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Applying for Student Loans
Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of college. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
New Borrower Student Loan Seminar
Texarkana College is a public two-year college with relatively inexpensive tuition and fee rates. In an effort to keep student loan debt to minimum, Federal Direct Loans are not automatically awarded to financial aid students at the college. Students are required to attend a New Borrower Student Loan Seminar to be informed about federal student loans, conditions of the loans, how the loan process works, and about the benefits of borrowing the least amount of money possible. This is not a replacement for the federally required Entrance Counseling for Student Loan Borrowers, but a supplement to the loan advising process that will provide students with necessary information concerning their student loans in a small group environment that encourages questions and an interactive learning format.
After the New Borrower Student Loan Seminar, students are offered budgeting assistance in order to keep loan amounts requested to the minimum necessary. Thus, borrowers can keep their student loan debt to a minimum.
After completing the session, students will turn in a New Borrower Student Loan Seminar Loan Request form provided to you after the advising seminar. The form will be used as an active confirmation of the exact amount the student is requesting. Processing takes up to 2 weeks once the loan processing has started for the current semester. After processing is complete loan amounts will be added to the student’s financial aid file.
Students are encouraged to proceed with the online Entrance Counseling for Student Borrowers and the Master Promissory Note at https://studentaid.gov
Prior to the first disbursement, first-time borrowers of Federal Direct Loans at Texarkana College must complete the online Entrance Counseling for Student Loan Borrowers at https://studentaid.gov. The online counseling will provide comprehensive information on the terms and conditions of the loan and of the borrower’s rights and responsibilities.
Once completed an electronic file confirming the completion of the Loan Entrance Counseling requirement will be sent to Texarkana College. The average time for the entrance counseling confirmation file to process, be sent, and download into the student information system at the college is 3 to 4 days.
Federal Direct Loan funds will not disburse to your student account until Texarkana College receives confirmation of the student’s completion of this requirement.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Prior to the first disbursement, first-time borrowers of Federal Direct Loans at Texarkana College must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at https://studentaid.gov. The MPN is your legally binding promise to repay the funds you borrow under the Federal Direct Loan Program at Texarkana College. The MPN also contains the fees, interest rates, terms and conditions of your student loan.
Once completed an electronic file confirming the completion of the Master Promissory Note requirement will be sent to Texarkana College. The average time for the MPN confirmation file to process, be sent, and downloaded into the student information system at the college is 3 to 4 days.
Exit Counseling for Student Loan Borrowers
Prior to graduation or dropping to less-than-half-time (6 credit hours) student borrowers at Texarkana College must complete the online Exit Counseling for Student Loan Borrowers at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. The online counseling will provide comprehensive information on repayment options, repayment plans, loan deferments, loan forbearances, and debt management strategies.
Avoiding Student Loan Default
The Department of Education keeps a record for each college of the percentage of students who go into default on their student loans over a 3-year period after entering repayment, a measurement called a Cohort Default Rate (CDR). Texarkana College’s CDR for its only available year so far (FY 2013) was 31.2%. In the 2015-2016 school year, 19% of our total undergraduate students borrowed student loans.
Texarkana College takes the issue of student loan default very seriously, and we consider successful loan repayment an integral part of overall student success. Luckily, with the options available to you, there is no valid reason anyone should have to go into default on their student loan. Options such as income-based repayment mean that there is a payment plan made to fit any budget, there are loan forgiveness or discharge options available to students in certain circumstances, and you can ask for temporary breaks called “deferment” or “forbearance” if needed. The key to all of these is talking to your student loan servicer (the third-party company managing your loan on the government’s behalf) and staying in good contact with them.
If you are unsure who your loan servicer is, you can log in to https://nslds.ed.gov or https://studentaid.ed.gov using your FSA ID (FAFSA login). These websites will give you a full record of your loan borrowing history and all the contact information you will need to speak to your loan servicer. You can also learn more about avoiding loan default here. If you are graduating or taking a break from school, be sure to complete Exit Counselling on https://studentloans.gov to ensure you get to take advantage of your full 6-month grace period.