STCC Financial Aid - Loans
Springfield Technical Community College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to be eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans, students must meet the financial aid criteria and be registered for at least six (6) credits. Loans are assigned to a loan servicer by the U.S. Department of Education after first disbursement for billing and other services. To track your academic loans throughout your career at STCC or elsewhere, please visit the National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.ed.gov.
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are part of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. Direct Subsidized Loans are based on financial need and interest is not charged while you are in school enrolled for at least six (6) credits. Direct Unsubsidized loans are non-need based and interest accrues from the time the loan is first disbursed until it is paid in full. Effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans will accrue at a fixed interest rate of 4.29%. There is a 1.068% origination fee for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 10, 2016. Check your Loan Disclosure Statement for exact amounts.
If you have been awarded a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you have the option of borrowing the entire amount offered in your award letter, reducing the amount(s) offered, or declining the loan. Your decision about what and how much to borrow does not affect your future eligibility for financial aid or future loan amounts. There are maximum loan limits that you cannot exceed based on your dependency status and number of credits you have completed at STCC.
- To Decline the Loan(s) - Email firstname.lastname@example.org stating you want to decline your loan.
- To Reduce the Amount Offered - Email email@example.com with the award amount change.
Annual Loan Limits - The amount a student is eligible to borrow appears on the award letter and is based on the chart below:
|0 - 26 Credits||$3,500 Subsidized / *$2000 Unsubsidized|
|27 or more credits||$4,500 Subsidized / *$2000 Unsubsidized|
|0-26 Credits||$3,500 Subsidized/ *$6,000 Unsubsidized|
|27 or more credits||$4,500 Subsidized / *$6,000 Unsubsidized|
*Discretion of the Financial Aid Office to award any additional loan monies.
Aggregate Loan Limits - The maximum amount a student may borrow during their academic career is listed below:
- Dependent Students: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
- Independent Students: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
- Please note: There is a maximum eligibility period on Direct Subsidized Loans for first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013. These students are subject to the 150% limit, which limits the amount of time a student is eligible to borrow Direct Subsidized Loans to 150% of their published program length.
Receiving Loan Funds - STCC requires students to complete a loan acceptance process. All returning borrowers must complete the loan acceptance form. All first time borrowers at STCC must complete an in-person Entrance Counseling and an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) before direct loans can be disbursed. Please Note: Students who do not attend an Entrance Counseling (if required) or submit their MPN's will have their loans cancelled. All charges on your account will then become your full responsibility. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) and continue to attend for at least 6 credits at the time of disbursement to be eligible for a Direct Loan.
- The Entrance Counseling - This session provides you with valuable information on your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Stafford Loan borrower. Please plan to be in the office for at least 30 minutes to complete this requirement.
- The MPN is a legal agreement in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. All students must electronically complete their Master Promissory Notes (MPN) at www.StudentLoans.gov.
Leaving School: Graduating, Withdrawing, or Dropping Below Six Credits - This will begin the six-month grace period leading to repayment of your loan(s). You will be provided with Exit Counseling materials which is a review of your borrower rights and responsibilities.
Repayment - Loans enter repayment six months after the student leaves school, graduates, or drops below six credits. It is the student's responsibility to notify the loan servicer of any name, address, or phone changes. The loan servicer assigned by the U.S. Department of Education will contact you by mail to inform you about entering repayment and payment options available. The loan servicer is your direct point of contact until the loan is paid in full. If you are unsure who your servicer is call 1-800-433-3243 or login into your NSLDS account online. There are different repayment options to choose from that will determine your monthly payments and length to pay off your loan. Once you enter repayment, if you are experiencing any financial hardship that may affect your ability to make your monthly payments, contact your loan servicer to find out what other payment options are available. Failure to make payments will result in a default that will affect your ability to obtain further financial aid at any school and will directly impact your ability to obtain consumer credit in the future.
Deferment - A deferment is a period in which repayment of the principal balance is postponed. If you return to STCC or another school on a half-time or more basis and you would like to stop repaying your loans while enrolled, you may request an in-school deferment by notifying the servicing agency that you are able to postpone repayment of your loan(s). Contact your loan servicer to obtain an in-school deferment request form. During a deferment, if the loan is subsidized, the government pays the interest charged. For all other loan types you are responsible for the interest that accrues during the deferment period. If you have Direct Unsubsidized Loans, when you re-enter repayment at the end of the deferment period, any unpaid interest capitalizes (is added to the principal balance). You may go online to get an estimate of how much interest might capitalize at the end of your deferment by going to www.finaid.org/calculators.
Forbearance - A postponement of repayment due to economic hardship. If you can't make your scheduled loan payments, and don't qualify for a deferment, your loan servicer may be able to grant you a forbearance. Interest will continue to be charged on all loan types while in forbearance, including subsidized loans. Contact your loan servicer for more information on forbearance.
Other Loan Options
Private Alternative Loans - Student alternative loans are different from federal direct student loans; they are not guaranteed by the federal government, managed through private lenders and often require a credit check and a co-signer.
Direct Parent PLUS loan is a federal loan available to parent(s) of dependent students attending at least half time and have completed the FAFSA for the aid year. Effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, the interest rate is fixed at 6.84%. There is a 4.272% origination fee for Parent PLUS Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 10, 2016 that is proportionately deducted from each disbursement. Check your Loan Disclosure Statement to see exact amounts. Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office and are subject to a credit check.
Parent PLUS loans and Private Alternative loans should be used as a last resort after exploring all other forms of financial aid. Some programs such as non-credit programs are ineligible for financial aid.
Please keep in mind that borrowing money for your education is a serious and binding legal obligation. You are advised to use care in determining if and how much you should borrow. Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance in making this decision. Your loans are a part of your present and your future.
- The average loan debt for STCC's 2014-2015 graduates is: $7,790
If you need more information, please contact the STCC Financial Aid Office at (413) 755-4214. To obtain more information on the Federal Direct Lending program, please call 1-800-848-0979 or visit their web site at www.direct.ed.gov.