Borrowing loans to pay for college may be the only way for many students. If you do have to borrow loans for college, the Office of Student Financial Assistance wants to make sure you borrow wisely and just what you need!
Any Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loans will require you to accept those awards. We do want to note that you do not have to accept any or all of your Direct Loans. If you wish to reject your Direct Loans or accept a smaller amount you will need to complete a Federal Direct Loan Form in our office. Remember – loans are money you pay back!
Before you accept your Federal Direct loans*, keep the following things in mind:
- Don't expect to live off your Federal Direct loans. Federal Direct loans are to be used for education related expenses first, such as tuition and book costs. Any remaining loan funds can then be used towards living expenses.
- Do I need the full loan amount being awarded to me? Students are never required to accept their full Federal Direct loan award. Students can reduce and/or decline their Federal Direct loans. After all, this is money you will have to pay back!
- What education related expenses do I still need covered?
- Have I exhausted my options for grants, scholarships and/or work study?
- Make sure you Know What You Owe
To accept your Federal Direct loans, you will need to complete the following steps:
- If you were awarded a Direct Subsidized loan and you wish to accept your Direct subsidized
- You will need to accept your Direct Subsidized loan through your myACCESS only if you wish to accept the full amount.
- If you do not want to accept the full amount of your Direct Subsidized loan, you can complete the Direct Loan Form to reduce your loan award
- Complete Entrance Loan Counseling
- Complete Master Promissory Note
- If you were awarded a Direct Unsubsidized loan and you wish to accept any portion of your Direct Unsubsidized loan:
* Some students, due to their existing student loan debt, may need to come to the Office of Student Financial Assistance and speak with a Financial Aid Representative before accepting their loans and/or attend a Smart Borrowing Session to accept their Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans *
After you accept your Federal Direct loans, keep the following things in mind:
- Loans are an investment in your future! So when you don't attend your classes, keep in mind that you are borrowing money for classes you're not attending. And whether you finish the class or even your degree/certificate, you are still responsible for paying back that loan. Remember, loans are an investment in your future!
- When do I have to start repaying the loans I just accepted? After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment of 6 credit hours, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment.
- Have I accepted just what I needed?
** Financial Aid Tips **
- You do not need to accept your full Direct Loan award. You can reject your award or accept a portion of your award. Remember: This is money you will pay back!
- You can prepay your loans at any time - without any penalty. You do not need to wait until you go into repayment to start paying back your loans!
- National Student Loan Database System, NSLDS, – This site allows students to keep track of their total loan debt. Please Note: NSLDS will show all loans borrowed, excluding private loans.
- Studentloans.gov– Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Loan Counseling, Exit Loan Counseling, Financial Aid Awareness Counseling
- Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students
*Disclosure: All Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220, (630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151
Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137
(630) 942-2800 (Main)
(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)
2019 College of DuPage