TYPES OF LOANS:
Columbia State Community College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. Direct loan funds come to the school directly from the U.S. Department of Education.
All students who have successfully completed a FAFSA and are determined to be eligible for Federal Title IV assistance by the Office of Financial Aid may receive a William D. Ford Direct Loans.
The Direct loan may come in two types: subsidized and unsubsidized. It is important to remember that both types of Direct Loans are components of the same loan. Both are the Federal Direct Loan. The difference is in the interest rates and repayment benefits.
It is important to remember that not all students are eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loan. Eligibility for subsidized loan at Columbia State is determined by the results of your FAFSA.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
• Need-based financial aid.
• Eligibility determined from the results of the FAFSA.
• The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans while the student is in school and in the six month grace period prior to beginning repayment.
• The U.S. Department of Education limits how much a student may receive for the award year (Fall/Spring/Summer) in subsidized loan.
• Students classified as a freshman may not receive more than $3,500 in subsidized loan for the award year.
• Students classified as a sophomore may not receive more than $4,500 in subsidized loan for the award year.
• The current interest rate on a subsidized loan is fixed at 4.5% for students who borrow between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
• From July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, the interest rate on a subsidized loan will be fixed at 3.4%.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
• The U.S. Department of Education limits how much a student may receive for the award year (Fall/Spring/Summer) in unsubsidized or combination subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the award year (Fall/Spring/Summer).
• Students classified as a freshman may not receive more than $9,500 in unsubsidized or combination subsidized and unsubsidized loan for the award year.
• Students classified as a sophomore may not receive more than $10,500 in unsubsidized or combination subsidized and unsubsidized loan for the award year.
• The current interest rate on an unsubsidized loan is fixed at 6.8%.
Please be aware that the amounts listed above are annual limits, but are not guaranteed amounts. Depending on your cost of attendance and other aid awarded you may-or-may-not be eligible to receive the maximum annual limit in subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans for any term, or terms, at Columbia State Community College.
NOTICE: THE OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AID AT COLUMBIA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE STRONGLY ADVISES YOU NOT TO OVER BORROW, OR TAKE OUT MORE LOAN MONEY THAN YOU MAY LATER BE ABLE TO REPAY. PLEASE BE PRUDENT WHEN REQUESTING LOAN FUNDS.
If you should require financial assistance beyond what you may receive in Federal Direct Loans, please contact the Office of Financial Aid to inquire about alternate funding sources.
BEFORE YOU APPLY:
In order to apply for a Federal Direct Loan at Columbia State Community College:
1) You must have a valid FAFSA on file.
2) If selected for verification, the verification process must be completed by the Office of Financial Aid.
3) You must be determined eligible for Federal Title IV assistance by the Office of Financial Aid.
APPLYING FOR A FEDERAL DIRECT STAFFORD LOAN:
In order to receive a Federal Direct Loan at Columbia State Community College you must complete a Columbia State Direct Loan Request Form for the applicable term(s) for which you are applying.
A link to the Direct Loan Request Form can be found under APPLICATIONS AND FORMS or at the bottom of this page. Please print the Request Form and complete.
Here are some important reminders when filling out the Direct Loan Request Form:
• Please print legibly and use blue or black ink. DO NOT FILL OUT YOUR LOAN REQUEST IN PENCIL.
• Make sure you do not leave any section of the Request Form blank.
• If a section does not apply to you, please write ‘N/A’ in the space provided.
• Please read the Request Form carefully and follow all instructions given.
Failure to follow all instructions or provide all requested information will delay the Office of Financial Aid processing your request form.
Once completed, you may submit the Request Form to the Office of Financial Aid directly via mail, fax or submit it to our office in person. If you attend an extended campus you may submit your Request Form to the appropriate front office staff and they will send it to us on your behalf.
LOAN ORIGINATION AND AUTHORIZATION:
Once your Direct Loan Request Form is reviewed and your eligibility determined, a loan will be processed. The act of creating your loan is called Origination.
When the loan is originated it is immediately visible on your Financial Aid Awards section of myChargerNet.
Once your loan is originated by the Office of Financial Aid an electronic file is sent to the U.S. Department of Education for approval. The act of receiving approval for your loan is called Authorization.
Columbia State Community College will receive the authorization file electronically from the U.S. Department of Education within 1-2 days after it is submitted.
REQUIRED ON-LINE STEPS: ENTRANCE COUNSELING, MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE AND FINANCIAL LITERACY
Once your loan is originated there are three additional, on-line process that are required by Columbia State Community College and the U.S. Department of Education in order for your loans to pay to your account.
These steps are:
• Entrance Counseling – This is a web-based tutorial on everything you need to know about the loans you are receiving. Includes information on repaying your loans, the financial hazards of student loan default and borrower rights and responsibilities. This is a one-time requirement for borrowers at Columbia State.
• Direct Stafford Master Promissory Note – The U.S. Department of Education requires that you sign an on-line Master Promissory Note before funds can be paid to your account. This master note is a binding agreement in which you promise to repay any money that you borrow from the Federal government. Once you sign a master promissory note it may be used to allow further borrowing up to 10 years in the future.
• Financial Literacy – This web-based financial literacy module covers many financial issues that are not covered in On-Line Entrance Counseling, but affect student loan borrowers at Columbia State Community College. This is a one-time requirement for borrowers at Columbia State.
When you complete each of the three steps listed above the Office of Financial Aid will verify within 1-2 days that the requirement has been fulfilled and update our system.
Please be aware that all three steps are required for you to receive your loan money at Columbia State Community College. Until all three steps are verified as completed no Federal Direct Loan funds will be paid to your account.
You may view and track these requirements on the Financial Aid Forms Tracking page of myChargerNet.
The act of paying financial aid to your student account for a term is called Disbursement.
At Columbia State Community College your financial aid is disbursed based on the number of hours you are attending. Attendance is reported to the Records Office by your instructors and must be reported no later than 14 days after a term begins.
The 14th day of the term is called the Census Date. No financial aid, including loans, is disbursed to student accounts until after the census date.
Per Federal regulations loan money must always be given to the student in two, equal disbursements. Loans that are originated for both fall and spring semesters will be disbursed evenly between the two semesters.
Loans originated for a single semester, such as Summer, are also required to come in two, equal disbursements. In this case the first disbursement occurs approximately two weeks after classes have started for the term. The second disbursement will occur at the mid-point of the semester.
Disbursement dates will be posted on the financial aid website under Important Dates, and you should receive notices through your Columbia State email.
30 DAY DELAY FOR FRESHMAN, FIRST-TIME BORROWERS:
If you are a freshman and this is your first time borrowing through the Stafford loan program the Department of Education will not allow the first half of your loan to disburse until 30 days after the start of your first semester in college.
CANCELING A LOAN:
If you wish to cancel an undisbursed Federal Direct Loan you may e-mail the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org and make your request. Please be sure to include the following:
• Full Name
• Columbia State Community College Identification Number (‘A’ number located on the back of your student ID) – Please do not include your Social Security Number
• The type of loan you are asking to cancel (i.e. subsidized or unsubsidized)
• The amount you wish to cancel (please be sure to include a specific amount or state that you wish the loan to be canceled in full)
• The term for which you want the loan canceled (fall/spring/summer with appropriate year)
Notice: The Office of Financial Aid cannot reduce or cancel disbursements for which you have already received a refund check. If you received a refund and check and now wish to return all or portions of your loans to the U.S. Department of Education, please contact the Direct Loan Servicer at www.myedaccount.com.
You are not required to begin repayment of Federal Direct Loans until six months after you a) graduate, b) totally withdraw from classes during a term or c) drop below half-time enrollment.
As long as you maintain half-time enrollment and attendance each term you are not required to immediately begin repayment of your loans. This is called In-School Deferment.
The six month period between when you ‘leave school’ and are officially required to begin repayment of your loans is called your Grace Period.
Half-time enrollment is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as attendance in 6 to 8 credit hours that are eligible for financial aid.
Should you totally withdraw from classes before the end of a term or stop attending at least 6 eligible credit hours within a term, you enter your grace period effective the day that you dropped.
LOAN EXIT COUNSELING:
Upon the event of your graduation from Columbia State Community College, totally withdraw from classes or drop below half-time enrollment you are required by the U.S. Department of Education to complete On-Line Exit Counseling.
To complete on-line exit counseling CLICK HERE. If you have questions, please contact the Columbia State Financial Aid Office.
Failing to repay your student loans is a serious matter. Borrowers who are more than 120 days late with making a payment on their loans are placed in Default.
If you default on a Federal student loan the following may occur:
• You may not receive additional financial aid to attend school. Students currently in default are not eligible for any type of Federal financial aid at any school in the country.
• Your credit score may be affected. This could seriously hurt your chances of taking out any future loans (i.e. house, car, etc.).
• Your wages may be garnished. The Federal Government has the right to take money from your paycheck every week and apply it to your defaulted student loans . . . without your permission.
• Tax refunds may be withheld. The Federal Government has the right to take any money owed back to you in Federal tax refund and apply it to your defaulted student loan debt.
• Professional licensures, such as Nursing Certificates and Teaching Licenses, can be suspended. The Federal Government has the right to suspend your ability to earn a living until you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements on defaulted student loans.
• You may have professional property seized and auctioned. The Federal Government has the right to seize any professional equipment that you own and auction it to help repay defaulted student loan debt.
• Social Security payments may be garnished to help repay defaulted student loans.
On top of all the things that can happen to you, there are also very serious things that can happen to Columbia State Community College should you default on your loans.
The U.S. Department of Education monitors every school that is allowed to award Federal Title IV funds. One of the aspects that the Dept. of Ed monitors is how many students, past and present, are in active default. This number is called the Cohort Default Rate.
Should Columbia State Community College’s Cohort Default Rate rise too high, the Federal Government has the right to take away our ability to award any Title IV financial aid.
Please ask yourself . . . could you have attended college without Federal financial aid? If you default on your student loans you could very well be costing future students the same opportunity that you are now given.
The Office of Financial Aid at Columbia State Community College thanks you for taking Student Loan Default seriously!
MANAGING YOUR STUDENT LOANS:
The U.S. Department of Education maintains a central database for student aid, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The database provides a centralized, integrated view of federal student loans and Pell Grants that are tracked through your entire cycle of financial aid. You may access your information by visiting the NSLDS WEBSITE.
You can also access your student loan account by CLICKING HERE. Among other services, you can view your account balance and make online payments.
Please note: You will not automatically be awarded a student loan. After you have reviewed the above information, please complete the appropriate application below.
Direct Loan Request Form – Summer 2012 (Notice: The Summer 2012 Direct Loan Request Form is included on the Summer 2012 Summer Financial Aid Request Form. There are no longer two seperate forms.)