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The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

NOTIFICATION:  In a move approved by its Board of Trustees on March 5, 2014, CPCC will opt out of the Federal Direct Student Loan program at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.

CPCC has NEW Application Procedures - Steps to Apply For A Direct Loan when applying for a student loan. If you are a financial aid recipient and are interested in loans, please review the Applications Procedures below or you can print out the steps by clicking here. Also read the Fast Web's Quick Reference Guide on Choosing a Student or Parent Loan

There are three types of loans offered:


Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Loans that are based on financial need. The government will pay the interest on the loan while the student is in school.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Students get Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans regardless of need, but will have to pay all interest charges.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students)
Parents of dependent students can borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to help pay for their child's education.


Maximum Annual Loan Amounts

Dependent Students Maximum Annual Loan Amounts
Base Amount (may be subsidized or unsubsidized) Additional Unsubsidized Amount Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized Amount
1st year,
Fewer than 32 credits earned
up to $3,500
per year
up to $2,000
per year
up to $5,500
per year
2nd year,
32 or more credits earned
up to $4,500
per year
up to $2,000
per year
up to $6,500
per year
Undergraduate aggregate maximum up to $23,000
up to $8,000 up to $31,000
Independent Students Maximum Annual Loan Amounts
Base Amount (may be subsidized or unsubsidized) Additional Unsubsidized Amount Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized Amount
1st year,
Fewer than 32 credits earned
up to $3,500
per year
up to $6,000
per year
up to $9,500
per year
2nd year,
32 or more credits earned
up to $4,500
per year
up to $6,000
per year
up to $10,500
per year
Undergraduate aggregate maximum up to $23,000
up to $34,500 up to $57,500

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Qualifications

To be eligible for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you will need to:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours);
  • Not be in default of any Federal student loans;
  • Cannot exceed annual or aggregate limit; and
  • Must meet program pursuit and academic progress guidelines.

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    General Information

    Federal Origination Fees will be deducted from each disbursement: 1.0 percent for all loans made on or after July 1, 2010.

    The ten-year repayment period begins six (6) months after you graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment.

    The Federal Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans:

    • Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is changed while a student is in school at least half-time (6 credit hours), and during deferment periods. (As of 07/01/12, interest now accrues during grace period)
    • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during the grace and deferment periods.

      Capitalization is the process by which interest is added to the loan balance, increasing the loans size and cost. To reduce the cost of borrowing, consider making interest payments while you are in school.
    • PLUS: unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. Plus loans help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. Note: PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).
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    Application Procedures - Steps to Apply For A Direct Loan

    All steps must be completed before any funds can be authorized for disbursement:

    1. Apply for your FAFSA

      Step 1: Locate or apply for your
      Federal PIN (sent to you (the student) by the U.S. Department of Education).

      You should have received a Federal PIN from the U.S. Department of Education shortly after the first time that you completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The PIN serves as your electronic signature and holds the same legal status as your written signature. You should keep it in a safe place and not share it with anyone.

      If you do not have a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov and choose to either "Apply for a PIN" if you have never had one or "Request for a Duplicate PIN" if you had one but do not remember it. You will need to submit your legal first and last name, social secuirty number, date of birth, and email or mailing address. A PIN will be generated and sent to you. Yo u will have the option of receiving your PIN either displayed immediatley through Display Now option, through your email account (2-3 business days) or your PIN can be mailed to you (7-10 business days).

      Step 2: Complete the Free Application for  Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to the Federal Processor.

      Step 3: Confirm that CPCC's Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA results and provide CPCC's Financial Aid Office with any other required documentation. You can check what is needed/missing on your MyCollege account.

    2. Complete ENTRANCE COUNSELING

      Complete the online entrance counseling online at www.studentloans.gov .

      Every first time Federal Direct Loan borrower must complete student loan entrance counseling. Borrowing a student loan is a serious financial obligation, and the entrance counseling will provide you with the important information you will need to know to be able to make an informed decision about student loan borrowing. The entrance counseling must be completed before the Financial Aid Office will accept and process your loan application

      This online tutorial reviews basic facts about the Federal Direct Loans, and your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. After you complete the tutorial, you will be required to take and pass a quiz. To pass the quiz, you must answer 12 out of the 15 questions correctly. The tutorial and quiz will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Once you have passed the quiz, the system will display your quiz results and ask you to choose a school. You should type in Central Piedmont Community College to find in the drop down box. You will submit your counseling online. You may print a copy of your rights and responsibilities by clicking "Retrieve Quiz Results" from the main page.



    3. Complete your MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE

      E-sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at www.studentloans.gov.

      Student borrowing a Federal Direct Loan must complete a Federal Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) before loan money can be disbursed. Once a Federal Direct Loan MPN is completed and the loan is disbursed to you by CPCC's Financial Aid Office, you do not have to sign the Federal Direct MPN again (it is valid for 10 years).

    4. Complete Financial Awareness Counseling

      Complete the online Financial Awarness counseling at www.studentloans.gov.  

      Financial Awareness Counseling provides tools and information to help you understand your financial aid and assist you in managaing your finances. Students who have requested a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan are required to complete the online FInancial Awareness Counseling.

    5. Join $ALT.org & Submit a Copy of the Welcome Screen Email

      Defeat your debt, there's more than one way to beat student loans. So develop your game plan by joining saltmoney.org. Track all of your student loans in one place, via your personal dashboard. Get money savvy and learn the basics on financial fundamentals like income, expenses, savings and so much more. Joining is 100% FREE.

      Remember when signing up for your account to add Central Piedmont Community College as your educational institution. Please submit proof of enrollment by printing off a copy of the Welcome Screen email that SALT sends once you have enrolled.

    6. Submit a copy of your LOAN HISTORY information to the Financial Aid Office.

      Please access your loan history even if you have not borrowed in the past as instructed below, and submit a screen print to the Financial Aid Office.

      Step 1: Go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS): http://www.nslds.ed.gov.

      Step 2: Use the PIN that was established when you completed your FAFSA online. If you do not remember your PIN, visit www.pin.ed.gov. (Be sure to keep your PIN safe and secure.)

      Step 3:
      Go to http://www.nslds.ed.gov, click on Financial Aid Review; the Gathering Your Information screen will appear. Read the privacy statement and, if you agree, click Accept to continue the process.

      Step 4: Enter your PIN, Social Security Number (SSN), the first two letters of your last name, and your date of birth to confirm your identity.

      Step 5: View the Financial Aid Review screen, which lists details about your prior loans. PRINT THE SCREEN and attach a completed copy of the Entrance Counseling Form. Submit both documents to the Financial Aid Office. If you have any questions about this screen, call the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-8FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).

    7. Submit a copy of the Entrance Counseling form to the Financial Aid Office.

      Click here for the Entrance Counseling Form. Submit this form to the Financial Aid Office. 

    8. Complete and submit the CPCC 2013-2014 Direct Student Loan Request Form for the Fall 2013, Spring 2014 or Summer 2014 terms.


    Loans will not be disbursed if all the steps have not been completed. After all steps have been completed, it takes approximately 7-14 business days for the Financial Aid Office to receive notification.

    There is a 30-day delayed disbursement for all first-time borrowers. Therefore, Direct Loan funds will not be disbursed to a student’s Business Office account until at least 30 days after the start of the session.

    In addition to the above steps, here is a printable version on Application Procedures - Steps to apply for a Direct Loan.

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    How Will I Receive the Loan Money

    You will be paid through the College in two or more installments; no single installment may exceed one-half of your loan. For example, if you ask to borrow $3,500 in Subsidized funds, your aid will be divided over two terms (Fall/Spring, Spring/Summer, etc...). The money will pay for tuition and fees, and other school charges for that term. Once these costs are covered, any remaining loan funds will be added to your Higher One Debit card approximately 30-45 days after the end of the scheduled adjustment period.

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    Resources for Student Loan Borrowers

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    Student Loan Advisory

    1. Borrow only what you need. You are not required to borrow the full amount awarded to you. Notify us in writing if you want to borrow less than the amount awarded.
    2. Investigate other sources of financial aid that do not need to be repaid, such as scholarships and Federal Work-Study.
    3. To reduce your total debt, try to make at least some interest payments on your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans or Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.
    4. Tell your loan servicer if you change your name, address, withdraw from CPCC or graduate.
    5. Establish good credit to wisely manage your loan repayments on time (consider setting up automatic payments from your checking account) and keep copies of all documents and correspondence.
    6. Your loan will be disbursed in at least 2 installments.

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    Advantages of Direct Loans

    With Direct Loans, you

    • Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact—the Direct Loan Servicing Center—for everything related to the repayment of your loans, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools. There are no banks or servicers involved in the process.
    • Have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Direct Loans on the Web at https://www.myedaccount.com/.
      • You will have one lender for borrowing and repayment; the Department of Education.
      • Your loan will never be sold to or serviced by any other lender.
    • Choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.


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    How Much Should I Borrow?

    The majority of college students will require student loans to help meet their educational expenses, and the average four year college graduate has over $25,000 in student loan debt.  This amount of debt can have a significant impact on the student's life style after college.  The question of how much to borrow needs to be very carefully considered by the student.  The following are some guidelines for the student:

    • Do Not Over Borrow! Borrow only what you need for your current school year educational expenses.  If your expenses increase later, you can always submit a second loan application up to your maximum eligibility.
    • Final Student Loan Debt Total: Consider how much you will need to borrow to meet all of your educational goals, whether it be an associates, bachelors, masters degree, or beyond.
    • Consider what your monthly payments will be on the loan when it comes time to repay the loan.
    • Consider what other expenses you will have after graduation: Housing, food, transportation, insurance, credit cards, car payments, etc.
    • Consider the average starting salary for the career field you plan to enter when you complete your college education.
    • Resist the temptation to use your student loans for other things beyond your immediate educational expenses.

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    Increase Your Federal Direct Loan

    The Loan section of your MyCollege account is a self-service form giving you the ability to accept/reject and or increase/decrease your Federal Direct Loans. If you have already submitted a loan request for the school year but need to ask for additional loan funds, please submit a new loan request form with the total amount you've requested for the academic year. This needs to include previously requested amounts. Please request the additional funds on your MyCollege account under Financial Aid.

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    Cancel or Reduce Your Federal Direct Loan

    You have the right to cancel all or part of your federal loan disbursement for each semester. You may do so on your MyCollege account.within 14 days from the date you receive official notification that loan funds have been credited to your student account, or before the first day of classes, whichever occurs last.

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    Repayment Terms

    Interest subsidy during the six month grace period is eliminated for loans made after July 1, 2012. The repayment period still begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time, but the interest that accrues during those six months will be payable by the student.

    Under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, signed into law on September 27, 2007, the interest rate on subsidized loans made to undergraduate students under the Direct Loan program was reduced in stages from 6.8% to the current 3.4% that currently applies to loans. On June 29, 2012, Congress voted to extend the temporary .4% interest rate for Subsidized Direct loans until July 1, 2013, at which time the rate will return to 6.8%. For a Federal Direct PLUS loan, the fixed interest rate is 7.9%.  In addition, the Federal Direct PLUS loan has an origination fee of 4%. 

    Top 10 Things To Do When Its Time To Repay

    Student Loan Default Facts

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    There are several ways to repay a Federal Direct Loan

    A standard repayment plan has a fixed monthly repayment amount for a fixed period of time, usually 10 years.

    An extended repayment plan has a lower fixed monthly payment amount, and loan repayment can be extended beyond the usual 10 years.

    A graduated repayment plan usually begins with lower monthly payments, and payment amounts increase at specified times. Payments may be the usual 10 year period, or they may be extended beyond the usual 10 years.

    Income-contingent repayment plan sets annual repayment amounts based on the borrower's income after leaving school. The loan is repaid over an extended period of time, not to exceed 25 years.

    A servicing agency will be responsible for maintaining the loan account and repayments. It is the student's responsibility to maintain contact with that agency.

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    What you need to know about repaying student loans

    Detailed information on repaying student loans can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/repaying.jsp?tab=repaying.

    The U.S. Department of Education also offers a repayment calculator that can be useful for students to estimate what their monthly loan repayment amounts may be. http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/OtherFormsOfRepay.jsp

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    Loan Consolidation

    Students who have previously borrowed FFELP student loans through a lending institution and who are now borrowing a Federal Direct Loan are encouraged to consolidate all of their student loans into one Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. This will help the borrower avoid the situation of owing two separate loans to two different lenders.  Borrowers who are interested in consolidation of all their student loans into one Consolidation Loan can contact the U.S. Department of Education for more information at http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov.

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    Code of Conduct for Processing Student Loan Applications

    Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) will begin participating with the William D. Ford Federal Stafford Direct Loan Program in the Fall 2011 semester . Since our students only use Federal Direct Loans, the College does not use lending institutions or have a need for a preferred lenders list. The College does, upon student request, certify student eligibility for private alternative loans. Since these loans use various lending institutions, the College is publishing the following Code of Conduct for Processing Student Loans to ensure that its employees avoid the perception of a conflict of interest in connection with their responsibilities related to providing and administering student loans.

    1. CPCC does not enter into a revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.
    2. No CPCC employee in the financial aid office, or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, will solicit or accept any gift or other thing of value from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. Certain items provided or contributed by lenders are not considered gifts, such as training materials or, philanthropic contributions unrelated to education loans
    3. No CPCC employee in the financial aid office, or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, will accept from any lender any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender.
    4. CPCC will not select, assign or refer a student to a particular lender or refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
    5. CPCC will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans to students in exchange for the campus providing concessions or promises to the lender.
    6. CPCC does not request or accept from any lender assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
    7. No CPCC employee in the financial aid office, or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender or guarantor, will receive anything of value for such service.


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    If you have borrowed private/alternative student loans, your lender will contact you prior to entering repayment. However, it is your responsibility to contact your private loan lender/servicer if you do not receive correspondence from your lender/servicer.

    Exit Loan Counseling

    Federal regulations require student loan borrowers who graduate, withdraw (regardless of plans to transfer to another school), or drop below half-time status to complete exit loan counseling. Half-time enrollment is being enrolled for at least six credits as an undergraduate student.   Exit counseling has many purposes. It provides an opportunity for the borrower to review their rights and responsibilities and provide their lender(s) with current contact information. During the exit counseling session, the borrower will also select their repayment plan. Exit counseling helps borrowers make wise decision with regard to repayment of their loans. In order to make this as easy and convenient as possible, borrowers are able to complete this requirement online.

    In recent years many private lenders have sold their student loan portfolios to the U.S. Department of Education. As such, it is possible that a borrower may have more than one loan servicer. In those situations the Department of Education has been working to reassign the loans so that they are all with one servicer. It is critical that all borrowers confirm their federal loan borrowing by using their Federal PIN to access their loan history at http://www.nslds.ed.gov. NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for federal student aid.

    Exit counseling discussed here covers the following federal student loan types:

    • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans
    • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
    • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
    • Federal PLUS Loans (for graduate/professional students)

    All students who have borrowed under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program or the Federal Stafford Loan program  are required to complete their Exit Loan Counseling at www.studentloans.gov in preparation of graduation, or complete withdrawal/drop from your courses. This will provide important information about your student loans, repayment, and consolidation information.  

    Exit Counseling  Quick Guide

    What you need:

    Completion of the exit counseling session via the Internet is an easy process and only takes about ten minutes. You'll need the following information on hand to complete your exit counseling session:

  • Your expected employer, address and phone number (if you will be employed upon graduation).
  • Your nearest living relative's name and complete address and phone number.
  • Two other references with complete addresses and phone numbers.
  • Your Lender's name
  • Your Guarantor's name

  • Finding the Exit Counseling Page:

    Step 1
    : Visit the website: www.studentloans.gov

    Step 2: On the left hand side, the student will see beneath the "Manage My Account" Tab, the button to Sign In. Please click on that button.

    Step 3: Enter the information required. The student will need to know his/her Federal PIN Number. If the student does not remember the PIN number, click here to look it up.  

    Step 4
    : Once the student is logged in, he/she will see in the middle of the screen various forms to complete. Please click on "Exit Counseling" under "Tools and Resources".

    Step 5:
    Download this Student Loan Checklist as an additional resource to help you monitor your student loans.

    The Exit Counseling Process:

    The Exit Loan Counseling process will take about 20-25 minutes to complete. To start the Exit Counseling Process:

    Step 1: Login and Navigate to the Exit Counseling page as described above.

    Step 2: Click on "Start"

    Step 3: Click on "Next" until you see the Log In page.

    Step 4: Enter your Social Security Number, First 2 letters of your Last Name, Date of Birth, and your FAFSA PIN #

    Step 5: Complete your Exit Counseling

    Step 6: Print out the Confirmation screen at the end of your loan counseling to confirm that it was successfully completed.

    Step 7: Complete and submit Central Piedmont Community College's Exit Counseling Form.

    (Please Note: Central Piedmont Community College will receive a confirmation notice within 1-2 business days after your counseling has been submitted.)

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    If you have borrowed private/alternative student loans, your lender will contact you prior to entering repayment. However, it is your responsibility to contact your private loan lender/servicer if you do not receive correspondence from your lender/servicer.

    Download this Student Loan Checklist as an additional resource to help you monitor your student loans.

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