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Federal Stafford Loans
Federal Stafford Loans are made through commercial lenders and guaranteed by the federal government. Loans are available at low interest rates and can be repaid over an extended period of time, usually after graduation.
Entrance / Exit Interview
What is changing for the 2010-2011 academic year?
Northwest Florida State College currently processes Federal Stafford and Federal PLUS loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), in which students and parents borrow from private lenders and banks. Beginning on July 1, 2010, NWFSC will participate "exclusively" in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, in which borrowers obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).
Why is the College changing its loan process?
On March 25, 2010, Congress passed The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 ("HCEARA" - H.R. 3872). This bill makes major changes in several federal student aid programs AND mandates that, effective July 1, 2010, all federal student loans (Stafford, PLUS) will be originated through the Federal Direct Loan program. The FFELP, which permitted private lenders to originate these loans, is eliminated effective June 30, 2010. The bill was signed into law on March 30, 2010.
What do I have to do to get my loan funds for next year?
As in prior years, you must:
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
- Provide any documents requested by our office.
- Complete an NWFSC Loan Application (available in the Financial Aid Office on the Niceville Campus).
- You will then have to complete a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Direct Loan program before the Department of Education will electronically disburse your funds to NWFSC.
Can I complete the new MPN now to get a head start?
Yes, the Department of Education has launched a new web site that will serve as a portal for Direct Loan borrowers to manage their Direct Loans. The new Web site is www.StudentLoans.gov. Effective March 28, 2010, borrowers will use this web site to:
- complete Entrance Counseling,
- complete a Direct Loan Electronic MPN (you will need the same PIN that you used for your FAFSA to electronically sign your MPN)
- view electronic loan correspondence such as disclosure statements, and
- link to other tools and resources.
What else do I have to do?
Students who are borrowing for the first time will need to complete an Entrance Counseling Session. Continuing students who currently are participating in the Stafford Program do not have to complete the new Entrance Counseling session with the Direct Loan Program. Effective March 28, 2010, student can go to the StudentLoan.gov to complete this requirement.
Consolidating All Prior Loans
Under provisions of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act ("SCASLA"), lenders have the option to "PUT" (sell) loans to the U.S. DOE. Lenders must notify borrowers if their loans have been sold to the DOE.
Currently enrolled students with Federal Stafford loans should pay particular attention to the option to consolidate all of their prior federal loans into a Federal Direct Consolidated Loan between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011. A Consolidation Loan allows you to combine all the federal student loans you received to finance your college education into a simple loan. Borrowers will be able to consolidate all of their prior Stafford Loans through the Federal Direct Consolidation Program.