Graduating or Leaving Gateway

When students graduate, withdraw from school or drop below half-time enrollment status they have six months before the first payment is due on their subsidized and unsubsidized loans. This is called a grace period. This time can allow students to get financially settled, select a repayment plan and determine the amount of income needed to put toward student loans each month. Learn more about the options available to students after graduating or leaving Gateway below and everything you need to know about repayment. If you have any questions please call 800-247-7122 to start working with our Student Finance Specialist via phone, email or in person at a Student Support Center. You can also find more information on the Federal Student Aid website.

Grace Periods

Your loan may have a grace period. Most federal student loans don’t require repayment until after a student leaves college or drops below half-time enrollment. However, PLUS loans enter repayment once the loan is fully disbursed (paid out). Loan servicers or lenders must provide you with a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment.

Learn more about grace periods.

Loan Exit Counseling

Students can complete the Loan Exit Counseling required by the federal government for all loan recipients at Students are also encouraged to contact our trusted partner Ascendium at 833-707-1220 or for free expert advice on federal student loan repayment. Our Student Finance Specialists can assist you — during your grace period and during loan repayment — with either completing the Exit Counseling or contacting your lender.

National Student Loan Data System

Available 24-7, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS provides information on all of a federal student’s loans and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses and disbursements. Secure access requires you to provide your Social Security number (SSN), the first two letters of your last name, your date of birth and your FSA ID.

Stay on top of all your Student Loans with NSLDS.

Bookstore Authorizations

If your financial aid award is greater than the cost of classes, the remaining funds available will be available within 24 hours after your financial aid award posts during the bookstore authorization dates to use at the campus bookstore or on for purchasing or renting college-related materials. Students are responsible for costs exceeding financial aid funding. Students who are Pell-eligible do have the right to opt out of bookstore purchases by requesting an early disbursement portion of their Pell grant to purchase books from an alternate source.

Direct Loan Consolidation

The U.S. Department of Education offers Direct Loan Consolidation so borrowers can combine one or more federal student or parent loans into one new loan from a single lender, so that students only need to make one student loan payment each month, and the amount of time they have to repay the loan will be extended. Students may consolidate while they are either in their grace period or in repayment but not while they are enrolled in college classes. Consolidating during a grace period can result in losing some of the grace period but waiting until the loans are in repayment will result in a higher interest rate.

Learn more about consolidating your loans.