Deciding to borrow money for college is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. Participation in a loan program is optional, but if you choose to borrow, it is recommended that you borrow only the amount you need. How much you borrow should be the last piece of the puzzle. The amount you borrow needs to be influenced by how much you will be receiving from financial aid sources, how much you will be contributing from your own resources (both student and/or parent), and the amount that you will realistically be able to repay once you are out of college.
You must begin repaying your student loans 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time. Your payments will include all accrued interest and deducted fees. Remember, the more you borrow the more you pay back. While the repayment of your student loan may be in the distant future, it is important for you to assess your potential ability to repay the loan. Consider your career choice and make sure it will support your monthly loan payment in addition to your living expenses.
For more information on financial aid planning you can go to I Have a Plan – Iowa
to find more tools such as building a financial aid plan, budget calculators, and a scholarship database.
For questions regarding your rights and responsibilities, loan terms and conditions, or any other specific information:
Loan Application Process
In order to complete the student loan application process you must have:
- Completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA).
- Received an Award Letter from NCC indicating your loan eligibility.
If you have met these two conditions and you want to apply for a student loan, please complete ALL three steps listed below.
- Loan Authorization Form (LAF) - On this form you need to indicate the amount of the loan you want to borrow. Refer to your NCC award letter which states the amounts for which you are eligible. Remember to borrow only what you need.
- Direct Loan Entrance Counseling - You will need to "Sign In" with the Federal Student Aid PIN used to sign your FAFSA.
- Master Promissory Note (MPN) - Beginning July 1, 2010 ALL students requesting a loan must complete a NEW MPN. You will need to "Sign In" with the Federal Student Aid PIN used to sign your FAFSA.
- Before a student can receive their first loan disbursement the U.S. Department of Education requires all student borrowers to conduct entrance counseling. The purpose of the counseling session is to provide the borrower with important information regarding their rights and responsibilities. Once you have successfully completed the session, your results will be sent to the Northwest Iowa Community College Financial Aid Office. Please print a copy of the results for your own records.
- The average federal student loan debt of those who borrow at NCC is approximately $5,300 per academic year.
- Northwest Iowa Community College considers half-time enrollment to be 6 credits in the fall, spring, and summer term. If your enrollment status drops below half-time, your future loan disbursements may be cancelled, you will no longer qualify for an in-school deferment of your loan payments, and you will either enter into repayment or start your grace period. During a grace period you are not required to make payments but the unsubsidized interest will continue to accrue.
- It is important for you to understand that interest accrues on Unsubsidized (and PLUS) loans and is capitalized during periods when the interest is not paid by you, the borrower. If you allow the interest to be capitalized, you will be charged interest on top of interest when the loans enter repayment. You do have the option to pay the interest while in school and it is in your best interest to choose this option.
- If you need to withdraw from your classes it is important that you see your Advisor to complete a "Withdrawal Form." You will also need to call or stop by the Financial Aid Office.
- If you drop below half-time, withdraw, or graduate, you are required to complete an Online Exit Counseling Session.
- Detailed federal loan information is available on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This website will outline the federal loans you received when attending NCC and also the loans received if you have attended other institutions. You will need your PIN to access the website. If you have lost or forgotten your PIN, you can "Request a Duplicate PIN".
- When a student or parent requests a Direct Loan or PLUS Loan, the loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.
150% Rule for First-Time Borrowers
As of July 1, 2013, Federal law added a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a borrower can receive Subsidized Loans. If you are a first-time borrower, the new regulation limits the time period during which you can receive Direct Subsidized loans to 150% of the standard length of your program. The maximum eligibility period changes if you change programs. A first-time borrower is an individual who has no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program loan on July 1, 2013, or on the date the borrower obtains a Direct Loan after July 1, 2013.
For a 2-year associate degree program, the maximum period you can receive subsidized loans is 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). The period used will be reduced for less than full-time study. Once you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you may continue to receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized Loans may begin accruing interest.
for additional information.
Grace Period Interest Subsidy Reinstated
Borrowers of subsidized Stafford Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014 are once again eligible for an interest subsidy during the 6-month grace period. The subsidy during the grace period had been temporarily removed by the fiscal year 2012 budget bill for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014.
The Direct PLUS Loan Program is designed for the parents of dependent students enrolled at least half-time. This loan is available to a parent to supplement their child’s financial aid package up to the schools cost of attendance.
The parent who wants to borrow a PLUS loan must complete the following two steps:
- PLUS Loan Authorization Form (LAF) – 2014-2015 (For loans starting August 2014) On this form the parent will indicate the amount of loan they want to borrow and which terms the loan proceeds are for.
- PLUS Application & Master Promissory Note – The parent borrower will need to “Sign In” with the Federal Student Aid PIN used to sign the student’s FAFSA.To view/print instructions prior to completing your application or promissory note click here.
If you have borrowed a Student Loan while attending NCC and you are now graduating, or have withdrawn or dropped below half-time, you are required to complete the Online Exit Counseling
session. The average annual indebtedness for students who borrowed Federal student loans while attending Northwest Iowa Community College during the 2012–2013 academic year was $5,358.
Before beginning the Online Exit Counseling session make sure you have all the required information listed below. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete your exit counseling. If you end the session before completing, it will not allow you to begin where you left off so make sure you have all the requested information before you begin.
You will need the following information BEFORE starting this session:
- Your Social Security number
- Your driver’s license number
- Name, address, telephone number of your expected employer
- Name, address, and telephone number of a Parent or Next of Kin
- Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and two other references not living with you. The two references cannot reside at the same address.
Help with Resolving a Problem or Dispute
important to keep all of your student loan papers and correspondence for your records. If you have a problem with a federal student loan, you should contact your loan holder or loan servicer to try and resolve the problem. If you are unable to resolve the problem on your own, you may contact the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman for assistance. The FSA Ombudsman works with federal student loan borrowers to resolve loan disputes or problems from an impartial, independent viewpoint. You can reach FSA Ombudsman at:
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, D.C. 20202-5144
Toll-free phone: (877) 557-2575