Applying for Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans
Important Information About Direct Student Loans
(You must be enrolled in 6 credit hours which count toward your degree at Valencia)
The interest rate for new subsidized and unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018, is a fixed 5.31%, with the exception of the subsidized and unsubsidized undergraduate loans noted in the table below. The interest for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018, is a fixed 7.00%
|Date of First Disbursement||Interest Rate for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Undergraduate Loan|
|07/01/2008 - 06/30/2009||6.00%|
|07/01/2009 - 06/30/2010||5.60%|
|07/01/2010 - 06/30/2011||4.50%|
|07/01/2011 - 06/30/2013||3.40%|
|07/01/2013 - 06/30/2014||3.86%|
|07/01/2014 - 06/30/2015||4.66%|
|07/01/2015 - 06/30/2016||4.29%|
|07/01/2016 - 06/30/2017||3.76%|
07/01/2017 – 06/30/2018
07/01/2018 – 06/30/2019
Is there a time limit on how long I can receive loans?
If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program. You can usually find the published length of any program of study in your school’s catalog.
For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years).
Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.
Certain types of enrollment may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans when the U.S. Department of Education usually would have paid the interest. These enrollment patterns are described below.
I become responsible for paying the interest that accrues on my Direct Subsidized Loans, when:
- I am no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans and I stay enrolled in my current program
- I am no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans, did not graduate from my prior program, and am enrolled in an undergraduate program that is the same length or shorter than my prior program
- I transferred into the shorter program and lost eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans because I have received Direct Subsidized Loans for a period that equals or exceeds my new, lower maximum eligibility period, which is based on the length of the new program
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
A Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is available to help meet financial need after other resources are subtracted or to the annual maximum loan limit, whichever is lower. It is the U.S. Department of Education's major form of self-help aid and is available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Loan Limits
Note: New law has eliminated the interest subsidy provided during the six-month grace period for subsidized loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014. If you receive a subsidized loan during this timeframe, you will be responsible for the interest that accrues while your loan is in the grace period. This provision does not eliminate the interest subsidy while the borrower is in school or during eligible periods of deferment.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on your financial need. It is available to you through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, if your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) is greater than your financial aid and you have not reached your annual maximum loan limit through the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan. The interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019 is fixed at 5.05%. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If the interest is allowed to accumulate, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid. Loan Limits
By law, the total origination fee for loans made on or after October 1, 2018 is 1.062% for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. For more information on interest rates go to the Federal Student Aid site.
Steps to Apply for a Federal Student Loan at Valencia
- Apply for a Federal Direct Stafford (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) Loan
To apply for a Federal Direct Stafford (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) Loan, you must complete the FAFSA using our School Code of 006750. To be eligible, you must be enrolled for at least six credit hours which count toward your current degree and be maintaining Valencia’s Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you are eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) Loan, it will be included on your financial aid services award notification.
- Accept, Reduce or Decline a Federal Direct Stafford Loan
From 2013-2014, you will have the option to Accept, Decline or Reduce your Federal Direct Stafford Loan on your award notification you receive through ATLAS email.
- E-sign Your Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note
If you are a first time borrower of the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the loan funds will be disbursed. In most cases, you will only be required to complete one MPN during your college career at Valencia, provided you are borrowing a Direct Stafford Loan. You complete your Federal Direct Stafford Loan MPN by signing into the StudentLoans.gov website with you Federal PIN. You can also complete your Loan Entrance Counseling while you are on the site.
- Loan Entrance Counseling
Before the Office of Student Aid can disburse your loan funds you are required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling by signing into the StudentLoans.gov website with your Federal PIN. This counseling session provides you with information that will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower, as well as other tools to assist you with managing your loans. In most cases, you will only be required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling once during your college career at Valencia.
- Receiving Federal Direct Stafford Loan Funds
It is important to know that loan funds will automatically credit to your student account, if the Direct Loan Processor has a valid MPN on file for you and you have completed Loan Entrance Counseling, on the disbursement date noted on your Atlas Account. Your loan funds cannot be disbursed until you begin 6 credit hours during the semester and must be paid in two equal disbursements for each payment period (e.g. ½ of the loan in Fall and ½ in Spring).
- Loan Exit Counseling
Student borrowers are required to complete an Exit Counseling session when they drop below 1/2 time or cease to enroll at the college. You can complete your Exit Counseling at https://www.nslds.ed.gov.
Applying for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Federal Direct Loans
(The parent must apply for a PLUS Loan.)
Interest Rate and Fee Information for the PLUS: The interest rate is fixed at 7.60% with a 4.248% origination fee.
For more information on interest rates go to the Federal Student Aid site.
- Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Visit Federal Student Aid for Information on a PLUS Loan
- Complete Financial Aid Services File
Your son or daughter must have a completed financial aid services file, including the FAFSA, at Valencia College using our School Code of 006750.
- You must complete a Parent Loan Request Form for the correct year.
This Parent Loan (PLUS) Certification Request will ask for the requested amount and allow you to certify who to send any excess refunds to (the student or parent).
- E-sign your Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN)
You are required to complete a PLUS MPN before loan funds can be disbursed. By signing the MPN you authorize the Department of Education to perform a credit check to determine your eligibility for the PLUS loan. You can complete the MPN by signing into the StudentLoans.gov website with your Federal PIN.
- Receiving Federal Direct Parent Loan funds
It is important to know PLUS loan funds will automatically credit the students account if the Direct Loan Processor has a valid MPN on file and your son or daughter has begun attendance in at least 6 credit hours. Your loan funds must be paid in two equal disbursements for each payment period (e.g. 1/2 the loan in the Fall and 1/2 in the Spring).
Applying for a Private Education Student Loan
- Review Federal Aid First
U.S. Department of Education Federal Aid First explains the difference between Federal and Private loans.
- We Encourage you to have a Completed Financial Aid Services File
We encourage you to have a completed financial aid services file, including the FAFSA, at Valencia College using our School Code of 006750. This will provide us with information to review your file for State, Federal, and Institutional funds before you borrow a Private Loan.
Choose a lender or Bank to apply for a Private Education Loan. Valencia does not offer a preferred lender list for private loans. Students can check with their bank or research private loans on the Web. We strongly encourage students to borrow federal loans first as they offer better benefits and interest rates.
- School Certification
Our office will certify the loan once we receive a certification request from your lending institution and you are enrolled in classes for the requested payment period. Private loan limits are set by federal regulations and cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. We are not responsible for the timeliness of private loans and students should address all customer service issues with their lender.
Direct Loan Helpful Links
- Direct Loan Service Center
- Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
- Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
- Direct Loan Exit Counseling
- Direct Loan Deferment Forms
- Loan Repayment Information
- Loan Repayment and Budget Calculators
- Help with Defaulted Student Loans
- Locate your Loans on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
- How much Can I Borrow?
- Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)