The process of applying for financial loans can be a confusing and difficult process for first-year students and their parents. At Northampton County College, we make managing your loans simple by matching you and your parents with funding, federal and private loans, scholarships, grants and other opportunities to ease the finances of college tuition.
Federal Direct Loans (Student Loans)
Federal Direct loans (PDF) are loans you may receive to pay for educational expenses. You must be enrolled in at least six credits per semester to qualify for a Direct loan.
There are two types of Direct loans to NCC students:
- Subsidized Direct Loans are based on your demonstrated financial need. The federal government will pay the interest on a subsidized loan while you are in school and during any grace periods.
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available for students who don't demonstrate financial need. You are responsible for all interest that accrues on the loan. You may choose to make interest payments while in school or defer interest payments, which will then be added to the principal of the loan.
Students who would like to be considered for a Direct loan will need to complete and submit a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN may be completed online (studentaid.gov). Students who are borrowing for the first time while at NCC are also required to complete online entrance counseling before a Direct loan can be granted. Additional information about Direct loans is available at studentaid.gov.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Loans)
Federal Direct PLUS loans are loans offered to the parents of dependent undergraduate students to pay for student educational expenses. Parent loans protect your guardians from jeopardizing their credit scores, but still allow them to give you the financial help you need. Because most students often don't have established credit, parent loans serve as a great backup route.
As with student loans, a student must be enrolled in at least six credits per semester for his/her parent to apply for a Direct PLUS loan. However, unlike a student loan, a Direct PLUS loan is approved based on the parent's credit worthiness. If you are planning to apply for a Direct PLUS loan, please read Northampton Community College's Lending Code of Conduct (PDF).
Private Student Loans
A private student loan is an education loan from a bank and is usually an option of last resort for most Northampton area community college students. You are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (studentaid.gov) to apply for federal, state and institutional grant aid first.
The next step would be to apply for a student Federal Direct Loan. The application for a Federal Direct Loan is at studentaid.gov. To apply for subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, you will need to complete Student Loan Entrance Counseling as well as a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). You will need your FSA ID Number that you used to electronically sign your FAFSA in order to complete the Federal Direct Loan application process.
If you are still unable to cover your educational expenses, then a private student loan may be a viable option for you. Several local banks offer private loans for Northampton Community College students, too. Learn more about NCC's loaning process by talking with a Financial Aid officer today.