Applying for Loans

Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Federal student loans may be a way to address a shortfall between the funds that you have and the funds that you will need. There is always a cost to borrowing money but federal student loans may offer benefits, such as flexible repayment plans, that aren't available with other loans. It is important to know and understand the procedures that will finalize your loan. Outlined below are the steps along with the Direct Loan Request Form. Please review the following carefully and contact our office if you have any questions.

Step 1: File FAFSA
To establish eligibility for the Federal Direct Loan you must complete and submit a FAFSA form for the applicable award year. Be sure to include PVCC (School Code: 009928) on your FAFSA. PVCC will not certify your loan without first obtaining the processed results from your FAFSA application. FAFSA and any additional requested paperwork must be completed before a loan can be processed.

Step 2: Complete Entrance Loan Counseling
This counseling will help you learn more about the necessity of repaying your student loan, your Master Promissory Note, planning for repayment, and your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.
1. Go to
2. Login in using your FSA ID
3. Select Complete Entrance Counseling
4. Choose a grade level and complete counseling

Step 3: Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The MPN is a legally binding document stating that you agree to repay your loan and that you accept the terms and conditions of your loan. The MPN also defines your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, so it’s vital that you read and understand this document.
1. Follow steps 1-2 above
2. Select Complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN)
3. Select loan type and complete MPN

Step 4: Submit a PVCC Federal Direct Loan Request Form
This collects the information necessary for PVCC to electronically transmit student loan data to the Department of Education (ED). ED will send the loan funds to PVCC using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). PVCC will credit the account when the funds are received.

Step 5: Certification by PVCC
The Financial Aid Office will create a loan record for you and electronically transmit the record to ED. Your financial aid file must be complete to be eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid.

  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)—refer to SAP Policy
  • Not be in default on previous loans
  • Be enrolled in at least six credits

Step 6: Disbursement of Funds
Funds will not be disbursed until Entrance Counseling, MPN, and financial aid requirements are completed. ED will send funds to PVCC via EFT. If the loan amount exceeds your applicable charges, a refund will be issued via EFT to the authorized bank or prepaid account on file. Refunds will be issued within 14 days from the date the refund is posted to your student account. Federal Direct Loans will not be disbursed to your PVCC account until after the last day to drop with a refund for all classes you are enrolled in each semester. Disbursements will begin no earlier than mid-semester. No aid is directly available at the beginning of the semester.

Understanding the Loan Program

Subsidized Direct Loan (Sub Loan)
A federal student loan for which a borrower is not generally responsible for paying the interest while in an in-school, grace or deferment period. To qualify for a subsidized Direct Loan, you must demonstrate financial need.

  • Students will not be charged interest before they begin repayment or during deferment periods. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during this time.
  • No credit check required.
  • Eligibility determined on financial need and cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance.
  • Repayment begins after the six-month grace period of the student graduating, withdrawing or dropping below six credit hours.

Unsubsidized Direct Loan (Unsub Loan)
A loan that you are responsible for paying the interest on during in-school status, grace and deferment periods. You have the option of postponing interest payments while in school. The interest continues to accrue and any unpaid interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance) as you enter repayment.

  • Students will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students can choose to pay the interest as it accumulates or capitalize it until repayment. The interest repayment option is available as on the Master Promissory Note.
  • No credit check required.
  • Eligibility cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance.
  • Repayment begins after the six-month grace period of the student graduating, withdrawing or dropping below six credit hours.

Interest Rates
The interest rate for subsidized and unsubsidized loans is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Interest rates for new loans are set July 1st and are in effect through June 30th (12-month period).

Dependent & Independent Student Yearly Loan Limits

Dependent Students* Base Amount Additional Unsub Amount Total
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Independent Students** Base Amount Additional Unsub Amount Total
Freshman $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000 $10,500

* Excludes students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS
** Includes students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS

Aggregate Loan Limits

Student Sub Amount Total
Dependent Undergraduate $23,000 $31,000
Independent Undergraduate* $23,000 $57,500

* Includes additional Undergraduate degree or post-baccalaureate

The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

The default is a failure to pay your loan back according to the terms disclosed in your master promissory note. You are in default on your Direct Loan if your payments are more than 270 days past due or if you fail to comply with all other terms of the loan. When this happens, any or all of the following may occur: the default will be reported to national credit bureaus, recorded on your permanent credit record, and can significantly and adversely affect your credit history; you may be subjected to legal action by the holder of the loan; your wages may be garnished; you will be unable to get additional federal or state financial aid—including student loans.

Loan Denial
Under federal regulations 34 CFR 685.301(a) (8), PVCC has the right on a case-by-case basis to deny loans. Loan approval may be denied for the following circumstances:

  • Students with insufficient loan eligibility remaining to complete their program of study.
  • Students with a previous default and student loan debt from all sources of equal to or greater than half the maximum aggregate limit in either Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans for the student's status as a dependent or independent student.
  • PLUS Loans: when the parent's or student's loan debt exceeds combines Subsidized/Unsubsidized aggregate undergraduate loan limits.
  • Other circumstances that strongly indicate an unwillingness to repay or abuse of loan programs.
  • Any denial will be explained to the student in writing.
  • Student and parent borrowers cannot be denied based on race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age disability status, or income.

Return of Title IV Aid
If a recipient of Title IV Aid resigns from college during a period of enrollment, the school must calculate the amount of aid the student earned up through the date of last attendance. Unearned aid (including loans) must be returned to the Title IV programs. Title IV Aid includes Pell Grants, SEOG, and Federal Direct and Federal PLUS loan programs. When a student resigns from college before completing 60% of the period of enrollment for the semester, a calculation of the return of funds will be performed. When it is necessary to return loan funds, PVCC is required to return the money that was disbursed to the student and the student will be required to reimburse PVCC for the repayment amount.

Creating Your In-School Budget

Establish a budget each school year before you take out a loan. This will help you monitor your spending and determine whether or not your financial resources will cover your education costs. You may find that you don't need to take out a loan each school year or that you don't need to borrow all the money your school has offered you.

  • Overestimate your expenses.
  • Underestimate your income.
  • Involve your family in the budget planning process.
  • Prepare for the unexpectedly setting saving goals to build your emergency fund.

Use the steps below to get started on your budget.

  1. Make two lists. Your first list should include all your sources of income, and the second list should include all your college costs. Sources of income may include employment, grants, scholarships, work-study income, college savings plans, and more. College costs may include tuition, books, fees, supplies, equipment, housing, food, and more.
  2. Calculate your total income and your total expenses. 
  3. Compare your total income with your total expenses. If your total income and available savings are less than your total college costs, review your list of expenses, and check for ways to reduce your spending and to eliminate unnecessary expenses. 
  4. Now, compare your total income against your expenses again.

Monthly Income Tracking Example

Income Source Monthly Income
Income from work $1200
Tax refund ($360 total ÷12) $30
Estimated financial aid credit balance refund ($2100 total ÷ 12) $175
Monthly support from parents and/or family member $250
Other income  
Total Monthly Income $1655

Learn More About Parent PLUS Loans (PLUS Loan)

Parents of undergraduate dependent students can borrow a PLUS Loan in their name for their student's education expenses, up to the Cost of Attendance. Must be biological, adoptive or stepparent. Parents can borrow in addition to the student borrowing Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized, Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized and Nursing Loans or instead of the student borrowing.

  • The U.S. Department of Education is your lender.
  • Credit check required, no adverse credit.
  • Repayment begins after the last disbursement. Parents can apply for a deferment with the lender until the student graduates, withdraws or drops below six credit hours, plus a six-month grace period.
  • The maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. 
  • Direct PLUS Loans Basics for Parents

Learn More about Nursing Student Loans (NSL)

  • Available to students accepted and enrolled in the PVCC Nursing Degree program.
  • Loan funding is limited and will be awarded based on the date the application was received and access to other fund sources.
  • Students with a minimum to no fund eligibility or exceeding SAP 150% Timeframe Rule will be considered first. 
  • Covers up to tuition, books, and fees.