How to Apply for Federal Student Loans and Parent Loans

Beginning with the Summer 2010 Semester, NCCC participates exclusively in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Under this program, students and parents borrow directly from the federal government to pay for college costs, rather than a bank or credit union.

The starting point for all financial aid is the FAFSA application. Students must first complete this application first (every year), before student loan eligibility can be determined. If you have not already completed the FAFSA Application and received an award package from NCCC, please refer to our How to Apply for Financial Aid Webpage for instructions for getting started on the financial aid process. You can return to this page later - once your financial aid applications have been processed.

Federal Stafford Student Loans - How to Apply

Step 1. Submit the NCCC Federal Stafford Loan Application to the Financial Aid Office 
The award letter that you received from NCCC indicates the maximum dollar value of your eligibility for a student loan. You do not have to borrow the full amount, but you cannot borrow more than your eligibility. If you have decided to borrow a student loan under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, you must first complete an NCCC Federal Stafford Loan Application and submit the completed form to the Financial Aid Office. Please wait until this application is processed by the Financial Aid Office and you have received your approval before continuing to the next step.

Step 2. Prepare to Complete the On-Line Direct Stafford Loan Application Process
Once you have received your loan approval from the Financial Aid Office, you'll need to access the internet to finish the on-line processing. The entire process should take less than one hour, but be prepared to give yourself plenty of time. You will also need a few pieces of information to speed the process along.

You received a Federal PIN number from the U.S. Department of Education and used it to electronically sign your FAFSA. The PIN serves as your electronic signature and holds the same legal status as your written signature. If you have misplaced your PIN, you can go to the pin.ed.gov website and "Request a Duplicate PIN".

In addition, be prepared to provide two references (name, address, and telephone number). These should be people who have known you for at least one year (preferably relatives) who live at different addresses. You will also need your social security number and full legal name (exactly as it appears on your social security card). So if you are ready, you can go on to the next step.

Step 3. Complete an On-line Entrance Counseling Session
First-time Direct Stafford loan borrowers must complete student loan entrance counseling. Borrowing a student loan is a serious financial obligation, and the entrance counseling session will provide you with important information and teach you about your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. It will contain a few quiz-type questions to ensure that you understand these rights and responsibilities. Read the text carefully and thoroughly. This is your loan and your future, so be sure you know and understand the rules.

Following this link to complete your entrance counseling on the Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling website.

Step 4. Complete and Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is the contract for your student loan. Completing the MPN on-line is very simple and easy, but you'll want to finish it all in one session. If you exit the site prior to signing the MPN, you will have to start over from the beginning.

Following this link to complete your entrance counseling on the Federal Direct Loan MPN website.

Federal Parent PLUS Loans - How to Apply

Parents of dependent undergraduate students may also borrow to help meet the student's educational expenses. The application process is on-line through the Federal Direct Loan Program. To learn more about the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Study (PLUS) Program (including program description and eligibility criteria), click here for Program Information for the Parent PLUS Loan Program, or click here for What You Should Know Before You Apply.

Ready to Apply? Instructions for Parents:

The on-line process is quick and easy. You will need your basic identifying information, the amount you wish to borrow, and a federal PIN number. You probably already have a Federal PIN number that you used as the "parent" on your son or daughter's FAFSA application. If you don't have a PIN, or have misplaced it, click here for the pin.ed.gov website.

If you have everything you need, you are ready to start the application process. Please do not apply more than four months (120 days) before your son or daughter is planning to begin classes (or before May 1 prior to the beginning of the new school year), because your application may expire before school starts (and you'll have to do it over again).

To apply for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Study (PLUS), click here to go to the 2013-2014 Application for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan. If you have any questions or problems, please call the NCCC Financial Aid Office at 1-716-614-6266 or e-mail us at finaid@niagaracc.suny.edu.

 

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