Financial Aid

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are available to all students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are enrolled at least half-time.  

Subsidized Loan: Awarded on the basis of financial need. No interest is charged before you begin repayment. The federal government “subsidizes” the interest during periods of enrollment.

Unsubsidized Loan: Not awarded on the basis of need. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. As the interest accumulates, it will be capitalized; meaning the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and additional interest will then be based upon the higher amount.

Borrowing Limits

The maximum Direct Loan amount the student is eligible for is reflected on the financial aid award letter. Loan amounts are subject to change. Visit Federal Student Aid for the most current information.

First Year Undergraduate 0 – 24 earned credits

Dependent Student $ 5,500

Independent* $ 9,500

Second Year Undergraduate 25 – 55 earned credits

Dependent Student $ 6,500

Independent* $10,500

Third Year and Beyond Undergraduate 56 + earned credits

Dependent Student $ 7,500

Independent* $12,500

*Also dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS loan

Interest Rates and Fees

4.99% Fixed*

*subsidized and unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 and before July 1, 2023.

1.057% Origination Fee*

  • This fee is taken before loan funds are disbursed to the school. The amount posted to your bill will be less than the requested amount as these fees have been deducted.

  • The borrower is still responsible for the full amount borrowed.

*Loan fee effective on all loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2023.

Please visit Federal Student Aid for the most current rates


The following must be complete before a loan can disburse. (note: you may have completed these steps in previous years. Please login to your portal and select “My Self Service” Financial aid and review your checklist to determine if you need to do anything further.)

  1. Accepted loans in My Self Service Portal – REQUIRED EVERY YEAR

  2. Completed MPN (master promissory note)

  3. Completed Entrance counseling

  4. Final High School Transcript Received (with graduation date)

Disbursement Schedule

First Day of Classes: All required steps must be complete.

Second Week of the Term: Loans that have all the above requirements met will post to the student account.

  • Loan amounts are generally for the full academic year and are split in two equal disbursements over fall and winter terms.*

  • Any delay in the completion of the steps above will cause a delay in the timing of disbursement to your student account.


  • Students graduating after fall term

  • Students starting at Alma College in the winter term

Completing Aid Requirements

Repayment and Loan Forgiveness Information

Exit Counseling

If you previously received a subsidized or unsubsidized loan and are no longer enrolled at least half time which includes withdrawing or graduating from Alma College you are required to complete Exit Counseling. You will receive an e-mail from our office regarding this requirement including next steps if you are required to complete counseling. It does not matter if you plan to enroll at another institution you still must complete the counseling as there is a break in your full time enrollment.

Complete Exit Counseling


  • See Your Federal Student Loan Repayment Options with Loan Simulator

  • The Loan Simulator will help you calculate student loan payments and choose a repayment option that works best for you.


REMEMBER – If you have missed a payment or are having trouble making payments, immediately contact your loan servicer to discuss options that may be available to you.

Loan Cancellation

I no longer wish to borrow my loan how do I cancel it?

Please send an e-mail to and include the information below. This must be done within 14 days of the disbursement posting to your account. We will send an e-mail notifying you of your 14-day window. If it is past 14 days please inquire with our office to see what options may be available.

  • Your Full Name

  • Student ID number

  • Loan Type(s) (i.e. subsidized, unsubsidized)

  • Amount you would like to cancel

IMPORTANT – If you cancel your loan(s) you may be left with an outstanding balance. Arrangements will need to be made immediately to pay this balance.

No Action Taken on Offered Loans

Any pending loans (loans not accepted in the student portal or loans with incomplete steps) will be canceled by the financial aid office by the end of September.

  • It is possible to reinstate a loan by contacting the financial aid office

  • Completing the loan request form

  • All loan requirements have now been completed