You are here

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. This program replaces the Federal Stafford Student and Parent Plus Loan programs.

What are direct loans?
The subsidized direct loan is a need based student loan. Eligibility is determined after the student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The interest on these loans is paid by the government:
  • When the student is enrolled at least half time
  • During the six month grace period that begins after the student stops attending at least half time
  • During periods of authorized deferment

The unsubsidized direct loan is not based on financial need, and the student is responsible for all accrued interest. Interest payments do not have to be made while the student is enrolled at least half time, or during grace or deferment periods.

The direct PLUS loan allows the parents of students classified as dependent for financial aid purposes to borrow the cost of their dependent’s education. Borrowers must either have a good credit history or a credit worthy co-signer, in order to borrow through this program. The parent(s) and dependent student must complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility each year.

What are the eligibility criteria for direct loans?
Students must be enrolled in an eligible program study. An eligible program of study is any program that requires at least 24 credit or technical hours.

Students must also be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours per semester, in courses required by their programs of study. They must also remain enrolled at least half-time (six or more hours) for the entire loan period, or any remaining disbursements will be canceled. Students enrolled in mini terms are eligible; however, enrollment in both sessions A and B is required. For example, students who register for three hours in Session A and three hours in Session B would meet this requirement. Students who register for six hours in Session A and do not register for Session B would not be eligible.

In addition, students who withdraw from all classes may be required to repay a portion of the loan proceeds. Repayment will have to be made before the student will be able to enroll in future classes and receive additional financial aid.

Good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress
In order to receive a direct loan, students must be in good academic standing and make satisfactory academic progress. To be in good academic standing for financial aid purposes, students must: Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher; complete at least 67 percent of all attempted coursework; and complete their studies with no more than 150 percent of the credits required by their program. For example, students enrolled in a 60 credit hour Associate of Arts degree can be funded for up to 90 credit hours. Students who require more than 150 percent of the hours needed to complete their program must submit an appeal for additional funding.

Transfer student requirements
In addition to the criteria shown above, transfer students must provide official academic transcripts from all previously attended, regionally accredited post-secondary schools (i.e. colleges, universities, trade schools, etc.). Their eligibility will be determined once admissions and student records have finished their evaluation. Failure to disclose all previously attended schools will delay processing of your financial aid application.

What are the eligibility criteria for direct PLUS loans?
You must be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom you are borrowing.

Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the direct loan program. Generally, your child is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married, a veteran, a graduate or professional degree student, or a ward of the court.

You cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).

In addition, you and your child must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.

To borrow through this program, visit to complete the Master Promissory Note. You will need your FAFSA PIN to complete and sign the form. Next, complete the Federal Direct Parent Loan Request Statement (LRS Plus). Your loan cannot be originated until your LRS has been received in the financial aid office.

How to apply for a direct student loan

You must complete all four steps below.

PHSC’s school code is 010652

Step 1 – Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Students must apply and be accepted for admission to PHSC and have completed their financial aid files before their loan applications can be processed. Additional information may be required to complete the application.

Step 2Entrance loan counseling
Students must complete entrance counseling when they apply for their first direct loan at PHSC. They will need their FAFSA pin number, in order to log in and complete this step. Students will not need to complete entrance loan counseling at PHSC again for four years.

Step 3Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The MPN is a binding legal document. It must be electronically completed and signed in order to apply for and receive direct loan funds. Students will need their FAFSA PIN to complete this step. All student borrowers are required to complete a direct loan MPN for PHSC.

Step 4PHSC Direct Student Loan Request Statement (LRS)
All students who want to borrow through the direct loan program must complete Steps 1 through 3 before completing, printing and submitting the LRS Form. Changes to loan amounts are not normally allowed after the loan request has been processed.

Maximum Annual Loan Amounts
You may be eligible for a lesser amount if you received other financial aid
Student Status Credit Hours Earned Subsidized Unsubsidized
Fall and spring terms One term: Fall, spring or summer Fall and spring terms One term: Fall, spring or summer If partial or no subsidized eligibility
Dependent 0-29 Up to $3,500 Up to $1,750 Up to $2,000 Up to $2,000 Up to $5,500
  30+ Up to $4,500 Up to $2,250 Up to $2,000 Up to $2,000 Up to $6,500
Independent 0-29 Up to $3,500 Up to $1,750 Up to $6,000 Up to $3,000 Up to $9,500
  30+ Up to $4,500 Up to $2,250 Up to $6,000 Up to $3,000 Up to $10,500
Your direct loan may be prorated if:
  • Your program of study is less than one academic year (less than 30 weeks)
  • Your program of study lasts longer than one academic year, but the remaining period of study is less than one academic year. A remaining period of study is any period of enrollment at the end of which a student will graduate or complete program requirements.

PHSC reserves the right to deny or reduce loan requests, as authorized by Section 682.603(c) C.F.R., of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

How are my loan funds used to pay my tuition, fees and book charges?
Students who need to use their loan funds to pay their charges can request a deferment, after their loans have been originated. Deferments will not be available to students who are on financial aid probation or suspension until their grades from the previous term are posted, confirming they made satisfactory academic progress. Students must also be enrolled at least half-time (six or more credit hours), in classes required for the program of study, to apply for a deferment. The loan deferment form must be completed in the financial aid office.
When are loan funds disbursed?
After loans are originated, students will receive a financial aid award letter showing the amount of the loans and anticipated disbursement dates. Loan proceeds will first pay any outstanding charges owed the college, and the balance will be made available in accordance with the students’ PHSC One Card.
Can loan amounts be canceled after the loan has been originated?
Yes. Students must submit a written request to the financial aid office to reduce or cancel their loan. Requests must be made before funds are disbursed to the students’ PHSC One Card.
Can loan amounts be increased?
Students who need additional loan funds, have remaining eligibility and continue to meet eligibility criteria may increase their loan amounts. They must come to the financial aid office and complete a loan addendum form. Students may submit only one loan addendum form per loan period.
Helpful hints
  • Borrow only what you need
  • Complete your direct loan application in a timely manner. Typically, students who have completed their financial aid files will have their loans originated within four weeks of when they submit their direct loan application.
  • Be aware that outstanding loans you received at previous institutions are counted when determining aggregate loan limits.
  • Remember, the more you borrow and the longer you are enrolled, the more you may have to repay. We strongly encourage you to meet with an academic advisor to establish a good academic plan.
  • We also recommend you talk with your instructors and use the learning lab when you need additional academic assistance. These steps will contribute to your academic success.
  • Ensure your address, telephone number and other contact information is kept current with admissions and student records.