A student loan of reasonable size is considered by Thomas Aquinas College to be a resource that is available to you. The Financial Aid Office, therefore, expects you to obtain a student loan before seeking other financial aid from Thomas Aquinas College. You may borrow a student loan from any source other than your parents. It is assumed that your parents are making a maximum effort to pay tuition, room and board and, as such, will not be in a position to provide a loan as well.
Most students prefer to take advantage of government-sponsored student loan programs that offer beneficial terms, such as the Federal Direct Student Loan Program or the Canada Loan Program. If a student is not eligible for such a loan, the College still requires the student to borrow the expected amount from one of the many banks making student loans that are not federally guaranteed.
For the 2013-14 Academic Year, Thomas Aquinas College expects U.S. students to borrow at the following levels: $3,250 for freshmen and sophomores, $4,750 for junior and seniors, for a total loan balance of $16,000 by graduation. Students from outside the U.S. are asked to borrow an equivalent amount in U.S. dollars, although it is evenly distributed over the four years. (Borrowing levels for the 2014-15 academic year have not yet been determined.)
This amount is considerably less than the maximum loan amount available through the U.S. Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan Program and considerably less than the average student loan indebtedness of students attending other four-year, private colleges. The College is committed to doing what it can to see that its alumni are not saddled with excessive debt.
The parents of a dependent student may also borrow funds from the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program.
There are also many alternative loan programs available to students and parents that offer low-cost, flexible ways to meet educational costs.
Thomas Aquinas College neither solicits nor receives any benefit from any lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. The College seeks to ensure transparency in the administration of its student financial aid program and to always work in the student’s and the family’s best interest. To avoid any harm that may arise from actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest, Thomas Aquinas College has adopted a Loan Program Code of Conduct (PDF).