Skip to main content

Student loans can have a much lower interest rate than private loans and sometimes the interest is deferred while students are in school. Keep in mind that any money you borrow needs to be repaid. PPCC is a participant in the Federal Direct Loan Program in which students borrow Stafford Loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education rather than from a lender.

Want to learn more about ways to pay for college? Check out the "Money Matters" video for tips on budgeting, saving, and understanding the consequences of getting into debt.

Check out this "Money Matters" video

Current interest rates on loans disbursed between July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 are:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans (undergraduate students) – 3.73% fixed

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans (undergraduate students) – 5.28% fixed

  • Direct PLUS Loans  (parents) – 6.28%

Please Note: interest rates generally increase or decrease every July 1.


Receiving Federal Loan Funds

To receive a loan you must file FAFSA, accept your loan offer on your financial aid award, then complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at and attend Entrance Loan Counseling if you are a first time borrower. You must also be enrolled in and attending half-time (6 credit hours). Entrance Loan Counseling is an online course that informs you of your loan options and repayment requirements. After you have accepted your loan in your portal, you will need to locate PPCC Online Campus (D2L) under Course Access on the Dashboard tab of the student portal. Here, you will see the class listed under PPCC Departments called “Student Loan Entrance Counseling”.   

You must successfully complete all four modules and submit your completed PPCC Entrance Counseling Confirmation page available in Module 4.  If you are not able to successfully complete the course after two attempts, you will need to complete an in-person counseling session.

Please contact Dianne Chan at or 719-502-2299 to inform her of the day and time you will attend. 

In Person Loan Counseling Sessions

Loan Types

Some loans are better than others. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you are in school and are better than an Unsubsidized, which does accrue interest even when you are taking classes.


A Federal Subsidized Loan is great because interest does not accrue when you are in school. This loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled in school at least half time.


A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on your financial need. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.

Deadline for Loan Acceptance/Adjustments Per Semester:

Fall 2021 = December 3, 2021

Spring 2022 = April 26, 2022

Summer 2022 = July 22, 2022

Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan (the better loan)

  • Must have demonstrated financial need based on EFC

  • Must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours

  • Meets Financial Aid eligibility requirements

  • Does not accrue interest while student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours

  • Requires repayment after graduating, ceasing enrollment, or drops below half-time enrollment

  • Must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling through D2L Online PPCC Portal to receive

Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan

  • Does not require demonstrated financial need

  • Must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to receive

  • Meets Financial Aid eligibility requirements 

  • Accrues interest immediately after disbursement

  • Requires repayment after graduating, ceasing enrollment, or drops below half-time enrollment

  • Must complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling through the D2L Online PPCC Portal to receive.


Cohort Default Rate (CDR)

 A Cohort Default Rate (CDR) is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on student loans during a federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) and default prior to the end of the next two federal fiscal years (3-Year CDR). The United States Department of Education releases official cohort default rates once per year for schools participating in the Title IV student financial assistance programs.    

*3YR Official CDR rate for FY2016 is the most recent rate provided by the Department of Education.  These are borrowers who entered repayment of student loans between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016 and   subsequently defaulted prior to Sept. 30, 2018.


Repayment-What to Expect

As a loan recipient, you can expect a few things to happen after graduation, dropping below half-time enrollment, leaving PPCC, or transferring to a new institution:

  • You will be required to complete Loan Exit Counseling to learn about repayment and  deferment information regarding loans you've borrowed
  • You may receive communication from your servicer indicating a change of enrollment and expectations of payment
  • You may receive a 6-month grace period of non-payment before your servicer requires monthly repayment of any loans you've borrowed

You will want to work out payment options with your servicer, but below is a sample loan repayment plan to give you an idea of what to expect:

Sample Loan Repayment Schedule

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Comparison Chart

  With Interest Capitalization (i.e., interest not paid while in school) Without Interest Capitalization (i.e.,interest paid while in school)
Original Loan Balance $10,000.00 $10,000.00
Capitalized Interest $4,800.00 **$0.00
Current Loan Balance $14,800.00 $10,000.00
Interest Rate 6.8% 6.8%
Maximum Term 120 months 120 months
Level Repayment Schedule Installment:    
119 months $170.32 $115.08
1 month $169.09 $114.24
Total Repayment Interest $5,637.17 **$3,808.76
Total Repayment Amount $20,437.17 $13,808.76


**It is beneficial for borrowers to make their interest payments because the loan will disclose at a lower balance. In this comparison, the monthly installment is $55.24 less and the total repayment at the end of the life of the loan is a savings of $1828.41 in interest.

Loan Limits

Base loan amount per year

  • $3500 for freshmen (29 credits earned or less)

  • $4500 for sophomore (30 - 59 credits earned )

  • $5500 for junior/senior (60+ earned credits and matriculated into one of PPCC's Bachelor's Degree Programs. 

- Dependent students can request an additional $2000 unsubsidized loan per year.  - Independent students can request an additional $6000 unsubsidized loan per year.
- All additional loan requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to denial.

Cumulative loan limits for a four-year, undergraduate degree program 

  • $57,500 for an independent student

  • $31,000 for a dependent student

  • No more than $23,000 of either limits may be subsidized

Apply for Financial Aid

Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for financial aid for college or grad school.

Complete your FAFSA

Sign the Master Promissory Note

After you have been awarded a loan, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN) by logging into with your FAFSA ID and complete the MPN for your Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan.

Sign the MPN

Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan

Parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow a PLUS loan to pay for educational expenses at PPCC as long as their student is:

Parents are financially responsible for repayment of this loan, are required to go through a credit check to receive it. Interest accrues on this loan from the time it is disbursed. 

If you do not make your loan payments, you can go into Loan Default after being delinquent for 270 days or more. Defaulting on your student loan can have a number of serious consequences including:

  • The national credit bureaus are notified and your credit rating can be affected.

  • The Internal Revenue Service can withhold your tax refund. 

  • Your wages can be garnished.

  • You will be ineligible to receive federal or state aid if you return to college.

 Be aware: Student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy!