Student Loans

Student Loan News

Student Loan Debt Cancellation/Forgiveness, Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Fresh Start for loan in default

Federal Student Aid Fact Sheet on Fresh Start for defaulted borrowers program


Students who have not previously received a loan from MATC and are requesting a loan must complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you do not complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note, your loan funds will not be applied to your account.

To complete the onlineFederal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and sign aFederal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note, please follow the steps below.

Students who have previously completed Entrance Loan Counseling with Milwaukee Area Technical College do not need to completeFederal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling.

You will need the following items to complete the Entrance Loan Counseling and MPN process:

  • Your address, date of birth and Social Security Number
  • Your U.S. Department of Education (FAFSA) and PASSWORD
  • Driver's License Number (if applicable)
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of two personal references
  • You must have known the references for at least three years
  • References cannot share the same address or phone number

Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Instructions

  • Go to
  • Click on Sign-In located under the Manage My Federal Direct Loan box
  • Enter your Social Security Number, first two characters of your last name, date of birth, and PASSWORD
  • Click on Complete Entrance Counseling
  • Click on "I am an undergraduate student" in the Counseling Type Box
  • Click on the drop-down school state box in the School and Loan Information Box and select Wisconsin
  • Click on the school name and select Milwaukee Area Technical College from the drop-down box
  • Read the information presented and answer the questions listed after the section
  • When you have completed the Entrance Loan Counseling, you will see a statement informing you that you have successfully completed the process

Students who have previously completed Entrance Loan Counseling with MATC must complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) Instructions

  • Go to
  • Click on Sign-In located under the Manage My Federal Direct Loan box
  • Enter your Social Security Number, first two characters of your last name, date of birth and PASSWORD
  • Click on Complete Master Promissory Note link
  • Click on type of loan you would like to receive
  • Enter your personal information
  • Enter the school state and school name information
  • Enter your personal reference information
  • Read all sections of the MPN terms and conditions
  • Click on the box stating you have reviewed the information about the MPN
  • Review personal, school and personal reference information
  • Enter your name and click on the "Sign Box"

You do not need to print a copy of your MPN. Your signature is authenticated when you click on the "Sign Box."

  • You will receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education confirming your MPN was received
  • Click on HTML Version to view your MPN
  • You may also click on "View PDF" to view your MPN in PDF format
  • When you have completed the MPN process, close out of the website

Parent PLUS Loans


First, the student must have a FAFSA on file. Then you may borrow a Parent Plus loan if:

  • You are the parent or stepparent of a dependent student
  • You are not in default on any federal education loans
  • You are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

If you are not the custodial parent, you may still borrow a PLUS loan on the student’s behalf.

How to apply

The Parent PLUS application is a multi-step process. If you do not complete each step, your loan will not be processed.

Available May 1st for the Fall 2023 / Spring 2024 / Summer 2024 semesters:

  1. Go to StudentAid.Gov The parent will need to sign in with their FSA ID or create one if needed.
  2. Complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan application for Parents. MATC School code is 003866.
  3. Complete a PLUS loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Parents. The MPN will be valid for 10 years provided a PLUS loan is disbursed within 12 months of the MPN signing. If the loan is approved with an endorser, the MPN will need to be renewed annually.

Once you have applied, if you would like to increase your requested amount, do not apply for a new loan. This request can be made from the parent by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.

PLUS Counseling is required for borrowers who have an endorser listed on the loan or appeal an original credit decision.

When to apply

You should begin the application process 4 to 6 weeks before you need the funds to ensure timely processing. Loans cannot be certified after the last day of the term. Depending on the time of year, it may take several weeks for the servicer to send notice of your credit approval or rejection.

Loan limits

The loan limit for each year is the annual cost of attendance (a.k.a. the "budget") minus other financial assistance. If your requested amount is too high, it will be reduced to fit within the student's budget.

Interest rate & loan fees:

For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, the interest rate is 8.05%. This is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Parent PLUS Loans have a 4.228% origination fee for loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2023.

What occurs during Parent PLUS processing?

  • Once the loan application has been completed, the servicer performs a credit check.
  • The servicer notifies the parent of acceptance or rejection of the loan.
  • If the loan is approved, funds are sent directly to MATC and applied against the student's bill.
  • Any PLUS funds that exceed MATC charges are given as a refund by Student Accounts.


Disbursement of Parent PLUS funds depends on when the loan is approved. By law, Parent PLUS funds cannot be disbursed until 10 days prior to the student's first day of class in a semester or summer subterm.


The first payment is due within 60 days after each loan is fully disbursed. However, the borrower may choose to defer the first payment until 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled half-time or more.

Alternatives if you are not approved

These are some options the family may want to consider:

  • Parent may be approved with a cosigner.
  • Students may contact the Office of Financial Aid and request an additional amount of unsubsidized federal direct loan. Along with your request, please submit a copy of the parent denial letter to
  • Private/alternative loans may be available.

Private/Alternative Loans

Private educational loans are available for students whose cost of attendance has not been met with other financial aid. It is MATC’s policy that any student receiving a private loan must have a FAFSA on file, and be admitted in a Title IV eligible degree program and enrolled in at least 6 financial aid eligible credits.

Private loans differ from federal student loans, and also from Parent PLUS loans in several ways:

  • Annual and total loan limits are higher than federal student loans.
  • Interest rates and fees vary by lender.
  • Rates are normally variable and change on a quarterly basis.
  • Loan approval and the rate of interest are based on credit approval and approval is not guaranteed.
  • Most students will be required to secure a co-signer.
  • Loans are not federally guaranteed; therefore, they do not have the same deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits.
  • The terms and conditions for private loans vary greatly.

When can I apply?

You should begin the application process about 4-6 weeks before the start of your requested semester. Applying earlier may put you at risk of your credit check expiring before the loan can be processed. Applying late may create a delay in your disbursement. After a lending institution approves a loan, MATC will receive a certification request. Once the lender receives your self-certification form and the completed school certification, the lending institution will finalize the loan process and send the funds to the school. You will be notified via your MATC student email account if there is an issue certifying your private loan, and you will receive an updated notification when the private loan has been certified. Please review your Self Service account often.

How do I find a lender?

Some of the most commonly used lenders include Sallie Mae, MEFA and LendKey, but students are not limited to those listed here. There are many lenders to choose from and MATC recommends students review the following questions when selecting a lender:

  • What are the loan fees?
  • What is the interest rate?
  • What is the required criteria for me to qualify for the loan?
  • Will I be required to have a cosigner?
  • Does the lender offer a co-signer release with borrower consecutive satisfactory on-time payments?
  • When do I begin the repayment on the loan?
  • What repayment options are available?

When will the loan be disbursed to my MATC Student Account?

Disbursement of funds can depend on when the loan is approved. To view the disbursement dates for the semester, see the dates of importance. Please check your Self Service account to view that the funds were applied. Refunds to students are transmitted through the Student Accounts office.

Wisconsin Student Nursing Loan


There are Federal Loan Programs for nursing students, which should not be confused with this Wisconsin Nursing Student Loan program (Wisconsin statute 39.393)

To be eligible for the Wisconsin Nursing Student Loan program, the student must:

  1. be a Wisconsin resident;
  2. be enrolled in a participating UW, Wisconsin Technical College, or private, non-profit post secondary institution in the state
  3. be enrolled at least half-time (as determined by the school) in a degree or certificate program leading to a nursing license (RN or LPN), master’s degree in nursing or doctoral degree in nursing;
  4. make satisfactory academic progress (per federal student financial aid criteria);
  5. intend to graduate within four (4) years if attending a college or university or within two (2) if attending a technical college;
  6. demonstrate financial need; and
  7. agree to practice full-time as a licensed nurse and/or as a nurse educator in Wisconsin for the term of the forgiveness period.

How does a student apply for the Nursing Student Loan?

To apply for this loan, students must complete and file a FAFSA. They should then notify the financial aid office that they are interested in receiving a loan under the program so administrators will consider them when allocating this loan. Based on program eligibility criteria, the school financial aid administrator will designate students who show eligibility for the Nursing Student Loan and offer loans. The school financial aid administrator will submit to HEAB all completed loan documents for each designated student. After HEAB receives and approves all the completed Nursing Student Loan Program application documents, the loan will be disbursed directly to MATC. Subsequent academic year loans are subject to this process.

How much may a student receive through this program?

There is a minimum loan of $250 and a maximum of $3,000 per school year. There is a cumulative total of $15,000.

Can this loan be forgiven?

This loan is forgiven at the rate of 25% in each of the first two years of full-time work as a nurse in Wisconsin, for a maximum of 50%.

More information on forgiveness and repayment

  1. This is NOT a full forgiveness program. The maximum forgivable amount is 50% of the amount borrowed.
  2. To earn the forgiveness available under this program, you must (1) complete the program for which the loan was awarded and (2) obtain licensure from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Health Services (if applicable). Thereafter, for each of the first two years the student practices nursing teaching full-time in the State of Wisconsin, 25% of the loan will be forgiven. If the student does not practice nursing/teaching full-time, the amount forgiven will be proportional to the time spent practicing. (If the student practices 50% of the time, then half of 25% will be forgiven).
  3. If the student does not practice nursing/teaching in the State of Wisconsin and/or meet the eligibility criteria, the loan(s) must be repaid. The interest rate will not exceed 5%.
  4. If the nursing student falls below half-time, repayment will commence no sooner than six months after falling below half-time.
  5. If a student transfers to another program other than nursing, repayment will commence no sooner than six months after transfer, unless the student qualifies for deferment (attending full-time).

When must a student repay this loan?

Borrowers go into repayment on the remaining 50% of the loan when the forgiveness period is completed. If the borrower does not practice as a nurse in Wisconsin upon graduation, the borrower will have a six month grace period and then repayment will begin on the outstanding balance.


Loan Proration

Loan proration impacts undergraduate students applying for graduation who are receiving Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

Federal regulations require schools to prorate the Federal Direct Loan amounts for graduating undergraduate students when their final period of enrollment is less than a full academic year. The loan limit proration determines the loan amount that a student may borrow for the final term of study based on the degree they are earning.

Graduating undergraduate students who are only attending one semester of the academic year will have their Federal Direct Loans prorated based on the number of credit hours they are enrolled.

Loan Proration Amount Chart:
The chart below provides an estimate on the proration amount of the loan with consideration of the hours enrolled, degree type, and dependency status as defined by the student’s FAFSA. Other factors considered are: annual loan limits, lifetime amounts used, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA, and other aid awarded. The loan amount may be less if the student does not have room in their budget for the maximum amount or has reached their aggregate loan limit (total amount they can borrow as an undergraduate student). Proration will occur prior to the first scheduled disbursement date for the graduating semester. Please note these are the maximum amounts for the student’s enrollment in federal aid eligible courses.

Information on what qualifies a student as “dependent” or “independent” for financial aid purposes can be found on the Federal Student Aid Dependency Website.


Borrower Defense

If you believe your school has misled you or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain state laws, you may be eligible for “borrower defense to loan repayment forgiveness,” sometimes abbreviated to “borrower defense.” This is the forgiveness of some or all of your federal student loan debt. Click on the following link for more information and how to apply:

Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling & Loan Repayment

What is Exit Counseling?

When you are prepared to graduate from MATC, we will invite you to participate in Loan Exit Counseling which is done online. Federal Direct Loan exit counseling provides information on what to expect as you begin repaying your loans. Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Federal Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school

Note: The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program after that date.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The NSLDS lets you look up information about your loans, including how much you owe and who your lenders and servicers are.

Who Should I contact after I graduate or leave MATC?

  • For private (alternative) loans, refer to your loan applications to find your lender or servicer.
  • For Federal Direct Loans and Federal Parent PLUS loans, check your loan history on NSLDS to find your loan servicer. The website also provides contact information for all Federal Direct and PLUS loan servicers.
  • For Federal Direct Loans and Parent PLUS loans, check your loan history on NSLDS to find your loan servicer. The website also provides contact information for all Federal Direct loans and PLUS loan servicers.

What are my next steps for repayment?

You must complete Loan Exit Counseling at You will need your Department of Education FSA ID to access your Exit Counseling information.

Find your Federal Direct Loan servicer and view current borrowed loan amounts by visiting

Create your online account with your Direct Loan servicer. A servicer is a company that handles the repayment process of your loans for the Department of Education. Work with your loan servicer to determine your repayment plan.

Visit the Repayment Estimator. This will give you an accurate estimate of a monthly payment for your Federal Direct Loans.

Who should complete Loan Exit Counseling?

Students who have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan(s) under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, must complete exit counseling each time they drop below half-time enrollment, graduate, or leave school.

How long will it take?

The entire counseling process must be completed in a single session. Most people complete counseling in 20-30 minutes.

What do I need to complete Loan Exit Counseling?

You will need your FSA ID, details on your income, financial aid and expenses. You may access the counseling on the StudentAid website.

Federal Direct Loan Forgiveness Programs

Loan forgiveness through volunteer work such as AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) offers the opportunity to reduce your student loan indebtedness.

Types of Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge

Under certain circumstances, the federal government will cancel all or part of an educational loan. This practice is called loan forgiveness or loan cancellation. The summaries below offer a quick view of the types of forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge available for the different types of federal student loans.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Available for some Federal Direct Loans.

If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

PSLF forgives the remaining balance on your Federal Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Learn more about the PSLF Program to see whether you might qualify.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Available for Federal Direct Loans and FFEL Program loans.

If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Federal Direct Loan or FFEL Program loans.

Learn more about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.

Note: You may not receive a benefit for the same qualifying payments or period of service for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

Available for Federal Direct Loans, FFEL Program loans, and Perkins Loans.

If you’re totally and permanently disabled, you may qualify for a discharge of your federal student loans and/or Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligation.

Learn more about the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge process, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.

Federal Parent PLUS Credit Counseling

A borrower is required to complete PLUS Counseling if an endorser is needed or an appeal has been granted by the U.S. Department of Education. PLUS Loan counseling is separate from Graduate PLUS Loan counseling that all first-time graduate and professional student PLUS borrowers must complete. Complete PLUS Counseling online.

Loan Consolidation

What is consolidation?

Loan consolidation is a new loan that is created by combining two or more federal student loans to reduce the amount of monthly payments and/or extend the loan repayment term. Learn more about consolidation.

Should you consolidate?

We believe that an important consideration in the decision to consolidate should be the total cost of the loan. This can be higher with consolidation because the repayment period is much longer than the standard period. Furthermore, any benefits associated with loans are lost when those loans are consolidated.

Some of the effects of consolidation in today's environment are as follows:

  • Possible forfeiture of borrower benefits – benefits vary with lender
  • Rounding may result in a higher interest rate
  • Longer term = increased interest costs
  • May negatively affect grace, deferment, or forgiveness options

For more, see the Department of Education's information on loan consolidation.

Cohort Default Rate for Student Loans

Cohort Default Rates

The cohort default rate is calculated using actual payment records of the student borrower.  A 3-year cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.  Repayment begins 6 months after a student is no longer enrolled for at least 6 credit hours. Default occurs when a student is in repayment, but fails to make their payment for 270 days or more.  Student loan defaults impact both borrowers and schools.

Official cohort default rates are published every September by the U. S. Department of Education. (link)

MATC's most recent cohort default rates (CDR):

  • Fiscal year 2019 (Published October 2022): 4.2% (View Federal Student Aid briefing)
  • Fiscal year 2018 (Published September 2021): 14.3%
  • Fiscal Year 2017 (Published September 2020): 19.4%
  • Fiscal Year 2016 (Published September 2019): 22.4%
  • Fiscal Year 2015 (Published September 2018): 22.6%