Germanna participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program, offered through the Department of Education. Federal Stafford loans are monies that a student borrows. Federal Direct PLUS loans are monies that a parent borrows to assist their undergraduate student. Both loans are financial obligations that must be repaid with interest. Federal Education loans offer benefits not provided by private/alternative loans:
- Lower interest rates
- Longer repayment terms
- Deferment and forbearance options
- Early loan forgiveness for graduates working in public service
Federal Direct Stafford Loan
Students with financial need can obtain a subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan. This means the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest charges on this type of loan as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time (six or more credits) and during a six-month period following enrollment (grace period) as well as during periods of approved deferment. At the end of the grace period, repayment of the loan will begin and interest begins to accrue to the student borrower.
Students who do not qualify for the Subsidized (need-based) Federal Direct Stafford Loan can obtain an Unsubsidized (non need-based) Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Unsubsidized Loan students are responsible for the interest obligation while enrolled. The student, while enrolled on at least a half-time basis (six or more credits), may pay interest only or have the interest capitalized (added to the principal).
As a result of legislation enacted in July 2012, eligibility for the Direct Loan interest subsidy will be limited for new borrowers effective July 1, 2013. The law restricts the period of time for which a borrower may receive subsidized loans, in the aggregate, to 150 percent of the published length of the student’s current educational program. Once the student reaches that limit, he or she may borrow only unsubsidized loans, and interest begins to accrue on the student’s outstanding subsidized loan.
First time borrowers
First time Federal Direct Stafford loan borrowers at GCC must complete a master promissory note, an entrance loan counseling session and ALL Federal Direct Stafford loan borrowers must complete an exit loan counseling session upon graduation or withdraw.
Repayment begins six months after a student leaves school because of graduation, other reasons, or drops below half-time level. All loan applicants must have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and may not have defaulted on prior loans or borrowed their maximum lifetime amounts as determined by the Federal government.
Students may not borrow more than the cost of their education minus other financial aid awarded them. The Financial Aid Office must approve all federal loans and reserves the right to refuse loan request forms due to academic deficiency or evidence that a student may have difficulty managing loan debt.
To apply for a Direct Stafford Loan, students must meet complete for each aid year the GCC loan request form and a minimum of 6 active, financial aid eligible credit hours per semester is required to be awarded a loan. Active credits are financial aid eligible credits the student is currently enrolled in and has not received a grade of F, I, R, U, W or X for the semester
Federal Stafford Loans are intended to help students and families offset the rising cost of college tuition and appropriate counseling must be completed prior to the certification of a Federal Stafford Loan. A student must be enrolled for at least six credits in an eligible certificate or degree program and be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan.
Federal Stafford Loans are not to be used as a mechanism for securing enrollment for a student who files their FAFSA late (May 1st-Priority Filing Date). A student must have a payment method in place to pay for classes at the time tuition is due.
If you are a graduating senior and only attending one semester, your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans may be prorated based on the number of credits for which you are enrolled. This means that you may not be eligible to receive your maximum annual loan limit at Germanna Community College.
This affects students enrolled for only one final semester in an academic year: either fall-only, spring-only, or summer-only. This will not affect students who are enrolled in fall and spring semesters and graduate at the end of the spring semester.
Loan counseling (required)
Other helpful Direct Student Loan program Links:
- Federal Student Aid ID
- National Student Loan Data System
- Servicing information
- Account information
- Repayment plans & calculator
- Consolidation information
Contact the Financial Aid Office
Federal Direct Plus Loan
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan program is a non-need-based source of loan funds for the parent(s) of dependent students. Federal Direct PLUS Loans may be used in conjunction with Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
Each year, parents of dependent students may borrow an amount not to exceed the cost of attendance less any financial aid (including Federal Direct Stafford Loans).
- A master promissory note is required.
Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement is made unless the parent borrower makes other arrangements with their lender to defer repayment. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan on the undergraduate level is only available to parents.* Guardians are ineligible. A credit check is performed on all parental borrowers, and pre-approval is required.
*An eligible parent is defined as the biological or adoptive parent of an undergraduate student. In some cases, a step-parent may be eligible to apply for a PLUS loan. While the custodial parent completes the FAFSA form, a non-custodial parent may be the parent who applies for the PLUS loan. However, the amount eligible to borrow will be based off of the custodial parent’s FAFSA form results.
Federal PLUS Loans are not to be used as a mechanism for securing enrollment for a student who files their FAFSA late (April 1st-Priority Filing Date). A student must have a payment method in place to pay for classes at the time tuition is due.
Please Note: This loan is in the parent’s name and the parent will be responsible for repayment of the loan. The loan cannot be transferred to the student.
Federal Direct Student Loans and Parent PLUS Loans
Right to Deny or Limit Loan Amounts Requested
HEA Sec. 479(A)(c), 34 CFR 685.301(a)(8), DCL GEN-11-07
In accordance with the Department of Education guidance in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, this notice serves to inform students and parents of the right for a college to deny or limit the requested loan amount(s) by the governing college. Decisions are made on a case by case basis and will not limit students or parents from borrowing a Federal Direct Student Loan or a Parent PLUS Loan on an across-the-board or categorical basis.
The Financial Aid Office will evaluate your eligibility on a variety of factors, which may include, but are not limited to:
- Former and current community colleges, colleges, universities, and private institutions
- GPA and satisfactory academic progress status, past and current
- History of withdrawals and grades of F, I, R, U, W and X
- Enrollment in current and prior programs of study
- Number of program changes
- Length of time left to complete program of study
- Successfulness in current and previous programs of study
- Cost of attendance
- Grants, scholarships, and other forms of aid/assistance awarded for the term and/or aid year
- The total aggregate amount of loans already utilized, both undergraduate and graduate
- Annual loan limit utilized, if applicable
- Household income
- Defaults and bankruptcies
- Credit history (Parent PLUS loans only)
- Completion of verification, if selected
We reserves the right to request documentation to assist in making a decision on awarding a Federal Direct Student Loan or Parent PLUS Loan. Failure to provide requested documentation will necessitate denial of the loan application. Students and parents are encouraged to speak to the Student Loan Coordinator at Germanna with any questions concerning borrowing a Federal Direct Student Loan or a Parent PLUS Loan.