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Federal Direct Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the costs of higher education at four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career or technical schools. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. PHSC participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Financial aid awards in the form of loans must be repaid. For this reason, loans are considered to be "self-help" forms of assistance. Federal loans are not awarded automatically and must be requested by the student each academic year.

To further understand Federal Direct Loans, students and parents are encouraged to review Federal Direct Loan information, terms and conditions.

Direct Loan Eligibility Criteria

To meet loan eligibility, a student to receive either type of loan, a student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) at a school that participates in the Direct Loan program. Generally, students must also be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree or certificate awarded by the school. Direct Subsidized Loans are available only to undergraduate students who have financial need. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to both undergraduates and graduate or professional degree students. Students are not required to show financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Steps to Apply for a Federal Direct Loan

Students applying for Federal Direct Student Loans must complete the four steps listed below:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA) - Students must apply and be accepted for admission to PHSC as well as have a completed financial aid file before their loan application can be processed. Additional information may be required to complete the application.
  2. Complete Entrance Loan Counseling - Students must complete entrance counseling when they apply for their first Direct Loan. Students will need an FSA ID in order to log in and complete the entrance counseling process.
  3. Complete the Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) - The MPN is a binding legal documents. It must be electronically completed and signed in order for the student to receive Federal Direct Student Loan funds. All student borrowers must complete the MPN when they apply for their first Direct Loan. Students will need an FSA ID in order to log in and complete their MPN.
  4. Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA) - If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan. If you have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you can borrow. All student borrowers must complete the ASLA when they apply for their Direct Loan. Students will need an FSA ID in order to log in and complete their ASLA.
Federal Direct Student Loan Limits

PHSC reserves the right to deny or reduce loan requests as authorized by Section 682.603(c) C.F.R. of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

Increasing and Canceling Your Federal Student Loans

Students who need additional loan funds and continue to meet eligibility requirements may increase their loan amounts. Student must complete and submit an additional Loan Request Statement (LRS). 

In order to reduce or cancel a loan once it has been originated, the student must submit a written and signed request to the Financial Aid Office. Requests to reduce or cancel a student loan must be received by the Financial Aid Office before funds are disbursed to the student's selected refund preference with BankMobile.

Deferment of Federal Student Loan Repayment

Repayment of Federal Stafford Loans may be deferred up to 6 months (grace period) after graduation, withdrawal, or less than half-time enrollment. 

Using and Disbursing Loan Funds

After the student loan is originated, the student will receive a financial aid award letter on their PHSC student account showing the amount of the loan(s) and the anticipated loan disbursement dates. Loan funds will first be applied to any outstanding charges owed to the college and balance funds will be made available in accordance with the student's selected stipend preference with BankMobile.

When Loan Funds are Disbursed

After the student loan is originated, the student will receive a financial aid award letter showing the amount of the loan(s) and the anticipated loan disbursement dates. Loan funds will first be applied to any outstanding charges owed to the college and balance funds will be made available in accordance with the student's selected refund preference with BankMobile.

Helpful Loan Hints

  • Only borrow what you really need for expenses.
  • Remember, the more you borrow and the longer you are enrolled in college, the more loan balance you will have to repay.
  • Be aware, outstanding loans you have received from previous institutions will be included when determining your aggregate loan eligibility limit.
  • 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit for Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA) means there is a limit on the maximum period of time that a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more that 150% of the length of their program of study or maximum eligibility period. SULA applies to "first-time borrowers" on or after July 1, 2013. The Department of Education will determine whether borrowers are "first-time borrowers" for the purposes of the 150% limit.
  • Use the Repayment Estimator to calculate your loan repayment timeline and options.
  • Students and parents who enter into an agreement regarding Title IV federal loans will have their loan information submitted to NSLDS and this information is accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.

Private Student Loans

A student or parent loan from a commercial, state-affiliated or institutional lender used to pay for up to the annual cost of attendance, less any financial aid received. Private loans have varying interest rates, fees and repayment options and usually require the applicant to be creditworthy, or have a creditworthy cosigner. Repayment generally begins immediately. Learn more about the difference between Federal Direct Loan and Alternative loans

Before applying for a private loan, please be aware that for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who meet other eligibility criteria:

  • Free or lower-cost Title IV federal, state, or school student financial aid may be available in place of or in addition to a private education loan.
  • Federal education loans are available for eligible students who do not demonstrate financial need.
  • A private education loan may reduce eligibility for free or lower-cost financial aid with the school's financial aid office.

You are strongly encouraged to pursue the availability of free or lower-cost financial aid with an advisor in the PHSC Financial Aid Office

Direct PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional student and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school. Students applying for a Direct PLUS Loan must complete the steps below.

Steps to Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan
  1. Create a FSA ID to sign and complete the form.
  2. Complete the Master Promissory Note online.