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

To be eligible for a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Student Loan, you must:

  • 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.

Additional Requirements

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 the 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.

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. First-time applicants must create a new account.

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 attend entrance counseling before their loans are processed. Entrance counseling explains what means to borrow funds and your responsibility toward repayment.

STEP 3: Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Although you may have previously signed a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to 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. The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your direct loans and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. A Direct Loan MPN can be used to make loans for up to 10 years. Complete your Direct Loan MPN using your FSA ID and password.

STEP 4: Attend a Financial Aid Literacy Workshop

If you are a first-time borrower at SFSC or a returning student borrower who has not completed the Financial Aid Literacy Workshop, you can complete this requirement by viewing the presentation. When finished, print and complete the Literacy Verification Page (last page only) and submit it with your loan request.

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.