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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 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled 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. These loans begin accruing interest after disbursement.

Learn more about Federal Direct Loans.

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.

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. 

Accepting a Federal Student Loan

If you are eligible, the award letter you receive from us will list your maximum federal loan amount and provide a link to the Loan Request Form. 

You may also access this form by logging into MyAACC and choosing Menu > Self Services > Credit Students > Financial Aid > Financial Aid Awards for your selected year.  At the bottom of the awards screen, there will be a link to access the form.

Print, complete and sign the form, and submit to our office for processing.

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 are also 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.

Repayment Estimator

If taking out a loan gives you butterflies, some additional information might settle them. The Federal Student Aid website provides great financial aid information, including repayment plans and estimates for how much your monthly payment might be for various amounts.

Learn more about repaying your loans.

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 cancelled 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 5-10 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 cancelled and the student will be responsible for all charges due to AACC.

Private Loans

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

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 only open to students taking credit classes, but others will consider continuing education (noncredit) students.

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

Additional Resources

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