Understanding Credit. Applying for an educational loan is a step toward establishing credit. Credit is simply a promise to pay later for goods, services, or money that a person receives now. You are encouraged to control your use of credit and protect your credit record by budgeting, planning ahead, and considering how educational debt will affect your future lifestyle. Consider these factors carefully before making an educational loan commitment.
Eligibility Requirements. To qualify, you must be admitted as a Regular or Probation student in a degree program, maintain Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress, be enrolled at least half-time, and be in compliance with Selective Service laws, Social Security regulations, and Department of Homeland Security requirements to receive loan proceeds. If you have prior unresolved loan defaults, or owe a refund of Title IV funds, you are ineligible for student loans.
In accordance with Section 479(A)(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and Federal Regulation 34 CFR 685.301(a)(8), Fuller Seminary reserves the right to refuse to certify an otherwise eligible borrower’s loan application for, but not limited to, the following reasons:
- poor credit history (including accounts at Fuller)
- high indebtedness relative to your anticipated income
- failure to progress in your chosen program including withdrawing from courses in multiple quarters
- any other factors suggesting your unwillingness or inability to pay your student loans.
In cases in which the seminary refuses to certify a your loan application, the reason for such action will be documented and provided to you in writing.
In certain cases, the enrollment criteria for loan origination (i.e., getting a new loan or receiving loan proceeds) are stricter than the criteria for deferment of payment on previous loans. Check with Student Financial Services about the loan implications of an atypical course load or enrollment options (e.g., any zero-unit registration option, field education, thesis units, dissertation, continuation, apprenticeship, or CPE).
Choosing Educational Loan Credit. You should carefully determine whether you will be able to repay your educational loans. Inability to repay the loan according to the repayment schedule and agreement will affect your ability to make future credit-based purchases such as a car or home.
Eligibility for educational loan programs is determined by Student Financial Services according to federal guidelines. Application forms are available in Student Financial Services for eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Withdrawal from Classes. If you withdraw from classes after receiving Federal Direct Loans or Perkins Loans, you are subject to a Federal Return of Title IV Aid Calculation. This calculation determines the amount of federal loan funds that Fuller may retain for the academic period, and the amount that Fuller must return immediately to your lender. Note that if Fuller returns loan funds, then you will owe Fuller whatever charges for tuition and fees that those funds formerly covered. This will show up as a balance due on your student account.
The Office of Student Financial Services regularly runs reports to identify students who have withdrawn from classes, either officially or unofficially. Official withdrawal occurs when students withdraw officially using the registration menu or a petition through the Registrar’s Office. An Unofficial Withdrawal occurs when a student stops attending classes without dropping, usually resulting in failing grades.
For official withdrawals, the date of withdrawal is the date on which you notify Fuller of the intent to drop all classes. For unofficial withdrawals, we generally use the midpoint of the quarter as the withdrawal date. Fuller may use an alternative date if we can document that you attended to that point.
The Federal Return of Title IV Aid calculation stipulates the following:
- For withdrawal on or before the first day of classes, 100% of the Title IV Aid is to be returned to the lender.
- For withdrawal up to the 60% point of the quarter, Student Financial Services will determine the percentage of the quarter completed by the student. That percentage of the Title IV Aid is considered “earned.” The rest, or the “unearned” portion of Title IV Aid, must be returned to the lender.
- For withdrawal after the 60% point of the quarter, 100% of the Title IV Aid is considered “earned.” In this case, no return of Title IV Aid is required.
- If you are enrolled in and then drop a class that does not meet for the entire term, such as an intensive, you may be considered “withdrawn” for student loan purposes, even if you remain enrolled at or above half-time. Federal regulations may require that your loan be reduced or even cancelled if you do not complete ALL of the units for which you originally enrolled.
- In #1 and #2 above, Fuller must determine the amount of Title IV Aid that covered direct costs for the quarter, such as tuition, ASC fees, Touchstone fees, and rent (for students in Fuller owned or leased housing). Then Fuller must return a percentage of this amount, according to the basic calculation described above. These funds will be returned electronically and charged to your Fuller student account.
- For students who have received checks from their loan disbursements to cover living expenses, a percentage of those amounts may be considered “unearned Title IV Aid” (see #2 above). However, as long as you established eligibility for the loan (see below), then you only have to repay the funds according to the original terms of the loan. In other words, deferment and other Direct loan benefits still apply.
- The Return of Title IV Aid is separate from Fuller’s own refund policy. As a result, you may receive a refund for tuition before Title IV funds are returned to the lender. Later, when Fuller returns loan funds, there will be a charge to your student account. In such a case, you should hold on to the Fuller refund in order to be able to pay that charge.
- Furthermore, if you drop late in the quarter, you may not receive any refund from Fuller.
Please note that you must establish eligibility for federal aid by enrolling at a half-time level during the quarter. When you withdraw completely, officially or unofficially, Fuller will use attendance records as reported by the faculty to verify attendance at a half-time level. Failure to attend at a half-time level will require a recalculation of your financial aid eligibility. Your lender will also be notified that you did not establish eligibility for the loan(s). The lender has the option, in these cases, to demand accelerated repayment of any amount given to you for living expenses.
If you receive Title IV Aid and consider dropping all of your classes or dropping below half-time, you are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with a Student Financial Counselor before you make that choice.
For further information and examples of the Return of Title IV Aid Calculation, visit or contact Student Financial Services.