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Student Loan Introduction

Before Borrowing Loans

Loan Eligibility Basic Criteria

Types of Loans

Loan Limits

Interest Rates and Fees

How to Apply for a Loan

Repayment

 

 

 

Student Loan Introduction

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Student loans provided by the U.S. Department of Education enable students to pay for a college education. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to attend participating schools.

Loans you may borrow at the Community College of Aurora include the following types Federal Direct Student Loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loans

You must repay your Direct Loan(s) to the U.S. Department of Education when you graduate, drop below 6 credit hours, or leave school.

 

Before Borrowing Loans

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  1. Use Free Money first. There are various types of grants and scholarships available at CCA. Learn more information by visiting our Scholarships and Grants web page. 
  2. Earn money while studying! You may earn extra money to fund your education while working as a part-time employee at school as a work-study. To be considered for work-study awards, you must indicate on your FAFSA that you want student employment. See more details about CCA's Work-Study program by visiting the web page.
  3. Borrow Smart. You must repay your loans even if:
  • You do not complete your education.
  • You cannot find a job related to your program of study.
  • You are unhappy with the education you paid for with your loan.

The Community College of Aurora strongly recommends that you borrow only what you need. If you must borrow money to pay for school, use up all of your federal student loan options before considering private loans, which can have higher interest rates and fewer flexible repayment options.

 

Loan Eligibility Basic Criteria

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In general, for students to be eligible for federal student loans, they must:

  • Submit and complete a FAFSA application every year.
  • Enroll in and attend at least 6 credit hours.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • Successfully complete 67% or more of all attempted courses.
  • Graduate within 150% of their degree or certificate program's published length.
  • Not be in default on any Federal Student Loans.
  • Not owe an overpayment on a Federal Student Aid grant or loan.
  • Not have reached or exceeded their yearly or lifetime limit for federal student loans.

 

 

Types of Loans

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Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.

Students are not responsible for paying the interest while attending school at least half-time, during their grace period, and during any period of loan deferment. The Department of Education has also established new Direct Loan Program regulations for first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013;

  • These borrowers are eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans for 150% of their current academic program length, and after they exceed 150%, borrowers will lose their eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans.

  • For more information about Subsidized Usage Limitation, please visit the SULA web page, which discusses the Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.

Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need. Borrowers are fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loans status.

If you choose not to pay the interest, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized. That is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan during these times:

  • While you enrolled in school or during your grace period.
  • While your loans are in deferment or forbearance periods.

Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow federal loans to help pay education expenses. The maximum amount that a parent may borrow is determined by the total estimated Cost of Attendance minus all other sources of financial aid that the dependent student receives.

A credit check will be performed during the application process. If a parent has poor or unfavorable credit, they may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan one of the following ways:

  • Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history (The endorser cannot be the student/child.)
  • Documenting extenuating circumstances relating to the adverse credit history to the U.S. Department of Education's satisfaction.

If a parent borrower is unable to secure a PLUS loan, the student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans to help pay for their education. The dependent student should contact the CCA Financial Aid Office for more information.

Alternative Loans

Alternative Loans are non-federal educational loans, which students obtain through a private lending institution such as a bank or credit union. Alternative loans typically have higher interest rates, more feeds, and less flexible repayment options than federal loans. The CCA Financial Aid Office strongly recommends that students borrow the federal loans for which they are eligible before borrowing any private alternative loans.

 

Loan Limits

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Annual Federal Loan Limits

Student Type

Subsidized

Unsubsidized

Total Yearly

Dependent Freshman

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500**

Dependent Sophomore*

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500**

Independent Freshman

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500**

Independent Sophomore*

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500**

 *Students are not considered sophomores until after they have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours.

**Loans will be credited to your CCA balance in 2 disbursements. If you are a first-time borrower of Direct Loans, your first disbursement will be released after a mandatory 30-day waiting period. The 30-day waiting period begins on the first day of the enrollment period.

Undergraduate Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits

The total amount that an undergraduate student may borrow for their academic career (150% of the program length) is called the aggregate limit.

Once the aggregate limit has been reached, students are no longer eligible to borrow Federal Stafford Loans. Per federal regulations, a student who exceeds the aggregate loan limit is ineligible to receive federal financial aid until the overage is resolved.

Dependent Student

Independent Student

$31,000 total; Up to $23,000 may be subsidized.

$57,500 total; up to $23,000 may be subsidized.

 

Interest Rates & Fees

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Interest Rates

Loan Type

Loans First Disbursed

On or after July 1, 2017

and Before July 1, 2018

Loans First Disbursed

On or after July 1, 2018

and Before July 1, 2019

Subsidized Loans

4.45%

5.05%

Unsubsidized Loans

4.45%

5.05%

Plus Loans

7%

7.6%

Loan Fees

Loan Type

First Disbursement Date

Loan Fee

Direct Subsidized Loans

and Unsubsidized Loans

On or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18

On or after 10/1/18 and before 10/1/19

1.066%

1.062%

Direct PLUS Loans

On or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18

On or after 10/1/18 and before 10/1/19

4.264%

4.248%

 

How to Apply for a Student Loan

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Step 1: Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

  1. Visit the Federal Student Loans home page.
  2. Log in using your Federal Student Aid ID and password.
  3. Select the "Complete Counseling" link.
  4. Select the "Entrance Counseling" link from the "Choose Loan Counseling Type" menu.
  5. Answer the questions on each page of counseling - click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the last page. After submitting the counseling, you should see an "Entrance Counseling Summary" page confirming that "you have successfully completed Entrance Counseling."
  6. In the gray menu on the left side of the screen, look under the "Master Promissory Note" section and select "Complete MPN."
  7. On the next page, select "Complete Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN."
  8. Answer the questions on each page of the promissory note - click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the last page. You should see a confirmation; "You have successfully submitted your MPN."
  9. The federal government will send an electronic confirmation of both documents to CCA within a week.

Step 2: Accept Loan Offer (Available once you receive your Financial Aid Award Letter.)

  1. Log in to your MyCCA account.
  2. Click on the "Student Finance" tab.
  3. In the "My Financial Aid Information" box, select the "Accept Your Awards" link.
  4. Select the appropriate aid year.
  5. Click on the "Accept Award Offer."
  6. You can accept, reduce, or decline the award offer on the next screen.

Loan Adjustment

If you would like to adjust the accepted loan amount, you may complete Loan Adjustment Form to request the change.

If you want to apply for a one-term (single semester) loan, you must be:

  • Graduating at the end of the semester;
  • enrolled as a full-time police academy student; or
  • Experiencing extenuating circumstances.

The loan adjustment form and other important financial aid forms can be found on our Financial Aid Forms page.

Loan Application Priority Deadlines:

  • Fall semester: October 31st
  • Spring semester: March 31st
  • Summer semester: June 30th

 

Repayment

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When you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you will enter a Grace Period for six months. The Grace Period will give you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan.

Not all federal student loans have a grace period and for most loans, interest will accrue during your grace period.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: 6-month grace period with no interest
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: 6-month grace period with interest
  • Direct PLUS loans: no grace period. Eligible for a deferment

Who is my loan servicer?

  1. Go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website.
  2. Select the "Financial Aid Review" button.
  3. After reading the privacy statement on the next screen, click the "Accept" button.
  4. Log in using your FSA ID and password. Visit the FSA ID website if you need to create or recover your username or password.
  5. On the next screen, the "Aid Summary" page, look for the chart titled "Loans." You will see your aggregate history in this chart.
  6. Also in the "Loans" chart, you can click on the number in the far left column that corresponds to the loan information you want to view.
  7. On the next screen ("Detail Loan Information" page), look for the chart titled "Servicer/Lender/Guaranty Agency/ED Servicer Information." You will see your loan servicer's name and contact information.

Where can I go to learn about loan repayment plans?

  1. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine multiple loans into one loan, which will result in a single monthly payment.
  2. To learn more about consolidation, please visit the Federal Student Aid page regarding student loan consolidation.

What do I do if I cannot make payments?

If you are having trouble making payments, there are several options that you can choose to keep your loans in good standing:

  1. Contact your loan servicer to change your payment due date.
  2. Change your repayment plan.
  3. Consolidate your loans.
  4. Other options: Deferment (postpone payments) or Forbearance (reduce or delay payments).

 

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