note.

Facts about Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Parents of a full or part-time undergraduate dependent students may take out a Federal Direct PLUS loan to assist the student in paying for college.  This loan is a parent loan not a student loan.  The student must have a processed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with Carroll prior to processing a Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
The borrowing limit is the cost of attendance minus any aid the student will receive.

The parent is responsible for repayment of the loan.

Repayment begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

The parent must meet minimal credit requirements (no adverse credit).

Federal Direct PLUS loan interest is fixed at 7.21%.

Estimated Federal Direct PLUS Loan Repayment Example

Federal student loan interest is generally tax deductible for the first 60 months of repayment.

Loan Amount $5,000 $10,000
Monthly Payment $56.55 $113.09