Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are awards that must be repaid. TCC encourages students to be informed borrowers and to read all documents associated with any student loan.

To assist our students, we have included this guide for parents and students alike to review.  It covers a wide variety of subjects including: terminology review, how to create a budget, how to manage a student loan, and how to create a loan repayment plan.  We encourage both parents and students (new and old) to use this resource to better understand the steps they may take to ensure a brighter financial future.

Applications for Federal Direct Loans are funded through the U.S. Department of Education.   Interest rates are variable and are established by the Federal Government. Usually the interest rates are very low. Three programs exist - Federal Subsidized Direct Loans, Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans, and Federal Parent PLUS Loans.

Federal Subsidized Direct Loans

Federal Subsidized Direct loans are awarded to students who demonstrate need and expressed an interest on the FAFSA. Here's the breakdown:

  • Borrowers who have earned 0 - 30 credit hours may borrow $3,500 per year.
  • Borrowers who have earned 31 credit hours or more may borrow $4,500 per year.

All maximum loans must be split over two semesters and a seven month period. Federal Subsidized Direct Loans go into repayment six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time or has graduated from TCC. After a seven month loan period, borrowers are eligible for a new loan. Interest is paid by the Federal Government until the borrower enters repayment.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are awarded to students who don't demonstrate need, or who have other funds meeting need, but have not reached their estimated cost of attendance in financial aid funds and expressed an interest on the FAFSA. This loan can be used to replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

  • The conditions of this loan are identical to the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, except students are required to pay the interest while in school, or have the interest capitalized into the loan for repayment after graduation.

Federal Parent's Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents who demonstrate appropriate credit worthiness are eligible to borrow a low interest loan, up to the cost of education less any financial aid received, for their student. TCC requires the student to complete the FAFSA and to have a valid ISIR or SAR on file in Financial Aid in order to process a PLUS Loan. Tuition and fees are not deferred for students awarded PLUS loans.

Independent students, or students whose parents are denied for the PLUS

Independent students, or students whose parents are denied for the Parent's Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), may be eligible to borrow up to an additional $6,000 per academic year in this program, split over two terms. Students who are awarded a Direct Loan are not required to borrow. However, students who choose to keep the loan must complete the Master Promissory Note online at StudentAid.gov  . The Promissory Note must be completed as funds may not be used for deferment of tuition and fees and funds will not be forwarded to TCC until this form is received and verified. If a student chooses to reject the Direct Loan, he/she must notify the Financial Aid Office so the loan can be cancelled.

Aggregate Limit

Students who borrow their aggregate Federal Direct Loan limit while at TCC will not be eligible for additional funding at another division institution.  Loan totals can be reviewed on the National Student Loan Data System.

Enrollment Status

To apply for any loans indicated on this page, a student must be enrolled for at least six eligible credit hours as a degree seeking student and meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid.

Students who attend multiple sessions within a semester cannot receive their loans until they are attending at least 6 eligible credit hours. Students may be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours, but the loans cannot be paid until the student has verified attendance in 6 credit hours.

Note: All loan programs require repayment of the amount borrowed plus interest.  

Class attendance must be verified before any loans can be disbursed.  

View Borrower Requirements