Loans are financial aid that must be repaid with interest at a future date. You must be attending at least half time (6 credits or more per semester) and be in good academic standing with financial aid 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 (or guarantor) is the U.S. Department of Education (ED) rather than a bank. Loans guaranteed by the federal government have much better rates and payback terms than private loans.

Repayment of the loan usually begins six months after you: graduate, withdraw from your classes, or drop below six credit hours during the semester (less than half time).

Why federal student loans are a better option than private loans

Federal Direct Loan Interest Rates and Fees

What is a cohort default rate?

A cohort default rate (CDR) is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal student loans during a Federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30 and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the third following fiscal year.

ACC’s FY 2016 CDR is 12.3% compared to the National’s FY 2016 CDR of 10.1%.

Please refer to the Cohort Default Rate Guide for a more in-depth description of cohort default rates and how the rates are calculated.

ACC District Cohort Default Information
Default Rate 12.3 10.8 11
Number in Default 518 494 615
Number in Repay 4,198 4,564 5,563
Enrollment Figures 66,234 67,145 69,534
Percentage Calculation 6.3 6.7 8

ACC Repayment Rate is 42% compared to the National’s 46.2%. The Medium Borrowing at ACC is $6547. The average monthly loan payment is $69.6.

Direct Subsidized Loan

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

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Awarded to all students who are otherwise eligible for federal student aid through the FAFSA. Unlike Subsidized Loans, you do not have to demonstrate financial need be eligible for it. The loan accrues interest as soon as it is disbursed and for the lifetime of the loan (until it is paid off).

Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Available to parents of dependent students who enroll at least half time (six credit hours per semester) and are in good academic standing with the school. This loan cannot exceed the total 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 U.S. Department of Education (ED).

If a parent is denied the Parent PLUS Loan by ED, the dependent student is able to borrow additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan amounts. Please be aware ED 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

Maximum loan debt

There are yearly and lifetime maximum loan amounts set by the federal government. If you are unsure of your loan debt, you may check with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The NSLDS website will also list your Federal loan servicer contact information, which is the entity that manages the billing and other services of your federal student loan(s). NSLDS will only contain the federal loans you have borrowed but not private loans.

How to get federal loans disbursed

  1. Complete ACC's financial aid application steps.
  2. Register for at least 6 credits from an approved degree plan during the semester (half-time status).
  3. Maintain academic standards of progress for financial aid students.
  4. Not be in default on any federal student loan or owe a Federal Grant Overpayment.
  5. Complete online entrance counseling and a master promissory note. For website assistance, follow these instructions.

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

If you need help with budgeting your funds, please contact ACC’s Student Money Management Office (SMMO). SMMO has great tools on how to set up a semester budget.

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. Register for at least 6 credits from an approved degree plan during the semester (half-time status).
  4. Maintain academic standards of progress for financial aid students.
  5. Not be in default on any federal student loan or owe a federal grant repayment.

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