Federal Direct Loan Program
Tri-County Community College (TCCC) participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program. The Federal Direct Loan Program includes Federal Stafford Loans, which are offered to students, and Federal PLUS Loans, which are offered to students' parents. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. Direct Loans are federally insured low-interest education loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. TCCC students must be enrolled or planning to enroll at least half-time to apply for a Stafford Loan.
Federal Stafford Loans – These are loans that are borrowed by the student and must be repaid. Students may receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same academic period.
- Subsidized Loan – Loan funds are awarded based on financial need. The federal government pays the student’s interest while he/she is enrolled in school at least half-time in a qualifying program and in other periods of authorized deferment. The student becomes responsible for the interest and principal payments six months after graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Interest rates for Subsidized Loans disbursed for the 2012-2013 academic year is 3.4%.
Unsubsidized Loan – These loans are not need based. The student will be charged interest from the time funds are disbursed until the loan is paid in full. Students may choose to make monthly interest payments while in school or they can choose to defer interest payments. If the student chooses to defer interest, it will accrue and will be added to the principal amount of the loan. Please note, if interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount the student has to repay. Interest rates for Unsubsidized Loans disbursed for the 2012-2013 academic year is 6.8%.
The chart below indicates the loan amounts available to students to borrow per academic year for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Loan amounts will be determined on an individual basis. The amount a student may borrow will depend upon program of study, enrollment, dependency status, grade level (first year or second year), and if the student is receiving other financial assistance.
Note: If a student transfers to TCCC from another school within the same academic year and requests loan funds, loan amounts received at another school will be included in the annual limit total allowed when determining the amount of loan funds available for certification at TCCC.
Federal Stafford Loan Limits for Academic Year
FALL 2012 - SUMMER 2013
(Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
(Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
Applying For Federal Stafford Loans
If you are interested in applying for a Federal Stafford Loan, you must contact TCCC’s Financial Aid Office and complete all loan requirements. Your loan(s) will not be certified until the Financial Aid Office has received confirmation that you have completed all the following steps. You must reapply for a student loan each academic year.
How to Apply for a Student Loan:
Step 1: File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA must be completed and all follow-up paperwork must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office BEFORE your loan request will be accepted.
Step 2: Determine the type of loan you need
- Federal Stafford Loans – These are loans that are borrowed by students and must be repaid. The student must complete the TCCC Federal Stafford Loan Request Form, entrance counseling, and complete and sign the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at http://www.StudentLoans.gov.
Step 3: Complete the Financial Literacy Course – one time only
If you are a first time borrower at TCCC, you must complete the Financial Literacy Counseling Course offered by Tri-County Community College. This class is a comprehensive course outlining vital elements of the loan process and procedures, as well as personal budgeting and finance. Please notify Robert Payne (firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-835-4225) in the TCCC Financial Aid office for dates and times of the course and your intent to attend one of the classes. If the class has been cancelled, those students who have signed up will be notified. All TCCC Financial Literacy Counseling Courses will be held in the McSwain Business Technology wing, room 154, unless otherwise noted.
Step 4: Complete the Federal Stafford Loan Request Form every academic year
You must complete the Federal Stafford Loan Request form and meet with the financial aid staff to review your request and submit the form. Be sure to carefully and accurately complete the form.
Receipt of Direct Loan Funds
TCCC's Financial Aid Office will certify your Direct Loan application after all the above steps have been completed and you have agreed to all terms to receive your Direct Loan (sign your award letter indicating your loan amounts). You will receive a loan disclosure statement from the Department of Education stating the amount of funds approved and the dates that the funds will be sent to the College for disbursement. Your loan funds will be disbursed to the College in two disbursements according to the disbursement schedule in your loan disbursement statement. The Financial Aid Office will transfer your funds into your college financial aid account so you may charge your tuition, fees, and books provided that you applied for a loan early enough to have the funds in your account at the time these expenses are due. Any remaining funds will be disbursed to you. Note: If you are a first time borrower, the disbursement date for funds will be 30 days after the first day of class. If you fail to make SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS, future loan disbursements may be canceled.
Canceling a Loan
If you or your parent borrower wishes to cancel all or a portion of a loan, the borrower must inform TCCC's Financial Aid Office within certain time frames. A borrower's loan cancellation request will be honored if received before the start of the payment period or if the request is received within 14 days after the loan award was accepted and notification was sent to the borrower of right to cancel loan.
Graduating or Leaving TCCC
If you received a student loan at TCCC, you MUST complete your Exit Counseling when you graduate, drop below half-time, or leave the college. This Exit Counseling is required by the Department of Education and will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. This counseling session also provides useful tips and information to help you manage your loans. Please go to www.studentloans.gov to complete your required exit counseling session. You will need your four digit PIN to get started. If you have forgotten your PIN number please go to http://www.pin.ed.gov and request a duplicate PIN.
As a direct loan borrower, you are obligated to repay your loan(s) even if you do not complete your program of study, are unable to obtain employment, or are otherwise dissatisfied with the education or other services received. Repayment will typically begin following a 6-month grace period. Grace periods begin when the student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time status (6 credit hours). As a borrower you must repay your loans with all accrued interest and deducted fees. Most borrowers generally have 10-25 years to repay loans (depending on the amount owed and the repayment plan you select). While you are in repayment the minimum monthly payment for each loan is $50 per month, but can be more depending on the amount you borrowed. These payments must be made directly to your lender. You can also choose to prepay all or part of loans at any time without penalty. Prepayment will substantially decrease your total interest costs. Because the Stafford Loan is federally guaranteed, the Federal government can enforce strict penalties if you default on your loan.
When you graduate or leave TCCC, you may want to consolidate your student loans to have only one payment rather than several payments for different loans or payment to different lenders. For more information on loan consolidation, click on the image below.
Your loan will enter default if you fail to honor the repayment agreement of your loan. This would include failure to make your payments on time, failure to make payments in the correct amount, or failure to file deferment requests properly or on time. There are several repayment solutions available if you find yourself in repayment trouble. If you default on your student loan, the entire balance becomes due and you are no longer eligible for any Title IV financial aid. Be sure to contact the Department of Education or your loan servicer if you have circumstances that affect your ability to repay your loans.
You can access and view your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Direct Loans website, www.dl.ed.gov.
Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
These are loans that are borrowed by parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. After the student's FAFSA has been completed and all follow-up paperwork has been submitted to the Financial Aid Office, the parent must complete the following requirements below to apply for a PLUS loan for the undergraduate student. Interest rates for Federal PLUS loans disbursed for the 2012-2013 academic year is 7.9%. The repayment period for all PLUS Loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement.
Step 1: Complete the Federal PLUS Loan Request form
Your parent must complete the Federal PLUS Loan Request form and meet with the financial aid staff to review the request and submit the form. Be sure to carefully and accurately complete the form.
Step 2: Parent must complete an Electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN)
Your parent must complete a Direct Master Promissory Note MPN online at www.StudentLoans.gov. The promissory note is a binding legal document. Your parent is agreeing to repay the loan by signing the promissory note. Your parent must have a Federal Student Aid PIN number (this is the same PIN that your parent used to sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If your parent does not have a Federal Student Aid PIN, visit the Federal Student Aid PIN website at www.pin.ed.gov to obtain a PIN for your parent. Your parent will receive a Master Promissory Note Confirmation electronically.
More Information on Federal Stafford Loans/Federal PLUS Loans
For additional information about the Federal Stafford Loans/Federal PLUS loans application process and FAQs, visit www.StudentLoans.gov.
If you have questions about your current or previous loan, you may contact your lender or the Department of Education Loan Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575 or through this link:
If you want to know who services your student loans (your lender) and how to contact the servicer, call the Department of Education customer service line at 1-800-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Loan Information Access
You can review your Federal Stafford Loan balance and/or total debt at the student access website for the National Student Loan Data System by clicking the image below.
Direct Loan Servicers for Students
Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS)
Overseas borrowers: 315/738-6634
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday.
FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
Overseas borrowers: 717/720-1985
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday.
Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.
Overseas borrowers: 608/246-1700
Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 8:45 p.m. (CT), Monday through Thursday. 7:00 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. (CT), Friday.
Overseas borrowers: 303/696-3625
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday.
Fax: 866/266-0178 (within United States)
Fax: 570/706-8563 (outside United States)
Overseas borrowers: If toll-free (no cost per call) number cannot be accessed, use 317/806-0580 (cost per call)
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Thursday. 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (ET), Friday.
If you need to know your Loan Servicer please contact Robert Payne by calling 828-837-6810.
Repaying Your Direct Loan(s)