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Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans allow you to borrow money directly from the Department of Education to fund your college tuition and expenses. Direct loans are a serious long-term obligation that must be repaid with interest, so make sure you carefully consider whether borrowing is the right option for you as you follow the steps to get the aid you need.

Student Loans #

1. Direct Subsidized Loan
Subsidized loans are low-interest, need-based loans with flexible repayment options. With these loans, you will not be charged interest while you are enrolled at least as a half-time student, during your grace period, or during your deferment periods. You will only begin accruing interest once you have entered repayment.

2. Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Unsubsidized loans are non-need based, low-interest loans with flexible repayment options. Unlike subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans require that you begin paying interest following your first disbursement. If you decide an unsubsidized loan is your best option, you will need to submit a separate worksheet and request form to Mesa with your justification and budget plan.

Loan Amounts
The amount of loan aid you will receive depends on a few factors, including your grade level, current cost of attendance, and other financial aid awards that you may receive.

  • Grade level I student: Students with less than 30 completed major and general education units may borrow up to $3500 per year.
  • Grade level II student: Students with 30 or more completed major and general education units may borrow up to $4500 per academic year.

Direct Loan Eligibility
To be eligible for aid:

  1. You must declare a specific major area of study and obtain a counselor-approved Academic Plan. To make your Academic Plan and determine the credits and required courses you need to complete your educational objectives, you must make an appointment with an academic counselor.
    Learn about Counseling Services at Mesa
  2. You must be enrolled in at least 6 degree applicable credit hours (part-time). Dropping below 6 units will result in the cancellation of your funds and/or the return of those remaining.
  3. The amount borrowed may be up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid.
  4. You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Steps to Apply

  1. Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements.
    See the financial aid requirements
  2. Complete a financial aid application.
    Learn more about how to apply for aid
  3. Complete a loan Entrance Counseling Session.
  4. Complete and sign a Promissory Note (eMPN) and provide two personal references with different U.S. addresses.
  5. Complete a Loan Request form.
  6. Not be in default on any previously borrowed federal student loans or owe an overpayment on grants.
  7. Once you are ready to graduate, transfer, or have dropped below half-time (6 units), complete a loan Exit Counseling Session.

Disbursement Funds will be disbursed twice per loan period. If you are a first-time borrower, your check will not be disbursed until at least 30 days after the start of the semester. If you have "late start" classes, you must be actively attending classes in at least six units for loan funds to be disbursed.

Cancellation Federal Direct Loan borrowers have the right to cancel their Federal Direct Loan and students are notified of this right on the award letter when the loan was certified. The Federal Direct Loan Cancellation form [found on our Financial Aid forms page] can be used to have the San Diego Mesa College Financial Aid Office make the requested adjustment. If this form is submitted prior to or up to 14 days after disbursement, the cancellation will be performed and the student will receive notice of the new award amount. If submitted more than 14 days after disbursement, the San Diego Mesa College Financial Aid Office will evaluate the request and forward a notification if the cancellation can still be done, as well as the impact on the student’s account.  

Parent Loans #

3. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Federal Direct Parent loans are low-interest loans for parents to help pay for the cost of their child's education.

Loan Amounts
The amount of loan aid parents can borrow may be up to the cost of their child's attendance minus any financial aid they receive.

Direct Loan Eligibility
You are eligible for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan if:

  1. You are the student’s biological or adoptive parent or step-parent if married to the child’s parent at the time of their application.
  2. Your student is determined to be a dependent.
  3. Your student is enrolled in at least 6 units (half-time).
  4. You must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant.
  5. You must have good credit as determined by the U.S. Department of Education loan servicing agency.
  6. You and your student must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
  7. Your student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Steps to Apply

  1. Ensure that your student meets the eligibility requirements
    See the financial aid requirements
  2. Ensure that your student submits a financial aid application
    Learn more about how to apply for aid
  3. Complete the 4-step PLUS Application process which includes:
    • Consenting to a credit check
    • Signing an eMPN

Disbursement
Funds will be disbursed twice per loan period. If you are a first-time borrower, your check will not be disbursed until at least 30 days after the start of the semester. If you have “late start” classes, you must be actively attending classes in at least six units for loan funds to be disbursed.

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