Overview of direct loans (student loans) and how to apply for 2020–2021, which goes from fall 2020–summer 2021
Direct Loans Overview
Direct loans are available for students who are actively attending or have already completed a minimum of six in-program credit hours, who are in good academic standing in a qualifying program, and who are not in default on any other student loans. Direct loans may be either subsidized or unsubsidized and must be repaid. The interest rate for direct loans is variable. The amount a student can borrow per academic year will depend upon enrollment, dependency status, and other aid received. The maximum amounts you can borrow per year are listed on our website under "Direct Loans."
How to Apply for Student Loans
To apply for a loan, you must complete the following steps:
- Fill out a 2020–2021 FAFSA at fafsa.gov. A-B Tech's school code is 004033.
- Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov. Sign in with your FSA ID. If you haven't yet created an FSA ID, you can create one at fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm. After signing in, click "Complete Master Promissory Note.” This is a legal document that requires you to promise to repay your loans, and it explains the terms and conditions of the loans. If you have submitted an MPN within the past year, you do not need to submit another one.
- Complete Entrance Counseling online at studentloans.gov. After signing in with your FSA ID, click "Complete Counseling," then "Entrance Counseling.” You must complete the loan counseling selecting Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in order for us to be notified that it has been completed. If you have already completed Entrance Counseling for another school in the past, you must log in to Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov and select the option to send your Entrance Counseling record to A-B Tech. If you have completed Entrance Counseling for A-B Tech within the past year, you do not need to complete it again.
- Watch an online information session called Financial Aid Matters. This is now required for all students who are applying for loans, regardless of whether they have received loans in the past. After watching the video, complete the Questionnaire and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once the above steps are completed, the Financial Aid Office will process your request for Direct Loans and post any available loan awards to your account. You will receive a notification to your student email account when that occurs. After receiving that notification, you will be able to see the total loan amount that you are eligible to receive in your Self-Service account.
- If you need to decline or reduce your loan funds, complete the 20–21 Direct Loan Adjustment Form, which you can find online at abtech.edu/financialaidforms. Submit the completed form to the Financial Aid Office in person in the Bailey Building. Please review the Financial Aid Document Submission Policy carefully. If you are requesting loan money for the fall semester only, you must be graduating in the fall or transferring to another school in the spring. Once you submit your form, you are not allowed to make any changes to request additional loan funds. Therefore, please make sure you request enough loan funding to cover your expenses for both semesters.
Your financial aid can take a minimum of two–four weeks to process and can be longer during peak times of the year. If the Financial Aid Office needs additional documentation to process your financial aid, the process could take longer. Loan applications can take an additional two–four weeks to process. The entire loan application process can take around four–eight weeks to process.
The deadline to complete all loan requirements can be be found by visiting the Financial Aid Dates & Deadlines page and selecting the link for the correct semester.
How Loans Are Disbursed
All Federal Direct Student Loans will be awarded in multiple disbursements per semester. Direct Loans are disbursed after your attendance is recorded in at least six credit hours. If you're actively taking at least six credit hours, you'll be eligible to receive the full amount of your loans for that semester; however, the loan will still be disbursed in multiple separate disbursements per semester. As with other types of financial aid, Direct Loans are disbursed through the preference you set up with BankMobile.
Subsidized Direct Loans
Subsidized loan funds are awarded based on financial need. The federal government pays your interest while you're enrolled in school at least half-time in a qualifying program. You begin paying interest when repayment of the loan begins.
Unsubsidized Direct Loans
Unsubsidized loan funds are not need-based. You will be charged interest from the time funds are disbursed until the loan is paid in full. You can choose to make monthly interest payments while you're in school, or you can choose to defer interest payments. If you choose to defer interest, it will accrue and will be added to the principal amount of the loan.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
A Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a federal direct loan which the parent may apply for.
Key Words: direct loan, loan, loans, borrow, financial aid, apply, subsidized loan, unsubsidized loan, MPN, Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling, Financial Aid Matters