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The federal government and some private institutions will loan students the money to go to college. This money must be paid back with interest.

Federal loans typically have better interest rates and terms, so we encourage you to investigate your federal borrowing options first.

As with nearly all financial aid, the first step in the loan application process is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans are available to all eligible students.

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans

To receive Direct Subsidized Loans, student must demonstrate financial need. Subsidized Loans are interest free while the student is in school, but begin accruing interest six months after the student ceases to be enrolled for at least 6 credits (half-time).

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans do not require financial need. These loans are not interest free while students are in school and begin accruing interest after disbursement.

Learn more about Federal Direct 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 percent of the published length of their program. 

Direct PLUS Loan for Parents

Parents of Dependent Students may apply for Direct PLUS Loans. These loans are available regardless of financial need and the amount of eligibility depends on the total cost of attendance.

Learn more about Direct PLUS Loans.

Accepting a Federal Student Loan

If you are eligible for a federal direct loan, the award offer will list your maximum federal loan amount

Evaluate your aid offer carefully. In the case of loans, keep in mind that whatever amount you borrow must be paid back with interest. You may not need to borrow as much as the amount listed on your award offer.

If you decide to borrow a federal direct loan at AACC to help pay for your courses or other related costs, you will need to access the AACC Federal Direct Loan Request Form by logging into MyAACC and choosing Menu > Self Services > Credit Students > Financial Aid.

You will need to complete and sign the request form and email it to for review. Additional emails will be sent to your MyAACC email account with more instructions and updates on your request.

First-Time Borrowers

If this is the first time you have requested a federal loan, you must complete an entrance interview online or by making an appointment with a financial aid advisor.

First-time borrowers also are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) once their loan is processed. You will receive an email when your MPN is available. You will need your driver’s license and contact information for three references (these are NOT cosigners).

All new borrowers must wait 30 days from the first day of classes to receive their federal direct loan funds.

Learn more about the Master Promissory Note (MPN), loan interest rates and fees.

You will receive additional information regarding subsequent loan borrowing, legal and privacy notices, and other required disclosures once your loan has been certified. This information will be sent out by your Federal Loan Servicer as required by the the U.S. Department of Education.

Loan Cancellations

You have the right to cancel all or a portion of a loan disbursement within 14 days of the date your school disbursed your loan money (by crediting the loan money to your school).

  • If you want to cancel your loan disbursement in advance at AACC, write to or email us from your MyAACC account to request a cancellation of an upcoming disbursement. It must include your name, student ID and a statement requesting the loan disbursement be canceled.
  • If your loan has been disbursed, you will receive an email to your MyAACC account notifying you of your "Right to Cancel" the loan. You must write to or email us from your MyAACC account to request the cancellation of your loan within 14 days after receiving the email. Your must to include your name, student ID and a statement requesting the cancellation of your loan.


Before borrowing a student loan, visit the Federal Student Aid website. It provides great financial aid information, including repayment plans and estimates for how much your monthly payment might be for various amounts.

You can use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website to find out who your servicer is and stay updated on your loan history and status.

Learn more about repaying your loans, grace periods, late charges and loan default and your responsibilities as a borrower.

AACC works closely with Student Connections to provide student loan default prevention options to our students. Student Connections will assist you with repayment options or resolving loans that are in default. Visit or talk to a borrower advocate for free at (866) 311-9450. 

Borrowers Agreement

All students who accept federal loans must agree to the following:

  • The student will remain enrolled in at least 6 credits for each term that the student has requested loan funds. Courses taken as “audit” do not count toward enrollment. If the student enrolls for less than 6 credits, the loan will be canceled for that term.
  • Loan funds will not be disbursed until after the course start dates and drop deadlines for at least 6 credits have passed and after attendance has been confirmed in at least 6 credits.
  • If the student withdraws from classes after aid is disbursed, the student may have to repay all or a portion of disbursed aid to AACC.
  • If the student is due a refund check, it will be mailed five to 10 business days after the college disburses the funds.
  • Award notifications list the annual maximum amount for loans. AACC will certify the eligibility for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans and may have to reduce the student’s requested amount based on annual limits, excessive prior student loan debt or other eligibility.
  • AACC may need to reduce or cancel the loan(s) if the student becomes over-awarded.
  • If the student’s loan is only for one term, it may be disbursed in two equal disbursements.
  • Once the student’s loan is processed, the student must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before any loan funds will be disbursed. The student will receive an email notification requesting that the student complete an MPN on-line. If the student fails to complete the MPN, the loan will be canceled and the student will be responsible for all charges due to AACC.

Private Loans

If you already have borrowed your maximum Federal Direct Loan amount for this year and need to borrow additional funds, a private student loan might be an option.

Private student loans are not part of the federal student loan program and require a credit check. You may borrow private loans from any lender you choose. Some private loans are open only to students taking credit classes, but others will consider continuing education (noncredit) students as well.

Borrowing costs vary between programs and institutions. You will need to investigate the costs and choose the program that is right for you.

Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.

Additional Resources offers a loan analyzer that helps students compare borrowing costs from an extensive list of private loan companies.


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