Community College of Rhode Island

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Student Loan Information

Students who have not been awarded a Federal Stafford Direct Loan for 2014-2015 or would like to request an additional Stafford Loan, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is direct lending?

A. Direct lending is a loan process that is performed with the school you are attending and the US Department of Education (ED). You apply by completing a FAFSA, a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. Borrowers now will receive federal loan money directly from the US Department of Education.

Q. What is the process to apply for a Loan?

A. The following steps are required to apply for a loan:

  1. Complete the FAFSA, at www.fafsa.gov(CCRI has a priority date of July 1st)
  2. Complete required entrance counseling at www.studentloans.gov
  3. Complete a required Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov
Q. Why do I have to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

A. When you receive a Direct Stafford Loan for the first time you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education. It also explains the terms and condition of your loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that you receive over several years of study. If you previously signed an MPN to receive a FFEL Program loan, you will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct Loan.

Q. What is the interest rate?

A. The interest rate for new subsidized and unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014 is a fixed 4.66%, with the exceptions for subsidized undergraduate loans as noted in the following table:

Fixed Rate Loans
Loan Type Date of First Disbursement Fixed Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students) 7/1/14-6/30/15 4.66%
7/1/13-6/30/14 3.86%
7/1/11-6/30/13 3.40%
7/1/10–6/30/11 4.50%
7/1/09–6/30/10 5.60%
7/1/08–6/30/09 6.00%
7/1/06–6/30/08 6.80%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students) 7/1/14-6/30/15 4.66%
7/1/13-6/30/14 3.86%
7/1/06-6/30/13 6.80%

Interest rates for subsidized and unsubsidized loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 1998, and through June 30, 2006, have been updated for the period July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012: the rate for loans in repayment is 2.39%; during in-school, grace, and deferment periods, the rate is 1.79%.

Q. What if I have already had a Direct Loan? If I have already completed a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note for another school, do I have to complete another one for CCRI?

A. You will not have to complete a new Direct Loan MPN if the MPN you signed while attending another school is still active. You would need to contact the Student Applicant Service Center at 1-800-557-7394 to confirm that you have an active promissory note.

New : Parents who have applied for a PLUS loan in the past and were denied (making their child eligible for increased Stafford money) MUST apply for a PLUS loan through www.studentloans.gov. Remember that parents of students will need their Personal Identification Number (PIN), which is the same one used when completing the FAFSA.

Q. How can I figure out what my monthly payments will be?

A. The Direct Loans Program offers different loan repayment plans to meet the needs of almost every borrower. Please visit www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/RepayCalc/dlindex2.htmlto review the different plans available. Direct Loans has also provided a repayment calculator for borrowers. The calculator is available at http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/standard/comparison-calculator.

Q. How many credits must I be enrolled for to be eligible for a Direct Loan disbursement?

A. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) at the time of disbursement.

Program Descriptions and Loan Limits:

Federal DIRECT Loans

Eligibility for subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans is based upon financial need as determined by the Department of Education, using information from the FAFSA. Interest on Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans is paid by the federal government until students graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans, are not based on financial need and the interest is not deferred while the student is in school. Repayment on Federal Direct Stafford Loans is deferred until students graduate, withdraw or enroll less than half-time. There is a loan origination fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Time limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility for first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013

A first-time (new) borrower* on or after July 1, 2013 cannot receive subsidized loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of the borrower's educational program. A borrower who becomes ineligible for subsidized loans because of the 150 percent limit is ineligible for interest subsidy benefits on all subsidized loans first disbursed to that borrower on or after July 1, 2013.

To learn more about this limitation, please click here.

*Generally, a first-time borrower is one who did not have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program Loan on July 1, 2013.

Federal DIRECT Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Federal Direct PLUS Loans allow parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the full cost of college less other student aid. A student must complete a FAFSA. There is no financial need requirement for the PLUS loan, but parents must pass a credit review in order to qualify for the loan. Repayment may be deferred for up to six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time (6 credits). However, interest does accrue on the loan and is capitalized into the loan principal before repayment begins. The interest rate on these loans is fixed at 7.21%. Federal Direct PLUS Loans also have a loan origination fee charged.

Private Loans

CCRI recommends that you use all grant, scholarship and federal loan options prior to applying for a private student loan. Remember there are many differences between lenders and the terms and conditions of their loans. Research your options and compare lenders before making a final selection.

Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits

Dependent students-maximum loan amounts per academic year

The following chart provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans.
Year Subsidized Unsubsidized Total Eligibility

Freshman*

(less than 30 credit hours earned)

 

$3,500

 

$2,000

 

$5,500

Sophomore

(30 or more credit hours earned)

 

$4,500

 

$2,000

 

$6,500

The aggregate amount for a dependent undergraduate student (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans) is $31,000 for Stafford loans. (Maximum $23,000 subsidized)

Independent students-maximum loan amounts per academic year

The following chart provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans.
Year Subsidized Unsubsidized Total Eligibility

Freshman*

(less than 30 credit hours earned)

 

$3,500

 

$6,000

 

$9,500

Second Year

(30 or more credit hours earned)

 

$4,500

 

$6,000

 

$10,500

The aggregate amount for an independent undergraduate student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans) is $57,500 for Stafford loans. (Maximum $23,000 subsidized)

* Students registered in certain Certificate Programs will remain Freshman level throughout their enrollment.

 

Note: These annual loan limit amounts are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. You can have one type of loan or a combination of both. Because you can't borrow more than your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you'll get, you may receive less than the annual maximum amounts. Also, the annual loan limits assume that your program of study is at least a full academic year.

The maximum annual and total loan limits include any Stafford Loans you may have received under the FFEL Program.

Still have questions?

For more information on the Direct Lending Program please contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at: 1-888-877-7658.

This page developed and maintained by Office of Financial Aid. Send comments and suggestions to .


Last Updated: 8/1/14