Federal Financial Aid Programs

Below is a list of federal loans for which eligible Berkeley College students may be considered:

Federal Direct Loans: Berkeley College participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. Eligible students borrow Federal Direct Loans from the U.S. Department of Education and repay the loans through various loan servicers chosen by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must complete a Master Promissory Note, a legal document in which the student promises to repay such loans and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. The Master Promissory Note also explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s). The Master Promissory Note is available at https://studentaid.gov/mpn/. Various repayment and deferment options exist for federal loans. All first-time borrowers will be provided entrance counseling that describes these options prior to loan disbursement.

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This loan is available to students who are enrolled at least half-time, regardless of financial need. The borrower is responsible for interest during the life of the loan. Effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, a fixed interest rate of 5.28 percent applies. Students are eligible for $20,500 per award year. An award year is defined as two semesters (30 weeks). Graduate students have a cumulative loan limit of $138,500, including any prior undergraduate debt. No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized Federal Loans. 
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan: Eligibility for the Federal Grad PLUS loan does not depend on demonstrated financial need, but borrowers must file the FAFSA to qualify. Borrowers must also pass a credit check and have exhausted their Federal Direct Loan eligibility. The Federal Grad PLUS loan allows students to borrow up to the total cost of education, including tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, personal expenses, and transportation, minus other student aid received.
The interest rate for July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 is 6.28 percent. New rates are announced each June for the following award year starting on July 1. Students are responsible for repaying their entire debt, with interest, as specified in the terms and conditions of the Master Promissory Note. Berkeley College encourages students entering the Graduate degree program to participate in a loan entrance interview. Students will be required to complete an exit interview upon leaving the College.
  • Return of Title IV: The U.S. Department of Education regulates the treatment of all federal grants and loans. For those students who withdraw during the semester or session, the College is required to exercise the "Return to Title IV calculation" (R2T4). The R2T4 is based on the number of days in the semester divided into the number of days attended based on last date of attendance. This provides the percentage of Title IV aid a student has "earned."

For example, if the semester is 100 days, and a student’s separation date falls on the 47th day of the semester, the formula used would be 47/100 or 47.000 percent. This percentage would then be applied to the Title IV aid disbursed, or potentially disbursed, in order to determine how much and which proceeds need to be returned. Students who separate after the 60 percent point of the semester, per federal guidelines, will have earned 100 percent of their federal aid.


For purposes of the College’s obligation to return Title IV funds to the federal government, a student who withdraws from a subsequent session while still attending classes in either Session I or a 15-week semester is not subject to a return of funds calculation. Based on new federal regulations effective July 1, 2021, but that were adopted early for the Spring 2021 semester, the College determines a student's frozen schedule at census each semester. Whatever the student is registered for at that point in time will serve as the student's denominator for the R2T4 calculation.

The following examples will illustrate the important differences in timing:

Example 1

A student registers for Session I and Session II and at census is still registered for both. If the student withdraws from Session II the denominator will be the days in Session I plus the days in Session II. The week of no classes in-between the Sessions do not count. The numerator is the number of days the student attended in Session I and Session II (if any).

Session I = 47 days

Session II = 47 days

Total denominator = 94 days

If student attends three days in Session II, then the denominator will be 50. Thus the calculation will be 50 divided into 94 or 53%, which is the percentage of aid the student may keep.

Example 2

A student registers for Session I and Session II, but at census is only registered for Session I, which will serve as the denominator. If the student withdraws in Session I after 20 days, then the calculation will be 20 divided into 47 or 42%, which is the percentage of aid the student may keep.

Session I = 47 days

Total Denominator = 47 days

Student attends 20 days in Session I.

Fraction is 20/47 making the percentage of aid the student may keep 42%.

Example 3

A student registers for Session I, Session II, and the semester. At census the student is only registered for Session I and the semester. That is frozen. If the student withdraws from Session I, then the denominator will be the days in the semester (the semester does not have a break week so it does not exclude those days). The numerator is the number of days the student attended in Session I or the semester, whichever is longer.

Session I = 47 days

Semester = 105 days

Total Denominator = 105 days

Student attends 52 days (a few days after completing Session I). Fraction is 52/105 making the percentage of aid the student may keep 49%.

Federal regulations determine the order in which the College must return financial aid funds after a student withdraws. The Attribution Table requires the College to return funds as follows:

First - Direct Unsubisidized Loan

Second - Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

Note: Federal Work Study earnings are not part of the above formula and funds earned do not need to be returned.