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Stafford Loan

 Direct Loan Program

Students must be enrolled in at least six credits and may be eligible for either a subsidized and/or an unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan. The school determines what type of loan the student is eligible for based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: Available to undergraduate students with financial need.  The Federal government pays the interest on these loans while the student is enrolled for at least six credits during the student’s grace period and during periods of deferment. *Note: If the student receives a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, the student will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during the grace period.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Available to undergraduate and graduate students and are not based on financial need.  Students are responsible for paying the interest during all periods: in-school, grace, and deferment.  Interest accruing these periods may be paid or capitalized.

To learn more about the Direct Loan Program, please click here.

Interest Rates

Direct Subsidized Loans:
  • Undergraduate students — If the first disbursement of your subsidized loan is between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, the interest rate on your loan is 3.4%.

Direct Stafford Loan Limits

The school determines the actual loan amount students are eligible to receive each academic year.  However, there are limits on the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans that students are eligible to receive each academic year and over the students’ academic career.  Annual Direct Stafford loan limits as of July 1, 2012 are as follows.

Year

Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

First-Year Undergraduate

$5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$9,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

Second-Year Undergraduate

$6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate

$7,500 per year - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$12,500 per year - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Graduate or Professional Degree Students

Not Applicable

$20,500

Maximum Total Debt from Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

$31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$57,500 for undergraduates - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$138,500 for graduate or professional students - No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate debt limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.


Loan Entrance Counseling

Students applying for Direct Stafford Loans must complete Loan Entrance Counseling. The Financial Aid Office will not certify your loan until Entrance Counseling is complete.  You can complete this counseling online at www.studentloans.gov or contact the Financial Aid Office for instructions on how to complete Entrance Counseling.


How to Apply for your Direct Federal Stafford Loan

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Complete a Direct Loan Acceptance Form provided by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Financial Aid Office and found on the student myPeak portal under the Student tab.
  • Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (loan application) online at www.studentloans.gov
  • Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling online at www.studentloans.gov

Loan funds will be released to the college on the set disbursement dates for each semester. All federal loans are scheduled to disburse at approximately the 50% mark after the beginning of each semester provided the loan is approved prior to the start of the semester. Summer loans will disburse in July after the drop/add period of the latest starting summer session. Loans will be processed for 50% of your annual eligibility per semester provided you meet eligibility requirements.  You have the right to accept, decline, or reduce loans at any time prior to disbursements by contacting the Financial Aid Office.


Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Direct PLUS)

Parents who wish to borrow under the Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loan Program can complete the Direct PLUS Loan application online at www.studentloans.gov.

Students whose parents are denied a Direct PLUS Loan may be eligible to borrow additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan Funds by submitting a signed, dated statement to include the student’s name and student ID# requesting the additional direct unsubsidized Stafford Loan and attach the Direct Parent PLUS Loan denial letter.

Direct PLUS Loan eligibility is determined by the following calculation: 
Cost of Attendance (COA) – Expected Financial Aid = Direct PLUS Loan Eligibility


Deadlines

The student must submit their direct federal loan request 3 weeks prior to the end of the semester in which they are attending, except when requesting a fall/spring loan. If the student was attending at an eligible level during the fall semester, the fall/spring request can be submitted 3 weeks prior to the end of the spring semester. Please allow approximately 3-5 weeks for electronic processing, and 4-6 weeks for manual processing. Loans that are approved prior to the billing due date will hold your course registration.


Loan Exit Counseling

If you have received Federal Direct Stafford Loans at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College under the Direct Loan Program and will be graduating or will be transferring or have dropped to less than half time, you are required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling.  You may complete this counseling online at www.nslds.ed.gov.


Private/Alternative Educational Loans

These loans are the responsibility of the consumer. You may contact our office to determine how we can work best with the lender that you select.

Financial Aid Office
814.262.6454
1.888.385.PEAK

financialaid@pennhighlands.edu

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