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Loans

Pima Community College has joined forces with the Department of Education and SALT in an effort to help students prevent excessive indebtedness and reduce loan default rates.  By reducing student loan debt and default rates we can improve students’ lives and empower them for a strong financial future.  To this end, we are offering you more tools, tips and information about your loan options.  The following provides details about your loan options as well as directions for borrowing wisely to fund your educational and professional goals.

Student Loan Options

 

Subsidized Stafford

Unsubsidized Stafford

Alternative/Private

Parent PLUS

Need Based

Yes

No

No

No

Credit Based

No

No

Yes

Yes

Interest Rate

4.66% fixed

4.66% fixed

Variable

7.21% fixed

Repayment

6 months after dropping below 6 credit hours or graduated

6 months after dropping below 6 credit hours or graduated

Determined by lender

60 days after loan is fully disbursed

Lifetime Limits

$23,000

$57,500

(including Sub eligibility)

NA

NA

Minimum Enrollment

6 credits hours

6 credits hours

Determined by lender

6 credits hours

FA SAP Eligibility

Must meet FA

SAP eligibility

Must meet FA

SAP eligibility

NA

Must meet FA

SAP eligibility

Subsidized Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 4.66% and the government pays the interest while you are in school (enrolled for 6 credits or more). Your eligibility is based on your financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate or stop attending 6 or more credit hours.

  • 150% Subsidized Usage Limitations: Changes that took effect for first-time borrowers as of July 1st, 2013 require that subsidized loan eligibility be limited to 150% of the published length of a program. This means that your eligibility for – and benefits from – subsidized loans end when you borrow subsidized loans for 150% or more of the time needed to complete your program of study.  This also means that once you reach or exceed 150% of the weeks required for your program of study, ALL of your subsidized loans will CHANGE to unsubsidized loans for the remainder of your repayment.  Students who complete their degrees/certificates before hitting this threshold will not be subject to losing their Subsidized benefits.  For more information on how this could impact you, see the section below titled 150% Subsidized Usage Period Limitations.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 4.66% and you, the borrower, will have to pay all interest that accrues on the loan.  The interest begins accruing at the time of the first disbursement.  Your eligibility is not based on financial need but may be impacted by other factors determined by your FAFSA.  Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate or stop attending 6 or more credit hours.  For additional information go to the Federal Stafford Loan Request Form.

Alternative (Private Educational) Loans are credit-based loans offered to students to cover the costs of attending college.  These loans often have variable interest rates that exceed the fixed interest rate of Federal Direct Stafford Loans.  Alternative loans do not always provide deferment periods and often have a shorter repayment term.  For additional information go to the Alternative Loan Request Form.

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are credit-based loans that are offered to the parent and/or legal step-parent of the student in order to cover the remaining costs of attending college.  These loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.21% and repayment starts within 60 days of the final loan disbursement.  For additional information go to the Undergraduate PLUS Application.

Helpful Resources

  • Know your loan repayment amounts: Estimate your future monthly loan repayment cost using the Federal Student Aid Repayment Calculator.
  • Set up your free SALT account: Go to www.saltmoney.org and start using all the free tools to gain control over your finances.  You can even import all of your student loans to view in one place: Import Loans to SALT.
  • Do your budget: SALT offers links to several great budgeting tools including this quick Budget Spreadsheet
  • Know your earning potential: Learn about your earning potential in your current field of study by going to the “Student Resources” tab of your MyPima account and check out the "AZ Career Information System" link within the “Career Planning” box.
  • Transferring, graduating, or withdrawing from school?  You will need to complete student loan Exit Counseling if you borrowed student loans while attending Pima.

Requesting a Student Loan

Step 1:

Address all the red flags on your MyPima Financial Aid tab to complete your file for certification.

Step 2:

Tell us that you want loans by answering yes to the “Considering borrowing a student loan?” question in your MyPima Financial Aid red flags.

Step 3:

Successfully complete the SALT course – Budgeting– with an 80% or higher.  The school will be notified within 3-5 business days of your passing grade, which will clear the red flag on your MyPima account.  Directions for how to create your FREE account with SALT can be found here: Create SALT Account.

Step 4:

Accept the portion(s) of loan(s) you wish to borrow.  You will be offered loans after your file is certified, and you have cleared the red flags for steps 2 and 3 above.  Go to the Financial Aid tab of your MyPima account and select the “Financial Aid Awards” link, select the correct aid year, and you will find your award offer under the “Accept Award Offer” tab.

Step 5:

Complete your Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov or by following the red flag hyperlinks on your MyPima account.  The school will be notified within 7-10 business days of your loan acceptance AND successful completion of these requirements, which will clear the red flags on your MyPima account.  Note that all loans borrowed through Pima CC will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders and institutions (HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B).

Requesting Additional Loan Funds

I’ve already accepted/received a student loan this aid year OR I originally declined loans on MyPima.  How do I request additional loan funds?

  • Go to the Financial Aid Forms webpage and complete the Federal Stafford Loan Request Form for the appropriate aid year, and submit it as directed on the form. 
  • Note that, based on loan eligibility; increases to loan awards will be placed in an accepted status automatically for the student.
  • Pay close attention to the deadline for loan request submissions published on the form.

Disbursement Dates

I’ve done all of the steps above.  When will I see the loan funds?

  • You will be awarded for the academic year and your loan(s) will have 4 disbursement dates - 2 per semester.
  • Your disbursement dates will be visible on your MyPima Financial Aid Awards link approximately 7-10 business days after you accept your loan(s).
  • The disbursement dates published on your MyPima account are estimates based on traditional 16-week enrollment.  Actual disbursements are based on YOUR course schedule and attendance specifically.
  • Your first loan disbursement for each semester will not occur until you are attending 6 or more credit hours.  For students enrolled in late-start courses, this means that you will not see the first disbursement of your loan until at least 6 credit hours of your courses are in session for the semester.
  • Your second loan disbursement for the semester will be midway through the traditional 16-week semester.
  • First-time student loan borrowers will have a minimum 30-day delay from the start of the semester on the first disbursement of their loans regardless of attending hours.

150% Subsidized Usage Period Limitations

Who is affected by this rule?

Students who have zero student loan balances as of July 1, 2013.

When will this affect borrowers?

Once they reach 150% of the timeframe published for their program of study.

What does 150% of the published timeframe mean?

Each program of study has a published timeframe for how long it takes to complete.  The average Associates degree at Pima takes approximately 2 years to complete: 150% of this would be 3 years.  A student who is enrolled in a 2-year program of study MUST complete that degree before 3 years of borrowing subsidized Stafford loans.  This time limit will differ based on your program of study.  Please refer to your program of study to learn the published length of time for your program.

What if I don't borrow Subsidized loans for all periods of enrollment?

Your 150% time limit only counts periods that you borrow subsidized Stafford loans.  Periods when you did not borrow them will not be counted towards your timeframe.

What happens to Subsidized loans I've borrowed if I hit the 150% Subsidized Usage Period Limit?

Your existing subsidized loans will essentially be converted to unsubsidized loans, which means that the government will no long subsidize the interest on your loans during periods of in-school deferment.  That means all interest accrued on the loans moving forward, is accruing in your name.