About Our Loans

  • The information provided here is intended to show you alternative resources to fund your education in the event that your Federal Grants, Scholarships and Personal Finance Contributions do not cover your cost of attendance at Southern Adventist University. Remember, our student finance counselors are available to personally guide you in figuring out which loans are available to you.  


  Click on the video to pause/stop it from playing.



The most common source of college loan funds, Federal Direct Loans, are fixed-rate, low-interest loans available to students attending Southern at least half time (6 credit hours) and enrolled in a program that leads to a degree or certificate. To apply for a Direct Loan, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information from your FAFSA will determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive. Direct Loans are generally included as part of your financial aid package.  

Subsidized Loans

  • Subsidized Stafford loans are need-based. The government pays the interest on these loans while you are attending college, during a six-month grace period immediately preceding repayment, and during any authorized deferments.

Unsubsidized Loans

  • Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not need-based. You are responsible for all of the interest that accrues on the loan.  Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  •  If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Direct Loan Requirements

  • Step 1: Complete the FAFSA. Once you have received your award letter and accepted the Stafford loans, you may move to step 2.
  • Step 2: Complete Entrance Counseling. The first time you take out a loan, you’ll need to complete Stafford entrance counseling before your loan proceeds can be released.


  • Step 4: Upon graduation or separation from the school, you will be required to complete an Exit Counseling.  More on exit counseling at the bottom of this page.

More Details on Direct Loans



  • Who is it for? Parents of students who are enrolled for 6 or more credit hours.
  • How much can be borrowed? Parents may borrow as much as the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
  • Can the loan be deferred? If needed, repayment can be deferred until the student is no longer enrolled for at least 6 credit hours.
  • Is approval guaranteed? Because this loan is based on credit score, not all parents will be approved.
  • What happens if they are denied? If your parent is denied the PLUS loan, you become eligible for an additional amount in the Stafford Loan program.
  • How do my parents apply? They can apply on the Direct PLUS website to begin the process.


The FAFSA will apply you for both loans, and qualified students will see the loan as part of their financial aid award. For additional information please contact your student finance counselor once your FAFSA has been processed.


Private / Alternative loans are available to meet educational expenses when federal, private, and personal resources have been exhausted.

Typically, with private/alternative loans:

  • Applications can be completed over the phone or online.
  • Eligibility is determined in 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Interest rates and eligibility requirements vary with each lender.
  • Interest starts accruing immediately.
  • Payments, including interest, can be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours). 
  • We do not endorse any particular private lender.  We recommend you search the web for a suitable student loan provider that meets your needs.


Exit Counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Exit Counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal student loan(s). Exit Counseling MUST be completed for each school at the termination of your enrollment period or when you "leave"; even if you are transferring to another school.

Direct Loans: 

  1. Log in to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID

    • Select "Complete Counseling" on the left-hand navigation bar
    • Select "Exit Counseling" under "Choose Counseling Type"

    If you log in, you will be able to:

    • See your federal student loan information available in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
    • Notify schools of counseling completion
    • View proof of counseling completion

You will need the following information to complete exit counseling: your driver license number, the name, addresses and phone numbers for three references (one relative and two not related to you), and contact information, if available, for your employer or expected employer.  Loans you took while attending other schools are included on this report also. You may also click on the “number” for each loan to view lender contact information. If you have further questions, you may also call the Department of Education at 1.800.557.7394. We recommend that you remain with your current lender if you are considering consolidating your loans.

Institutional, Perkins, and Nursing Loans
INSTITUTIONAL, PERKINS, and NURSING LOANS exit counseling is done through ECSI. 
For assistance with login information to the ECSI website, please contact ECSI's Customer Support Desk through one of their several methods.  ECSI's direct phone line is 1.888.549.3274.

  1. Go to: http://www.heartlandecsi.com/
  2. Click on Manage Your Student Loan Accounton the left side of the page.
  3. Enter the following information in the fields under "Log in to access your account"
    1. School Code: N2
    2. Account Number: Your Social Security Number
  4. You will be taken to a screen that will ask you to verify your information. Once that is verified, follow the instructions on screen to access your account.

** NOTE: Please remember that you will need to complete exit counseling for each type of loan you have (Federal, Perkins, Nursing and/or SAU Institutional). 

    If you would like to contact a finance counselor,

please use the links below: 

New/Prospective Students Email enrollment@southern.edu
Graduate Students Email gradfinance@southern.edu
All Students Email studentfinance@southern.edu