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Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

These are low-interest, need-based and non-need based loans provided by the federal government to help eligible students with school-related expenses. Note: You are not eligible for financial aid, and your file will not be processed, while you do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

You must be enrolled in six eligible credits to qualify for a student loan. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time status (six credits).

  • The subsidized portion is need-based. The federal government pays the interest on this portion while the student is enrolled in at least six credits and during any authorized deferment periods.
  • The unsubsidized portion is non-need based. Interest begins to accrue from the date the loan is disbursed. The student is responsible for this amount and may pay this interest as it accrues. If not paid, the accumulated interest will capitalize when the loan goes into repayment. This adds to the expense of the loan.

Annual loan limits are regulated by the government and are as follows:

Class Standing Credits Earned Base Eligibility Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility
Freshman 0-29 credits $3,500 $6,000 ($2,000 Dependent Students)
Sophomore 30 or more credits $4,500 $6,000 ($2,000 Dependent Students)
Junior/Senior 60 or more credits $5,500 $7,000 ($2,000 Dependent Students)

Aggregate Loan Amounts

Aggregate loan amounts are set by the federal government. Undergraduate levels are as follows:

(These aggregates are based on a four-year degree. Community college students should not exceed half of these levels.)

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Federal Student Aid

You can access your student loan information online. Log in with your FSA ID. For additional information on the federal loan program, including interest rates and fees, select “Understand Aid” from the top of the page and then “Loans” from the drop-down.

Special Instructions for Loans

Loan processing continues throughout the academic year, but ceases two weeks prior to the end of each term. The processing time for a loan can be up to 15 business days, so please plan accordingly. You can check for disbursement by selecting "Account Activity" from the drop-down box in the Finances section of your MyTMCC Student Center. Remember that this is money that you have to repay, so it is best to be conservative in your borrowing.

Once in repayment, students may have the ability to choose from multiple repayment plans. Repayment plans are detailed during Exit Counseling, however, students may also visit this website for additional repayment information.

The TMCC Financial Aid Office has developed a Default Management Plan to provide borrowers with comprehensive information about the Federal Direct Loan Program to promote informed borrowing and control loan default. Part of the Plan is evidenced in the "Steps to Apply" detailed below. Additionally, Financial Aid staff monitor loans in repayment and contact delinquent borrowers to offer advice in repayment. The default rate is monitored by the Department of Education and reported annually - TMCC’s current rate is 9%. Additional information on the Cohort Default Rate is available through the Department of Education's website. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information on TMCC’s Default Management Plan.

Loan Disbursement

Loans are disbursed in two equal payments, usually one in the fall and one in the spring. When loans are disbursed, the Financial Aid Office deposits the funds into your TMCC student account. Any outstanding tuition and fees are paid and then Accounting Services issues the remaining funds to you by either mailing a check or by direct deposit to your personal account if you have set this up. Federal regulations allow for a 10 day period for this process to be completed but 3-7 business days is the norm. Disbursement begins 10 days prior to the first day of class but continues throughout the year on a weekly basis.

Loans for just one semester will also be disbursed in two equal payments, one 10 days prior to the start of the semester and the second midway through the semester. Freshman first-time borrowers have a mandatory 30-day delay on the first disbursement of their loans. Classes will be held for those students and they should begin attendance as usual. Additionally, $300 Emergency Book Loans will be available for those students, should they need help with book costs. Applications will first be accepted the Wednesday before classes start with the earliest checks available on the first Monday of classes. Apply in the Financial Aid Office.