Making Christian College Affordable

Taking out a loan to help cover the cost of your education is a worthy and valuable investment. A separate application is required for all loans, even if it’s a federal loan for which you may have already qualified.

For Federal Loans, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid provides the following loan options (see more below). You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for these fixed, low-interest-rate loans.

After your financial aid is applied to the cost of attendance, your family will be responsible for the remaining balance. We understand not every family has these funds readily available. An alternative loan is one way to help cover the remaining cost. There are also two different types of Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Direct Loans

Direct Loans are offered to the student, based on the student’s grade level and number of credit hours.

  • Subsidized Direct Loans are awarded based on financial need. You will not be charged interest while you are in school; the federal government “subsidizes” the interest during these times.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans are not awarded based on financial need. Any eligible student can take out unsubsidized Direct loans. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed, to the time the loan is repaid in full. (Graduate Students are eligible for Unsubsidized Loans ONLY.)

How much can I borrow with Direct Loans at Bethel University?

  Dependent Undergrad Student Independent Undergrad Student*
Freshmen $5,500 $9,500 – max of $3,500 can be in subsidized loans
Sophomores $6,500 $10,500 – max of $4,500 can be in subsidized loans
Juniors, seniors, etc. $7,500 $12,500 – max of $5,500 can be in subsidized loans
Graduate students $9,000 combined subsidized and unsubsidized.   

The amount you can borrow is based on your grade level and your status as a student.

*Independent students may be eligible to borrow more because they are paying for college without assistance from family. It is important to note that even if a student is financing their education on their own, dependency status is still determined by the school.

For the Student Borrower

Go to: (log in with your FSA ID)

  • Complete Entrance Counseling
  • Sign MPN (Master Promissory Note)

Your Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans will be processed for the entire amount listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter, which can be found at

If you want to reduce or cancel your Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan, please complete the Loan Adjustment Request Form (PDF).

Direct PLUS Loan

Direct PLUS Loans are offered to the parent of an undergraduate student.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow money with which to pay the education expenses of their children. Each child must be a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time.

About the Direct PLUS Loan

The primary benefit of the PLUS Loan is that parents can borrow federally guaranteed low-interest loans to help pay for their child’s education.

  • A Federal PLUS Loan allows parents to borrow the total cost of undergraduate education including tuition, room and board, supplies, lab expenses and travel, less any other aid.
  • These parent loans are non-need-based. Eligibility for the PLUS Loan depends on a modest credit check that determines whether the parent has any adverse credit. An adverse credit history is defined as being more than 90 days late on any debt or having any Title IV debt (including a debt due to grant overpayment) within the past five years subjected to default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off.
  • The interest rate on the Direct PLUS Loan is fixed at 7.21%.
  • Unlike other types of loans, including home equity, Direct PLUS Loans require no collateral.
  • Interest may be tax deductible.

For the parent borrower

Go to: (login using parent’s FSA ID)

  1. Request a Direct PLUS Loan (this portion must be done each school year)
  2. Complete MPN (Master Promissory Note)

Please note: If this loan is denied for any reason, the college can increase the Direct Unsubsidized Loan for the student by $4,000 per year.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are private loans available to the student. Private lenders might require a co-signer.

Lending institutions offer alternative loans to assist students in bridging the gap between college costs and traditional financial aid funding sources. These loans are private supplemental loans and are not guaranteed by the federal government. Unlike federally guaranteed student loans, lending institutions that offer alternative student loans may impose certain requirements. In most cases, a student must have a good credit history, a low debt-to-income ratio and a co-signer may be required. Due to the credit requirements, not everyone is approved for an alternative loan.

Listed below are two application tools that will provide access to multiple lenders. Both the INvestED Student Loan Marketplace and ELMSelect will allow you to compare lenders and rates for possible alternative loans. As a borrower, you have the option to select any lender you choose. We recommend you select a lender included in one of the tools below to ensure your loans are processed as quickly and smoothly as possible. Please understand that we will process a loan with a lender that is not listed, but it may take longer, as we may not have the necessary processes in place with that lender. If you have any questions regarding the process used to select the lenders included in the INvestED Student Loan Marketplace or ELMSelect, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

Student Lending Code of Conduct

Bethel University has adopted a Code of Conduct with respect to student loans which applies to all employees in the financial aid office and anyone else at our school who has any responsibilities with respect to student loans or the selection of preferred lenders for student loans. Read or print the entire Student Lending Code of Conduct (PDF).


Private Alternative Loan (for student)

  1. Visit INvestED Student Loan Marketplace or ELMSelect to explore loan options.
  2. Select the lender.

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

  1. Visit the FAFSA website.
  2. You can complete your FAFSA for the upcoming year as early as Oct. 1. The filing deadline to be considered for Indiana state grants is April 15. We recommend that you file as soon after Oct. 1 as possible, as some scholarship and grant funds can be exhausted.

What types of financial aid are offered at Bethel?

  1. Federal Aid – financial aid from the federal government is available to help you pay for education expenses. Grants (Pell, TEACH, SEOG), loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS) and work-study are types of federal student aid; you must complete the FAFSA to apply for this aid. More information regarding federal aid can be found on their site.
  2. State Aid – Indiana residents may be eligible for grants from the state of Indiana to be applied to their direct tuition costs. These grants are need-based and the FAFSA must be completed by April 15 to be considered for any applicable state grants. Read more information regarding Indiana state financial aid.
  3. Institutional Awards – Bethel University awards many types of institutional scholarships and grants to full-time undergraduate students. Awards may be based on merit or need and may be restricted to tuition costs only. Financial aid awards and policies are subject to change. Review an expanded list of institutional awards and financial aid policies.
  4. Students can apply for an alternative loan to cover remaining educational expenses, but most will need a credit-worthy cosigner. Learn more about your alternative loan options.

When will my financial aid show on my bill?

All federal, state and institutional grants and scholarships will be posted to your student account at the start of each semester once all requirements have been met. Some grants or scholarships may have minimum enrollment or housing requirements; endowed scholarships often require a thank-you note from the recipient to be sent to the donor. Some federal programs require additional steps to be completed prior to funds being released, such as the direct loan and TEACH grant.

Contact Us

Bethel University
Office of Student Financial Services
1001 Bethel Circle, Mishawaka IN 46545
Phone: 574.807.7415
Fax: 574.807.7122

Take Your Next Step

Take the next step toward your Bethel University degree. Visit campus, apply, request information or ask questions about financial aid.