August 29, 2008

Unsubsidized financial aid loans still available

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Recent federal legislation increased the annual limit for unsubsidized financial aid loans for undergraduate students.

This may be good news for Southern Illinois University Carbondale students trying to pay for textbooks, tuition and room and board-related expenses at the beginning of a new semester.

Terri Harfst, interim director of the financial aid office and the academic scholarship coordinator, said her office sent emails in June to SIUC students who received financial aid, informing them that they may be eligible for up to $2,000 more in unsubsidized loans for the 2008-2009 academic year. The email advised students who wanted to use the extra loan money to contact the financial aid office for a review of their loan eligibility. Thousands of students responded to the email and took advantage of the additional loan increase already, she said.

Harfst said students who want to check their eligibility for that extra loan money should come to the office for a review, and submit a 2008-2009 Award Letter Change and Direct Loan Request form. The form is available online at or at the financial aid office.

Harfst noted that the extra loan money is unsubsidized, even for those students who typically qualify for subsidized loans. Unsubsidized loans require students to assume responsibility for interest on the loan from the date of the loan, even when they are still in school. Subsidized loans allow students to avoid accruing interest on their loans until they are no longer enrolled as students.

For more information, call the Office of Financial Aid at 618/453-4334.