Federal Direct Loans

A Federal Direct Loan, also known as a Stafford Loan, is a form of financial aid that is borrowed and must be repaid with interest. These loans are available to students and parent(s) to help meet the cost of attending college after all other options have been used. TCC encourages students to be informed borrowers and to read all documents associated with any student loan. We encourage both parents and students alike to review the "Understanding Student Loan Repayment" information found at StudentAid.gov.

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Borrowing Student Loans video


Types of Loans

Tallahassee Community College recognizes three Federal Direct Loans: Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. These three loan types are funded through the U.S. Department of Education. Interest rates are variable and are established by the Federal Government. Current loan rates first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024, are below:

Loan Type10-Year Treasury Note High YieldAdd-OnFixed Interest Rate
Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans for Undergraduate Students  3.448% 2.05% 5.50%
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Graduate and Professional Students  3.448% 3.60% 7.05%
Direct PLUS Loans for Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students  3.448% 4.60% 8.05%


Watch this video to learn more about the types of Federal Student Loans.

- Direct Subsidized Loans 

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover educational costs. The Federal government pays the interest while you are in school and during a short period after school. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans go into repayment 6 months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time or have graduated from TCC. All maximum loans must be split over two semesters within a 7-month period. After a 7-month loan period, borrowers are eligible for a new loan.

- Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on financial need. This loan can be used to replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You are required to pay the interest while in school or have the interest capitalized into the loan for repayment after graduation. Dependent students may borrow up to an additional $2,000 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans per academic year.

What is a Federal Direct Student Loan

- Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. TCC requires the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to have a valid Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) or Student Aid Report (SAR) on file with the Financial Aid Office in order to process a PLUS loan. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. Tuition and fees are not deferred for students awarded Federal Direct PLUS Loans. Dependent students whose parent(s) are denied the Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) may be eligible to borrow up to an additional $4,000 per academic year in this program.

  • Federal Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Parents who demonstrate appropriate creditworthiness are eligible to borrow a low-interest loan, for their student, up to the cost of education less any financial aid received. TCC requires the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to have a valid ISIR (Institutional Student Information Report) or SAR (Student Aid Report) on file with the Financial Aid Office in order to process a PLUS Loan. Tuition and fees are not deferred for students awarded PLUS Loans.

  • Independent Students or Students Whose Parent(s) Is Denied the PLUS Loan

    Independent students, or students whose parent(s) is denied the Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), may be eligible to borrow up to an additional $6000 per academic year in this program, split over two or three terms.

What is a PLUS Loan?

Loan Eligibility

Federal Direct Loans are financial aid awards that require repayment of the amount borrowed plus interest. Out-of-State students are only offered the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for the Fall and Spring terms. To be eligible for any loan, the student must:

  1. Complete the FAFSA at StudentAid.gov and be awarded a financial aid package
  2. Accept or partially accept the loan awards you would like to use
  3. Complete the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at StudentAid.gov
  4. Enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours in courses required to complete your TCC  degree program.
  5. Meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid (SAP). The SAP requirement does not apply to a First-Time-In-College student for the first enrolled semester. You are encouraged to review your degree audit to determine if your classes are required to complete your degree program. Degree audits may be viewed in Workday under TCC Academics > My Academics > View My Academic Progress.

Students who are awarded any Federal Direct Loan are not required to borrow the money; however, students who choose to accept the loan(s) are required to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling online at StudentAid.gov. The link to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling will appear as an Action Item in your Workday My Tasks. Federal Direct Loan funds may not be used for deferment of tuition and fees until the MPN and Entrance Counseling Action Items have been successfully completed. The Master Promissory Note must be completed each academic year whereas Entrance Counseling is completed only once. Students who choose to decline any loan must do so in Workday or notify the Financial Aid Office at: FinAid@tcc.fl.edu.

Your loan awards will be split into three equal payments: Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. If you choose to revise the loan awards into two equal payments (omitting one semester), then you must complete a Federal Direct Loan Request Form found in Workday under the Student Finance Hub, TCC College Forms > Financial Aid.

Applying for a Federal Direct Loan

How to Accept/Partially Accept/Decline Loan Awards

  1. Login to your Workday account using your TCC student credentials
  2. Select the Student Finance HUB
  3. Select View Financial Aid
  4. Select Institution: Tallahassee Community College
  5. Select the Award Year
  6. Select Accept/Decline Awards button
  7. Under the ‘Decision’ field (far right), select the hamburger symbol (three horizontal lines)
  8. Choose your decision (Accept, Accept Partial: must enter amount in Amount Accepted field, or Decline)
  9. Complete steps 6 & 7 for ALL offered award terms (Fall, Spring, Summer)
  10. Select the orange ‘OK’ button
  11. Select the orange ‘Done’ button

Do I need to accept my student loan on my Financial Aid offer?

Limitations of Loans

Loan totals can be reviewed at StudentAid.gov. Once you are logged in to your account, review your Loan Summary. If you borrow your aggregate Federal Direct Loan limit while at TCC you will not be eligible for additional funding at an upper-division institution. Annual loan limits are determined by academic level and dependency status. Aggregate loan limits are determined by dependency status.
Academic Level  Dependent Student  Independent Student 
Freshman: 0-29 credits

Subsidized Loan $3500/ Unsubsidized Loan $2000 

Subsidized Loan $3500/ Unsubsidized Loan $6000 

Sophomore: 30 or more credits 

Subsidized Loan $4500/ Unsubsidized Loan $2000 

Subsidized Loan $4500/ Unsubsidized Loan $6000 

Aggregate Loan Limits


Subsidized Loan Limit

Unsubsidized Loan Limit

Combined Loan Limits

Dependent Student




Independent Student





Federal Direct Student Loan Limits

Disbursement of Loan Funds

Disbursement of loan funds occurs once all requirements are met below. Disbursement dates can be found on TCC’s Dates and Deadlines webpage under Financial Aid Distribution. An origination fee is deducted from the Federal Direct Loan before the loan is credited to your student account. To estimate the actual loan amount, you should reduce the gross amount awarded by 1.057% for Federal Direct Loans and by 4.228% for Federal PLUS Loans. Any unpaid tuition and fees will be deducted prior to you receiving a refund.

  • First-time borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling prior to TCC crediting the first Stafford Loan at TCC to the student’s account, even if the student completed Entrance Counseling at another institution. The link to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling will appear as an Action Item in your Workday My Tasks or you may complete the requirement online at StudentAid.gov
  • Students who attend multiple Sessions within a semester cannot receive any loan disbursement until attendance is verified in 6 eligible credit hours
  • Federal regulations require TCC to delay payment of Federal Direct Loans to first-time in college borrowers for 30 days from the start of class. Affected students should note this delay in payment and make appropriate financial arrangements.
  • Students who accept a Federal Direct Loan for one semester only will receive two equal disbursements: one at the start of the Session and one near the mid-point of the Session, as required by Federal regulation.
  • Students who have excess loan funds remaining after tuition and fees have been deducted may be granted a textbook voucher to charge educational materials at the TCC Bookstore, online or on campus, against their loan. The student must have accepted the loan in Workday and successfully completed the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling requirements before a textbook voucher can be issued.

Loan Entrance Counseling

How do I complete the Master Promissory Note for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans?

Before Leaving TCC

- Exit Counseling

Prior to leaving TCC, all graduates and students not returning to TCC who have borrowed a Federal Direct Loan are required to complete Exit Counseling online at StudentAid.gov.

Loan Exit Counseling

- Repayment of Federal Direct Loans

Students and parents can pay toward a Federal Direct Loan at any time by working with the student’s federal loan servicer. Students can view loan information and make a payment from the student’s account dashboard on StudentAid.gov. The Department of Education has a Loan Simulator to help you make decisions about your student loans and can be used to find a repayment plan.

Student Loan Repayment