What are Federal Direct Loans?

Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits per quarter) who meet all other eligibility requirements. Students must begin this process by completing the Master Promissory Note and the Loan Entrance counseling on www.studentloans.gov. After completing these steps, students may accept the loan amount they are wanting to use in their ctcLink account.

Students with financial need are offered Subsidized Direct Student Loans, up to the annual maximum eligibility amount (see below). All students, regardless of financial need, who meet all other eligibility requirements and who are enrolled in at least 6 credits in one or more quarters, are also offered Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans (see amounts below). Unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest from the day they are disbursed. Note that these amounts are for the entire academic year. Note that if a student is taking loans for one quarter only during an academic year, the loan amount must be split into two amounts, one to be awarded after the midpoint of the quarter.

First Year (0 to 45 college-level credits earned): $5,500 (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans) 

Second Year (46 or more college-level credits earned): $6,500 (no more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans) 

Third or higher year (only for BAS students with 91 or more college-level credits earned): $7,500 (no more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

First Year (0 to 45 college-level credits earned): $9,500 (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans) 

Second Year (46 or more college-level credits earned): $10,500 (no more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans) 

Third or higher year (only for BAS students with 91 or more college-level credits earned): $12,500 (no more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

There are aggregate federal loan limits. Students who qualify may borrow up to the following amounts to complete an undergraduate degree: 

  • Dependent Students – up to $31,000 of which only $23,000 can be subsidized;
  • Independent Student – up to $57,500 of which only $23,000 can be subsidized. 

 

NOTE: First-time borrowers must wait 30 days from the first day of the quarter before receiving their first loan. Plan accordingly! 

NOTE: Single-quarter borrowers will receive half of their disbursement on the first day (or 30th day if also first-time borrower) of the quarter and the second half on the 50% point of the quarter.

NOTE: Loans must be paid back with interest!

 

Interested in taking out student loans?

The following steps are required to accept student loans. All 3 document completions are verified electronically and are not required to be turned in by the student.

  1. Master Promissory note (completed online, once for each school every ten years)
  2. Entrance counseling (completed online, beginning of every school year)
  3. Accept or reduce the loan amount for each quarter, in ctcLink, after being awarded:
    • Check out how to accept loans in ctcLink.
    • The award shows loans that you COULD qualify for. Accepting the loans is an application that goes through a review/approval by the Department of Education (DOE). 
    • The DOE requires that all first time borrowers are subject to a 30-day delay on loan disbursements. Loan checks will be issued no earlier than 30 days after your first quarter's classes begin.
    • All one quarter loans are also required by the DOE to be disbursed in two installments with the second installment at the mid-quarter point of the quarter.
  4. Make sure you are registered for at least 6 credits, which is the minimum amount to qualify for loans.
    • You can check your class schedule by logging into ctcLink, and clicking in the "Manage Classes" tile.

Please review the Financial Aid Handbook for additional details.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Not necessarily. The financial aid award shows a preliminary amount that once accepted, then goes through an approval process. There are numerous reasons the DOE can reject a loan or its amount.
  • It is best to set up a payment plan for tuition while you are waiting to hear back from the approval so that you do not end up being dropped for non-payment in the case that it is not approved.
    • Please see the Payment Plan webpage for additional information and instructions on how to set up the payment plan.
  • Once students loans are accepted and the above steps are completed, the final review can begin through the DOE (Department of Education). Disbursement of loans can take 2-3 weeks after the steps are completed and everything is reviewed. Potential delays are possible.
  • The DOE requires that all first time borrowers are subject to a 30-day delay on loan disbursements. All one quarter loans are also required by the DOE to be disbursed in two installments with the second installment at the mid-quarter point of the quarter.
  • Direct Subsidized Loans: Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
    • while you’re in school at least half-time,
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
    • View more information on the Student Aid website.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: The student is responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan). View more information on the Student Aid website.
  • Parent Plus Loans

View the additional Student Loan forms on the Handbook & Forms page.

 

Need additional assistance?

Please join the One-Stop Center and Financial Aid online in Zoom, Monday-Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. (Closed Friday during summer session)*. Don’t have the technology at home? You can also call (360) 442-2322 or stop by the Admissions Building on campus.


Contact Financial Aid

Financial Aid staff are available online in Zoom, via phone or email.

 Financial Aid Office

  (360) 442-2390
Fax: (360) 442-2379
  financialaidoffice@lowercolumbia.edu 

 Meet us online in Zoom!

 Hours

Mon - Thursday 8 am - 5 pm*

*Closed Fridays during summer session (July/Aug).

Computer access is available in the Admissions Center.

 FAFSA

Use LCC School Code 003782 when completing the FAFSA.

 

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