US Financial Aid

While in School

Semester abroad for U.S. students receiving Title IV aid

A semester abroad for U.S. students receiving Title IV aid can be spent at an other eligible institution only. This is due to regulation 34 CFR §600.54(c) “…an eligible foreign institution may not enter into a written arrangement under which an ineligible institution or organization provides any portion of one or more of the eligible foreign institution’s programs.” You may download the complete list of eligible partner institutions outside the U.S. here. For freemovers is under the responsibility of the individual student to follow the instructions for outgoing students published at the pages of the international department.

How the loans are disbursed (paid out)

Generally, your loan will cover a full academic year and we will make two disbursements to you, at the beginning and midpoint of your academic year. We will disburse your loan money by crediting it to your school account to pay (tuition and fees). If the loan disbursement amount exceeds your school charges, we will pay you the remaining balance of the disbursement directly to your German bank account. We will receive your money in Euro, so for all transactions the exchange rate $/€ from the day we have received your money will apply. We will notify you in writing each time we disburse part of your loan money and will provide information about how to cancel all or part of your disbursement if you find you no longer need the money. You will also receive a notice from the U.S. Department of Education confirming the disbursement. You should read and keep all correspondence received concerning your loan.

Using the loan for education expenses

You may use the loan money you receive only to pay for your education expenses. Education expenses include school charges such as tuition, room and board, fees and indirect expenses such as books, supplies, equipment, dependent child care expenses, transportation and rental or purchase of a personal computer.

Enrollment status & other changes

It’s important to keep the Direct Loan Servicing Center informed of any changes in your status, so that your loan information is up-to-date. This is your responsibility. You must notify the Direct Loan Servicing Center if you:

• change your local address, permanent address or telephone number;

• change your name (for example, maiden name to married name);

• do not enroll at least half-time for the loan period certified by the school;

• do not enroll at the school that certified your loan;

• stop attending school or drop below half-time enrollment;

• transfer from one school to another school; or

• graduate.

Until you graduate or leave school, you must also keep us informed of these changes. A non-scheduled break in enrollment (e.g. vocational semester for a non-for-credit internship), is considered an interruption in your enrollment; you must inform your Direct Loan Center. When you graduate, drop below half-time, or withdraw from your academic program, you will receive a six-month grace period for your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Once your grace period ends, you must begin repaying your loan(s). See “leaving school”.

Paying interest while in school

You may choose to pay interest on your Direct Unsubsidized or Direct PLUS loans while you are in school. If you choose not to pay the interest while you’re in school, the Department will add it to the unpaid principal amount of your loan. This is called “capitalization,” and it can substantially increase the amount you repay, especially if you are receiving multiple loans for a multi-year program. Capitalization increases the unpaid principal balance of your loan, and the Department will then charge interest on the increased principal amount. It will save you some money in the long run if you pay the interest as it accrues on your loan while you’re in school or during the grace period. This is also true if you pay any interest that accrues during periods of deferment or forbearance after you leave school.