How Much Can I Borrow?
Academic Year Loan Limits: 2016-2017
|Type of Student||Subsidized||Unsubsidized|
The loan limits above represent the total of all subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans a dependent or independent undergraduate student may borrow at each level of study for a single academic year.
* If you are a dependent student, you cannot borrow more than the base amount unless your parents were denied a Federal PLUS loan. In that case, you may borrow an additional unsubsidized loan up to the total amount allowed for your grade level.
Important information for subsidized loans:
New law has eliminated the interest subsidy provided during the six-month grace period for subsidized loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014. If you receive a subsidized loan during this time frame, you will be responsible for the interest that accrues while your loan is in the grace period. This provision does not eliminate the interest subsidy while the borrower is in school or during eligible periods of deferment.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan:
A loan that is based on financial need. The federal government pays the interest on your behalf while you are enrolled in school on at least a half-time (6 or more credit hours) status during authorized periods of deferment.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan:
A loan that is not need-based. Students are responsible for the interest that accrues from the date of your first disbursement forward. Interest can be paid while you are in school or it can be postponed until you enter repayment. If you postpone paying interest, it will be capitalized or added to your principal amount, increasing the balance on which interest accrues daily.
Important information for new borrowers: If a student who is considered a new borrower (defined as a student borrower who currently has no outstanding loan balances) has attempted credits totaling 150% or more of their program length, any new loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 for these students will be an unsubsidized loan only. Once a new borrower reaches the 150% limitation, eligibility for the interest subsidy ends for all Direct Loans that are disbursed on or after July 1, 2013.
Steps in Applying for a Federal Direct Student Loans:
Financial aid files must be completed at least three weeks prior to your fee payment due date for you to use your award toward payment of your tuition and books. If your file is incomplete by your fee payment due date, you must cover the cost of tuition and books. You will be reimbursed to the extent of your eligibility.
STEP 1: Eligibility Requirements
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program of study at least half time for the entire loan period.
- Be making satisfactory academic progress, if currently enrolled, with at least a 2.0 GPA or more and a completion ratio of at least 67 percent.
- Not be in default or owe a refund on any federal education grant or loan unless, satisfactory arrangements have been made to repay the outstanding debt.
- All first-year, first-time undergraduate students, including transfer students from other institutions, may not be eligible to receive a Direct Student loan their first term of enrollment at SFSC. Once you have completed at least 12 hours at SFSC with at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and at least 67 percent completion ratio, you may be considered for a loan. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
- All returning students must have an overall cumulative (all colleges) GPA of 2.0 with at least 67 percent completion ratio. Transfer grades are included in the calculation of your GPA and your completion ratio. It is your responsibility to make sure all transfer work is evaluated by SFSC registrar and you have been accepted into a Title IV eligible program of study before your loan will be processed.
- You must be enrolled and attending at least half-time (6 or more credit hours and 8 or more clock hours) to be eligible to receive a loan. This does not include consortium agreement hours and audit (X) courses; they will not be considered in the hour calculation for loan processing.
- As part of SFSC’s Default Management Plan, if you have a prior defaulted loan status, you will be required to go through additional loan counseling.
STEP 2: Application Process
Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In step 6 of the application, list SFSC School Code 001522. If you do not have a FSA ID/Password, apply for one here before submitting the FAFSA. This will expedite the process.
- Complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Request, and submit it to the SFSC Financial Aid Office.
- At SFSC, all FIRST-TIME borrowers are required to go through Entrance Counseling prior to a loan being processed. You may complete this requirement at www.studentloans.gov. To complete this requirement, you will use the same FSA ID/Password you used to complete the FAFSA. Entrance counseling provides information on what it means to borrow funds and your responsibility toward repayment.
STEP 3: Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
WHY? Although you may have previously signed an MPN to receive FFEL Program Loans, a FFEL MPN cannot be used to make Direct Loans. ALL borrowers must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to DOE. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. A Direct Loan MPN can be used to make loans for up to ten (10) years.
LOG ON and complete a Direct Loan MPN at www.studentloans.gov. To complete a Direct Loan MPN, use the FSA ID/Password you created to complete the FAFSA.
STEP 4: Attend a Financial Aid Literacy Workshop
STEP 5: What Happens Next?
- Once your loan is approved, you will receive notice through your student e-mail, accessible through Panther Central. You will receive a separate e-mail regarding your loan disbursements. (NOTE: Single-term loans are made in two disbursements.)
- Your loan funds are automatically credited to your student account, if the Direct Loan Processor has a valid MPN on file for you and you have completed the loan entrance counseling.
- Your loan funds cannot be disbursed until you begin 6 credit hours or 8 clock hours during the term. They are paid in two equal disbursements (e.g. ½ of the loan in fall and ½ in spring term).
- Your loan check is disbursed in accordance with federal regulations. Verify that the Admissions Office has your correct mailing address.
- All debt owed to the college will be deducted before the remaining balance check is mailed. If the amount of your loan proceeds does not cover your obligation in full, you will be responsible for paying the balance to Cashier’s Office.