The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education provides financial assistance to students through federal and private loans.

Federal Student Aid

The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education has qualified to participate in programs under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) and the Federal student financial assistance programs (Title IV, HEA programs).

Federal student financial assistance programs will be available to students that are eligible who attend Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in the form of Title IV, HEA Stafford Direct Loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.  The Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program and the lender is the U.S. Department of Education.  These loans must be repaid back with origination fees and interest charged to the student, for which additional information may be found at

Student loans should be borrowed wisely and to pay for educational expenses at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education.  Educational expenses may include costs for: tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, equipment, dependent child care expenses, transportation, and rental or purchase of a personal computer.

Students are eligible to borrow two types of Direct Loans at ACHE:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans have an annual and aggregate limit medical students may receive.  Students may be eligible to borrow up to $47,167 per year based upon a 12-month academic calendar, but the amount will be pro-rated based upon the total number of months there are in the student’s academic calendar (10-month, 11-month and 12-month). The total outstanding aggregate eligible osteopathic medical students may borrow in Direct loans and previously borrowed Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) is $224,000 with a maximum of Subsidized loans of $65,500.

Direct PLUS Loans

The amount of Direct PLUS Loans students may be eligible to borrow may not exceed a student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid they may receive for the academic year.  Students who wish to borrow a Direct PLUS Loan will apply at  A credit check will be performed to determine if the student has an adverse credit history.

Adverse Credit History

Students with an adverse credit history may still receive a Direct PLUS loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history or
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

Students that are approved for a PLUS loan due to adding an endorser or providing satisfactory extenuating circumstances will need to complete PLUS counseling before disbursement can occur.

Obtaining a Credit Report

It is important to check your credit report as an adverse credit history may affect your ability to be approved for a Direct PLUS Loan.  Federal law allows anyone to request a free credit report every 12 months at, which allows you to check your credit with three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

The three major credit reporting agencies generally have the same information so we recommend you to check your credit at different intervals throughout the year.  Checking your credit often ensures information is correct and allows you to catch signs of identity theft early.

Direct Loan Interest Rates & Fees

Students who borrow Direct Loans are required to repay those loans back with interest, which will affect the total amount that must be repaid.  The interest rate for a Direct Loan is determined by Congress and is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan based upon when the first disbursement occurred.  Students who borrow Direct Loans will have a loan fee deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement that is received.  View the below charts for the most current Direct Loan Interest Rates and Fees.

Direct Loan Interest Rates

Loan Type Borrower Type Loans first distributed on or after 7/1/16 and before 7/1/17
Direct Subsidized Loan Undergraduate Student 3.76%
Direct Subsidized Loan Undergraduate Student 3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan Graduate or Professional Student 5.31%
Direct PLUS Loan Parent and Graduate/Professional Student 6.31%

Direct Loan Fees

Loan Type Borrower Type Loans first distributed on or after 10/1/16 and before 10/1/17
Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan Undergraduate and Graduate/Professional Student 1.069
Direct Plus Loan Parent or Graduate/Professional Student 4.276

Why should I take out federal student loans instead of a private loan?

Federal Student Loans offer students:

National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS)

Students may visit National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) to access or inquire about their Title IV Loans and/or grant data.  NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid.  It receives data from schools, agencies that guaranty loans, the Direct Loan program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs.  NSLDS allows students to be informed about outstanding federal student loans:

  • Types and amounts
  • Interest accrued
  • Loan Servicers
  • Repayment Amounts


Financial Awareness Counseling

Students are encouraged to complete financial awareness counseling if they are currently paying for or planning to pay for higher education. It provides students with the:

  • Basics of financial management
  • Information on their current federal student loan debt (and their current student loan debt if they enter information about their private student loans).
  • Estimates of what their student loan debt is likely to be at the time they leave school.

Entrance Counseling

Students who receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans as a graduate/professional student for the first-time will need to complete Entrance Counseling before disbursement.

Master Promissory Note

The Direct Loan Program has two different two types of Master Promissory Notes (MPN) for Direct Unsubsidized loans and Direct PLUS loans. Both MPN’s may be reviewed, electronically signed and submitted online at StudentLoans.Gov.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your Direct loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education.  It also explains the terms and conditions of your student loan(s). The MPN will be a multi-year note and will be good for up to ten years and includes:

  • How interest is calculated
  • When interest is charged
  • Available repayment plans
  • Deferment and cancellation provisions
  • Your Personal Identifying Information
  • Your School Information
  • Information about Two References

Borrowers that sign a MPN are agreeing to repay all loans that are made under a MPN even if:

  • You don’t complete your education
  • You can’t get a job after you leave school, and/or
  • You didn’t like the education you received

Students must sign a MPN before disbursement of their loan(s) may occur and at that time will receive the Borrowers’ Rights and Responsibilities Statement.  Students who require additional information about their Borrower Rights and Responsibilities should contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

Exit Counseling

Students who graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time are required to complete Exit Counseling online at  Completing exit counseling is important as it will provide you with important information to prepare you for repayment of your student loans.  You will be asked to provide contact information (name, address, e-mail address, telephone number) for your:

  • Closest living relative
  • Two references who live in the United States
  • Current or expected employer (if known)

Disclosure Statement

A disclosure statement will be sent to you via e-mail or paper that gives you information about any loan the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education plans to disburse under a student’s MPN, which includes:

  • Loan Amount
  • Loan Fees
  • Anticipated Disbursement Dates
  • Anticipated Disbursement Amount

Federal Student Aid Feedback System

Students may file a complaint, report suspicious activity, or provide positive feedback via the FSA Feedback System.

Private Student Loans

Students may choose to receive private student loans to pay for their educational expenses up to their cost of attendance minus any other financial aid they may receive for the academic year. Private loans may be found through a variety of lenders with different interest rates (fixed and/or variable), repayment plans, forbearance and deferment options.  Additional information regarding the differences between federal and private student loans may be found at

Students should compare private student loans against federal student loans before deciding to borrow from private sources.  Private student loans may not be able to provide students with as many benefits and may be more expensive than Federal Student Loans.