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Financial Aid

Loans

Student Loans, unlike grants or scholarships, are borrowed funds that must be repaid. These loans cannot be cancelled, even if you do not like your university experience, do not obtain a job in your field of study, or are facing financial hardship.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the U.S. Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans. You may contact the Ombudsmans Office in the following ways:

Mail:

U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman
830 First Street, NE
Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20202-5144

Phone: 1-877-557-2575

Fax: 202-275-0549

Under 'Types of Aid' on the left, the links in the 'Loans' submenu describe the loan programs available to UIC students.

Undergraduate Loan Indebtedness History

Provided below are the percentages of the 2011 undergraduate class of those who borrowed student loans and who graduated between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011:

  • 63 percent of students received loans through any loan program (institutional, state, Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized, private loans that were certified by UIC; excluding parent loans).
  • 62 percent of students received loans through any federal loan programs (Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized; excluding parent loans).

Provided below are the average per-undergraduate cumulative principal borrowed of the 2011 undergraduate class who graduated between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011:

  • $20,196 is the average per-undergraduate cumulative principal of students who received loans through any loan program (institutional, state, Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized, private loans that were certified by UIC; excluding parent loans).
  • $18,290 is the average per-undergraduate cumulative principal of students who received loans through any federal loan programs (Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized; excluding parent loans).

Repaying Your Loans

Once you graduate, leave school, or fall below half time enrollment, you will have to start repaying your loans. You can access your total federal student loan history at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You can access your federal loan information at the Federal Student Loan Servicing website. Click here for more information on Federal Direct Loan repayment options and sample repayment schedules based upon the various options. You can discuss repayment of your Federal Perkins, Federal Nursing Student Loans, and Health Profession Student Loans with University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO) and ACS.

Loan Consolidation

Student loan consolidation is a useful tool that can be used to combine existing federal student loans into a single loan with one monthly payment. However, consolidation is not for everyone.

Consolidation loans offer a fixed interest rate and the possibility for lower monthly payments by extending the repayment period. However, the interest rate may be slightly higher and borrowers normally pay more in interest over the life of the loan by extending the repayment period. Borrowers could also lose some benefits on existing loans by taking out a new consolidation loan that does not offer those same benefits.

Borrowers should research and understand all of their options before making this important decision on whether to consolidate their loans. Information can be found at the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Consolidation web site at www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.

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