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GBHEM Doubles the Dollar Amount United Methodist Students Can Borrow to Pursue Higher Education

The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) announced an increase in the maximum amount United Methodist students can borrow to pursue their education. Students can now borrow up to $10,000 per calendar year (January through December) with a lifetime maximum of $40,000 from the United Methodist Student Loan Fund.
Previously students were allotted $5,000 per calendar year with a maximum lifetime total of $20,000 during a four-year college career. With one of the lowest education loan interest rates in the U.S., GBHEM is offering students an opportunity to avoid more costly loans and decrease the amount of education debt acquired.
"GBHEM's Office of Loans and Scholarships has maintained our commitment to providing United Methodist students with affordable options while pursuing higher education. We will continue this commitment and are proud to provide low-interest loan options to help students avoid excessive education debt," explained Allyson Collinsworth, executive director of the Office of Loans and Scholarships at GBHEM.
Student loan debt is one of the highest forms of debt for individuals, totaling more than 1.45 trillion for students in the U.S. alone, loan interest rates are an important factor when considering how to pay for college. Year-over-year federal student loan interest rates are increasing. Federal loan interest rates increased from 4.45-7 percent to 5.05-7.60 percent between 2018 and 2019. GBHEM loan interest rates have remained the same and range from 3.75 percent to 5 percent, which is up to 1.3% percent lower than the federal rates.
United Methodist Loan Rates
  • 3.75 percent fixed for the Smart Loan non-deferred rate, in which the student begins repayment within the month after the loan is disbursed
  • 4 percent fixed deferred rate for students attending a United Methodist college or university. No early repayment is required for this rate
  • 5 percent fixed deferred rate for United Methodist students attending a non-United Methodist institution with no early repayment required
Federal Student Loan Interest Rates
  • 5.05 percent fixed for Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans (Undergraduate Students)
  • 5.05 percent fixed for Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Undergraduate Students)
  • 6.60 percent fixed for Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Graduate or Professional Students)
  • 7.60 percent fixed for Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional Students
Fall loan applications are open now through November 15, 2018. Scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 academic year open January 3, 2019 - March 7, 2019.
For more information about the low-interest student loans and scholarships available through GBHEM,
Countdown to a New School Year

Administrators, faculty, and staff are preparing for the arrival of new and returning students for the 2018 fall semester. Members of the Freshman Class are set to arrive on campus on Saturday, August 11 for the week-long New Student Orientation. Returning students will arrive on Tuesday, August 14 with classes set to begin on Thursday, August 16.  Continuing and Professional Studies' students  will begin classes on August 20. For New Student Orientation information, please click  here .
Faculty News
Dr. Belinda Wheeler, associate professor of English, is set to begin a national book tour promoting her latest book, Heroine of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Gwendolyn Bennett's Selected Writings (co-edited with Dr. Louis Parascandola). Bennett was one of the youngest leaders of the Harlem Renaissance and a strong advocate for racial pride and the rights of African American women. The collection showcases Bennett's diverse and insightful body of work and rightfully places her alongside her contemporaries in the Harlem Renaissance - figures such as Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen.

"It is wonderful to see how excited the academic and general community is about Gwendolyn Bennett. I have been researching Bennett for close to 10 years now. She was a truly remarkable woman - a Renaissance woman - who excelled in numerous areas including art, poetry, short stories, education, and civil rights."

The book was recently released by Penn State Univ ersity Press. As part of the new release, Penn State University Press is offering a 30% off discount on Wheeler's book. If buyers use code GB18, they can buy the paperback for $17.47 (usually $24.95) or the hardcover for $66.47 (normally $94.95).
Alumni News
Kimberly Birds, '96, is the new principal of Creekland Middle School in Lawrenceville, Ga. Previously, she was assistant principal at Northbrook Middle School. She also graduated from the Aspiring Principals Program in 2017.

Congratulations to George L. Bright, '86, who is the new athletic director at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, N.C.  Previously, Bright was the director of athletics and recreation at Moravian College, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Bright is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the Collegiate Athletics Business Management Association, and Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee for the NCAA. "I look forward to the future of our athletic program with George at the helm. He is a proven leader who is forward thinking and brings with him the right tools to fortify our program," said ECSU Interim Chancellor Dr. Karrie Dixon.  

Henry Miller, '07, is the new president of the Orangeburg Morning Rotary Club. Miller is the director of the e nvironmental services department of the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, S.C. He is  currently pursuing an MBA degree in healthcare administration.
August 1, 2018
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@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, '65
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton, '73
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
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Web Communications Manager: Colin Myers, '07
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
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