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, 2023 through June 30, 2024, a fixed interest rate of 7.05 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, 2023 to June 30, 2024 is 8.05 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 the 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. This is because the student is in attendance and only withdrawn students require an 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 does 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 a 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%.

Intent to Return

A student registered for both Sessions I and II who chooses to withdraw from Session I but intends to return for Session II may submit an Intent to Return form to the Academic Advisement Department. Upon receiving the completed form, the College will not cancel the student’s Session II registration and will not be required to reduce financial aid or perform the return of funds calculation. If, however, the student does not return to attend Session II, then the College will reduce the student’s aid accordingly.

Also, based on the regulations effective July 1, 2021, a student does not require an R2T4 if they complete at least 6 credits in Session I. In addition, a student is exempt from an R2T4 calculation if they are registered for session courses only and then complete session I while withdrawing from session II. The new regulations exempt students who complete 49% of their scheduled days and session I is more than 49% of the scheduled days for a student only registered for session courses. These two waivers have been added to the ability for students to sign an intent to return. If a student separated in the middle of Session I and provided intent to return for Session II, an R2T4 is not required. Should the student not return in Session II, the R2T4 calculation will be performed upon the date of determination, of the student not returning, but as if the student never signed the intent.

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 Unsubsidized 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.

Veterans’ Benefits: Veterans and/or dependents planning to receive educational assistance benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should get VA approval prior to enrollment. Veterans may apply for their GI Bill® benefits at the VONAPP website, located at https://www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply/. Veterans are required to submit copies of their Certificate of Eligibility for their VA benefits and DD214 Member 4 copy during the admissions process in order to most effectively process their benefits. 

Federal Aid to Native Americans: Click for information on Title VI - Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native Education.

Social Security Benefits: Social Security benefits may be available to eligible students under 18 years of age. For more information, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/schoolofficials/index.htm.