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Student loans are a form of federal financial aid, and you must complete a FAFSA to be eligible for federal loans. Pierce College participates in the Direct Loan Program, a low-interest, federal loan program.

Steps for Applying for Federal Direct Loans

  1. Submit a FAFSA Application
  2. Wait for your Award Letter
    a. Your award letter will be sent to your student email address and viewable on your student aid portal.
  3. First time borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling at the Federal Student Aid website.
  4. Submit your Direct Loan Acceptance Form to the Financial Aid Office.
  5. Allow 1 to 2 weeks for processing.

Types of Loans

There are two forms of Federal Direct Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Direct Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Direct Unsubsidized Loans begin to accrue interest at the time of disbursement. Students have the option make interest-only payments while they are still in school for Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their program. For more information regarding this 150% limitation on Direct Subsidized Loans, see the Federal Student Aid website.

Student Level Maximum Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) Maximum Subsidized
Dependent
First Year $5,500 $3,500
Second Year $6,500 $4,500
Third or Fourth Year** $7,500 $5,500
Independent
First Year $9,500 $3,500
Second Year $10,500 $4,500
Third or Fourth Year** $12,500 $5,500
**For students in their third or fourth year pursing Bachelor’s Degree at Pierce College.

For questions regarding your student level and loan eligibility, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Lifetime Limits
  Maximum Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) Maximum Subsidized
Dependent Undergraduate Student $31,000 $23,000
Independent Undergraduate Student or Dependent Student Whose Parent is denied for the Parent PLUS Loan $57,500 $23,000

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