Loans are financial aid that must be repaid with interest at a future date. You must be attending at least half time (6 credits per semester) to receive any loan.

Federal Direct Loans

The federal government's Direct Loan program provides low-interest, long-term loans directly to students and parents. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) rather than a bank. Loans made by the federal government have much better rates and payback terms than private loans from banks. Repayment of the loan usually begins six months after you graduate from college or stop attending at least half time.

Why federal student loans are a better option than private loans

Federal Direct Loan Interest Rates and Fees

Direct Subsidized Loan

Available to students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays the loan interest while you attend college and during your six-month grace period.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Awarded to students who do not qualify for Subsidized Loan funds but still need additional financial assistance. The loan accrues interest as soon as it is disbursed and for the lifetime of the loan. 

Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Available to parents of dependent students who enroll at least half time (6 credits per semester), not to exceed the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid awards. The parent is responsible for repaying the loan plus any interest. The parent’s credit history will be checked by the DOE. If a parent is denied the Parent PLUS Loan by the DOE, the dependent student is able to borrow Direct Student Loan amounts as if he were an independent student. Please be aware the DOE can require a parent to do PLUS Loan counseling if there is adverse credit history.

To apply for a Parent PLUS Loan: A FAFSA must be completed for the student, and the parent must complete the steps to request a Direct PLUS Loan at

How to get federal loan funds disbursed

  1. Follow all of the Financial Aid Steps.
  2. Register for at least 6 credits during the semester.
  3. Complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note . For website assistance, follow these instructions. If you are a first-time borrower, please sign up to attend a Loan Information Workshop at an ACC campus. Allow up to three business days for ACC to record your completion of the MPN and entrance counseling.

Want to know when your loan funds will be disbursed? Check out the disbursement schedule.

Maximum loan debt

See yearly and lifetime maximum loan amounts set by the federal government. If you are unsure of your loan burden, you may check with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The NSLDS website will only list the federal loans you have borrowed but not private loans.

Private loans

Private loans are not federal loans but are considered part of a student's financial aid award. These funds are typically loaned to you by a bank or other non-educational organization based on the borrower’s credit. ACC will certify private loan amounts up to the cost of attendance minus all federal aid regardless whether you accept all federal aid or not.

To request a private loan and apply the funds to ACC:

  1. Complete the financial lender's loan application and promissory note.
  2. Complete ACC's financial aid application steps.
  3. Make sure you qualify for financial aid and are making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  4. Enroll in at least 6 credits each semester.

Please be advised that the State of Texas does offer other funding to Texas residents.