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.  


2020 award notice 
Have you been awarded for the 2020 year? Then be sure to complete your Federal Direct Loans Steps! You will need to: 

- Accept, Reduce, or Decline the Loan.
- Complete Entrance Counseling 
- Complete Master Promissory Note 

All steps above can be completed by going to your Financial Aid Portal. Just review your Financial Aid Checklist! 

Need more guidance, click here! 

Direct Loans 101

Direct Loans are either Subsidized or Unsubsidized. You can receive a combination of both loan types, not exceeding the maximum annual loan limit. Learn More >>

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.

How much can I borrow?

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.

Dependent Undergraduate Students



 Independent Undergraduate Students OR, Dependent Students Whose Parents are Denied PLUS Loans

 

Aggregate Loan Limits

Dependent Undergraduate Students: $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount can be in Subsidized Loans.

Independent Undergraduate Students OR, Dependent Students Whose Parents are Denied PLUS Loans: $57,500 - No more than $23,000 of this amount can be in Subsidized Loans.

Interest Rates and Loan Fees

Current interest rates and loan origination fees can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Disbursement Procedure

Before the loan can be applied/disbursed to the students account they will need to complete the following steps:

Once you have completed the steps to receive your Direct Loan(s), the U.S. Department of Education will pay you through your school. Your loan will be disbursed in at least two equal installments. Loans will not be disbursed prior to the first week of classes.
WARNING - IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED STEPS, LOANS WILL NOT BE PROCESSED. 

Loan Cancellation

You have the right to cancel all or part of your Direct Loan(s) disbursement each semester. Submit a request to the Financial Aid Office within 14 days from the date you receive the email notification from our office that the loan has been disbursed.

Repayment

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have six months before you begin repayment. There are many options available to you for repaying your federal student loans. Learn More >>

Federal student loans are borrowed funds that must be repaid with interest. Failure to repay a loan can result in default.

Trouble Paying? How to Avoid Default!

Federal student loans are borrowed funds that must be repaid with interest. Failure to repay a loan can result in default.

Cohort Default Rate Information
A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year. Please refer to the Cohort Default Rate Guide for a more in-depth description of cohort default rates and how the rates are calculated: https://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html
FY 2016
Alma College 5%
National Rate 10.1%


Steps to Avoid Defaulting on a loan:
https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/default/avoid
More information can be found at https://studentaid.gov/data-center/student/default