Student loans, unlike grants and work study, are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Before you take out a student loan consider carefully the amount that you will have to repay in the years after graduation. Financial aid recipients may be eligible for either a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or a combination of both loans. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits to qualify.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Students must complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note before loans can be disbursed. Exit counseling is required when a student graduates or has a change of status during the school year.   

Starting in 2017-2018, Nicolet College was 1 of 51 institutions in the United States selected by the Department of Education (DOE) to participate in an experimental program for additional loan counseling.  If you have received any federal student loans in the past, are taking out new loans, and your social security number (SSN) ends in an even number (0,2,4,6,8), you will be part of the "Treatment Group" and will be required to complete the additional loan counseling titled "Financial Awareness Counseling" (FAC) each year.  If your SSN ends in an odd number (1,3,5,7,9), you will be part of the "Control Group" and are not required to complete the FAC but may do so for your own personal value.  A link to the FAC follows:

Financial Awareness Counseling

Regardless of the group you are placed into, information regarding your student aid and academic data will be reported to the DOE. Students in the "Treatment Group" must complete the FAC prior to any direct student loans being available to apply towards your tuition, bookstore purchases and being disbursed.

Nicolet College will process all Federal Student and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) through the William D. Ford Direct Loan (DL) Program.  Information on student loans can be found at the following link:

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

These loans are offered to undergraduate students on the basis of financial need. While attending school, the government pays the interest that accrues on these loans. Payments can be made at any time before repayment begins. Repayment of principal and interest begins:

  • Approximately six months after graduation
  • When attendance goes below half-time status
  • When withdrawn from their program

150% Limit on Subsidized Direct Student Loans
First-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to the new provision. Generally, a first-time borrower is one who did not have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program Loan on July 1, 2013.

For first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that Direct Subsidized Loans can be received. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies, students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their program. This is called “maximum eligibility period” and is based on the published length of the current program in which a student is enrolled. For example, if enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of two years = three years).

Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.

Certain types of enrollment may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans when the U.S. Department of Education usually would have paid it. 

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

These loans are offered to undergraduate and graduate students regardless of financial need. The student is responsible for paying all interest of any Unsubsidized Loan from the date of disbursement until the loan(s) is paid in full. If the student chooses not to pay interest while attending school, the interest will accrue and be capitalized. Repayment of principal and interest begins:

  • Approximately six months after graduation
  • When attendance goes below half-time status
  • When withdrawn from program

Loan Limits and Interest Rates

A student's award is based on eligibility, and additional steps may be required in order to receive the maximum amounts. The combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans cannot exceed the federal direct loans limits.
Information on student loans:

National Student Loan Data System:


Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit

$5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit

$6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit

$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.


Loan Borrowing Requirements

If a student is a new loan recipient at Nicolet College and awarded a Federal Direct Loan, the student is required to complete: Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.

Loan Entrance Counseling

The purpose of the Loan Entrance Counseling session is to inform students of their rights and obligations as Direct Loan borrowers. Nicolet College will be notified when the Loan Entrance Counseling requirement has been met.

Loan Entrance Counseling

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The MPN is a legally-binding contract between the U.S. Department of Education and a borrower. The promissory note contains the terms and conditions of the loan, including how and when the loan must be repaid.

Master Promissory Note

Accept/Change/Decline Student Loans

To accept, change, or decline Student Loans, log into MyNicolet or contact the Financial Aid Office for help.

Loan Exit Counseling

It is a requirement that any student who receives a loan(s) must complete a Loan Exit Counseling session when graduating or if there is a change of status during the school year. Examples of a change of status would be withdrawing from school, falling below half-time status, not meeting satisfactory progress, or transferring to a different college.

Complete Loan Exit Counseling

Exit Counseling Guide for Direct Loan Borrowers (PDF)

How to Repay Your Loans

Parent PLUS Loans

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are education loans for parents of undergraduate dependent students (students required to provide parent information on the FAFSA application) who are pursuing an education. PLUS loans are available to parents regardless of income or assets, but a credit check is performed. Parents may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance, minus the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) derived from the FAFSA, minus any other financial aid, scholarships and other assistance the student has already received.

The PLUS Loan goes into repayment 60 days after it is fully disbursed for the year and is the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student. If the student agrees to make payments on the PLUS Loan, but fails to make the payments on time, the parent will be held responsible.

To ensure that your PLUS loan is processed in a timely manner, you will need to complete the Nicolet College PLUS Loan Request and Authorization Form, the Online PLUS Request Process, and the Online Master Promissory Note (MPN) as follows:

Step 1: Contact the Financial Aid Office for the PLUS Loan Request and Authorization Form

Step 2: Complete the Online PLUS Request Process

Step 3: Complete Online Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Wisconsin Nursing Student Loans

Nursing Student Loans are available to Wisconsin resident students enrolled at least half-time in either the Associate Degree Nursing or Practical Nursing Technical Diploma programs. Students who participate in this program must agree to be employed as a licensed nurse in Wisconsin.  For each of the first two years that a student works as a nurse or nurse educator and meets the eligibility criteria, 25% of the loan is forgiven.

Alternative Loans

Alternative or ‘private’ student loans can be an important funding source for students who need more loan funds than the federal programs can supply or who are ineligible for federal student loans. Alternative loan programs have various interest rates and terms of repayment. Alternative loans are not federally guaranteed and can take several weeks to process. All alternative loan programs require a credit check on either the borrower, co-signer or both. Before applying for an Alternative Loan, we suggest meeting with a Nicolet College Financial Aid Office staff member to assess eligibility and to obtain more specific information regarding the application process.


The National Student Loan Data System, or NSLDS, compiles all data involving federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate students. Because the NSLDS is keeping the personal, financial and loan information of every student, the question of who can retrieve your information might be a privacy issue that you are worried about. Below are questions and answers tackling the privacy and security matters of your student loan information.

What Data Is Found in the NSLDS?

The data that can be retrieved in the NSLDS are the student's full name; Social Security number; date of birth; address; gender; citizenship; family income; school enrollment and status; course of study; and types of student loans obtained, including the amount and the status of the loan.

Who Can Obtain Student Information in the NSLDS?

The following private and government agencies as well as entities with the kinds of disclosure notices indicated may gather information from the NSLDS about a student account:

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advice Disclosure
  • Disclosure the Department of Justice
  • Contract Disclosure
  • Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Disclosure
  • Parties, counsels, representatives, and witnesses
  • Administrative Disclosures
  • Federal and State agencies
  • Enforcement Disclosure
  • Employee Grievance, Complaint or Conduct Disclosure
  • Labor Organization Disclosure
  • Consumer Reporting Agency

When Can the Student Loan Information Be Shared with the Above-Mentioned Agencies or in Response to the Listed Kinds of Disclosures?

Private or government groups will be given the right to collect student loan information only when the purpose of the request adheres to the provisions stated in the Privacy Act. Any purpose for gathering the information that does not comply with the law is not allowed by the Department of Education.

You can access NSLDS privacy information here