Texas Tech University

At Graduation/Leave Taking

Graduating? Considering taking a leave of absence? Dropping to below half-time status? It is important to understand how this will impact your student loans.

When you leave school or drop below half-time status, your loans will enter a grace period and then enter repayment. This will occur even when you are on a leave of absence and plan to re-enroll in the future. You must be prepared for the potential of having to repay loans during your leave.

Exit Counseling

Loan Exit Counseling must be completed, even if you plan to return to school in the future. See details about completing Loan Exit Counseling requirements.

Grace Period

Your loans will enter a grace period. This is a period of time when payments are not required on your loan. If your leave of absence is longer than your grace period, you will be required to begin repaying your loan. See details about the grace period available for each loan program.


This is a great time to develop a loan repayment strategy. You may have questions, such as: Why is it important? Where do I begin? What is best for my situation? The good news is there are many resources available to help you make these important financial decisions and make the most of your grace period!

Your loan servicer will contact you with information to begin repayment. The Financial Aid Office services Perkins Loans. The Federal Direct Student Loan and PLUS Loan are serviced by a Direct Loan servicing agency. Visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to determine which agency services your Federal Direct loan. It is your responsibility to keep your address and contact information current with each of your servicers.

Returning to school

If you return to school (at least half-time, in a degree granting program), you must notify each of your loan servicers. You may be eligible to place your loans into deferment. You may be required to submit a completed deferment request to your servicer. See additional details regarding deferment.

Be aware, your loans must remain in good standing in order to be eligible to receive future federal financial aid. A defaulted loan will prevent you from receiving future federal financial aid and will have a negative impact on your credit score.