Making ‘Cents’ of Financial Aid: FAQs About Deferring Student Loans

David Nelson is Adler University’s director of financial aid. His office helps students understand options for financing their education, such as student loans, and offers counselors for both phone and in-person consultations.

In the Office of Financial Aid, we are all too familiar with the confusion, challenges and time commitments facing students who are trying to make sense of their student loans.

Let us help you — it’s what we’re here for, after all. Below, I’ll field some of students’ most-asked questions about deferring previously acquired student loans while pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree here at Adler University.

1. Do I have to make payments on student loans I’ve taken out for previous schooling while I’m enrolled at Adler University?

Generally speaking, no. Federal student loans — Perkins loans, included — can be deferred while a student maintains at least half-time enrollment, as defined by his or her academic program. Deferment is just a fancy word that means collection activity stops, and no payments are due to your lender. Keep in mind, though, that interest does continue to accrue on subsidized student loans during deferment.

Non-federal student loans, such as those through a bank, may or may not qualify for in-school deferment. You’ll need to contact the lender directly to determine if payments will be required while you attend Adler University.

The chart below outlines per-semester benchmarks to meet “half-time” enrollment status.

Please note: There may be exceptions to credit hour requirements, depending on your specific enrollment status.

2. Is there anything I need to do to have my student loans deferred?

It depends. Typically, any Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct Graduate PLUS loans will automatically be deferred shortly after you begin at Adler University. That’s because, as a university, we are responsible for reporting your enrollment status to a federal database. Student loans’ servicers check that database to determine if your loans should be deferred as a result of your in-school status.

Remember, your deferment will not be verified the day you start classes. We file our first enrollment report during the third week of the term. After factoring in processing time within the federal loan database, your student loans will not formally reflect an in-school status until about one month into your studies. However, once your lender processes the deferment, your in-school status will be applied retroactively to the first official day of the term.

Deferring federal Perkins student loans or non-federal bank loans while in school may require submitting a form on a regular schedule. If that’s the case, please submit your form to our registrar’s office for processing. Contact your lender directly to determine if a form is needed.

3. I have a payment coming up. How can I stop the payments from being due?

You are not eligible for in-school deferment until your program officially begins. You must make any required payments until you receive written confirmation that your in-school deferment status has been processed. If you are unable to afford your payments, contact your servicer for options.

IMPORTANT: Please do not ignore a bill and assume a payment will not be required. Failure to pay on time could damage your credit and jeopardize future federal student loans and similar opportunities at Adler University.

4. I have taken out a federal Perkins loan or non-federal bank student loans. I have confirmed with my lender that a deferment form is required. When can I submit this document, and where should I send it?

You are not eligible for in-school deferment until your program officially begins. Similarly, we cannot accept or process a deferment form prior to your start date.

Once you’ve started at Adler, you’re welcome to submit your deferment form to our registrar’s office. Forms can be dropped off, mailed, emailed or faxed.

Mailing Address:

Adler University
Office of the Registrar
17 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Email Address:

Fax: 312-277-0918

5. My student loans are now deferred due to my enrollment at Adler University, and I have received my written confirmation. Will they remain deferred throughout my entire program?

It depends.

  • If the loan is a federal Perkins or non-federal bank loan, you may need to submit regular deferment forms to your lender via the registrar’s office. Please ask your lender for details about how often a deferment form is required.
  • Your federal student loans will no longer be eligible for an in-school deferment if you drop below half-time status for any reason.
  • We report your anticipated completion date, or ACD, to your lender. Doing so tells your lender when you will be expected to enter repayment. The registrar’s office can extend your ACD, as necessary, if it takes you longer than anticipated to complete your program. But please make sure to keep your ACD current with the registrar’s office to avoid issues with your deferment.

6. Can I still make payments if my student loans are deferred?

Yes! You can submit payments toward your student loans at any time without penalty by simply visiting your lender’s website. If you’d like to make a payment toward a loan from Adler University for the current year, please call our office for assistance at 312-662-4150. We may even be able to have a portion of your loan canceled if it’s within 120 days of the loan disbursing, which would also eliminate any accumulated interest on that canceled value.

To review a full listing of your federal student loans, or get contact information for your lender/servicer, please visit and log in with your FSA ID. You can reach the Office of Financial Aid at 844-459-3710 or via email at