Can I defer my student loans while I am on my Whitaker grant?
In most cases the answer is Yes. However, it is your responsibility to confirm this with your lending institution. As a general rule, all Whitaker fellowships and scholarships fall under the category of Graduate Fellowship Deferments. The Graduate Fellowship Deferment is for students engaged in a full time course of study in a graduate fellowship (or scholarship) program such as the Whitaker program.
Please make sure that the deferment form you submit to IIE allows you the option of choosing a GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP DEFERMENT. No other form is acceptable. The Whitaker Program is not considered an in-school deferment so if you try to file using an In-School deferment form you will be denied a loan deferment. It is your responsibility to obtain and submit the Graduate Fellowship Deferment form. You are recommended to confirm with your lender a few weeks after sending the deferment form to ensure that the deferment went through successfully.
The following website is very helpful for downloading deferment forms for most lenders (some lenders use their own forms) and obtaining information you may need regarding loan deferments: www.dlservicer.ed.gov
Who fills out the forms?
You should fill out the student portion of the deferment form and sign it before mailing it to the IIE address below. We will fill out the institutional portion, certify that the information is correct and then mail it to your lender. Please provide us with a stamped and addressed envelope that we can use to mail the forms to your lenders. Be sure that your lender’s address is also on the form.
For optimal results, do NOT have your host country supporting insitution fill out the form. The lender will most likely not recognize them as an appropriate program official and will therefore reject your deferment request.
When should I send in the forms?
Once your flight arrangements are confirmed and you are certain of your start date, you may send us the forms. Please include a cover letter indicating your full name, your host country and your official grant dates. Deferment forms will only be completed to cover you for the duration of your grant period, regardless of how long you plan to stay in your host country.
In some cases, your lender will not accept a deferment before the end of your grace period. Therefore, you will not need to submit your deferment until after you begin your Whitaker grant. You will need to find out from your lender when it is appropriate to submit the forms.
PLEASE INDICATE THE COUNTRY OF YOUR GRANT AND MAIL THE DEFERMENT FORMS TO:
U.S. STUDENT PROGRAMS
INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017