Female student looking at books

Financial Aid Programs


About the Federal Direct Loan

Students who demonstrate need for a portion or all of the annual limit will receive a subsidized loan and the federal government will pay the interest for the period of time in which the student is eligible for an in-school deferment.

  • Students who do not demonstrate need for part or all of the annual borrowing limit may still receive an unsubsidized loan and pay their own interest during the time they are in-school.
  • The annual limit for a student in the first year of undergraduate study is $9,500, prorated for the program length.
  • The annual limit for a student in the second year of study is $10,500.
  • Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates, withdraws from college, or drops below half-time status.

Steps to Access Offered Loan Funds

Accept your Loan Offer(s)

  1. LOG IN to MyPortal.
  2. NAVIGATE to the Financial Aid Accept Award Offer tab.
    • Apps > Financial Aid app > Awards > Award for Aid Year > Select Aid Year > Accept Award Offer
  3.  SELECT either "Accept" or "Decline" from the dropdown menu next to each loan type you've been offered.
  4. CLICK on the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.

Complete Loan Entrance Counseling

If you've never received federal student loans through Foothill before, you will need to complete Loan Entrance Counseling at StudentAid.gov.

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Sign a Master Promissory Note

If you do not have an active Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file with the Department of Education, you will need to complete one at StudentAid.gov. If you need to complete an MPN, you will receive an email from the Foothill Financial Aid Office to let you know when it is available.

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Financial Aid TV Loan Topics

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I do once I take out a student loan?

Before taking out your first loan, you must complete an entrance counseling online that explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

Once you take out a loan, it is important that you keep your college informed of any changes in your address or enrollment plans.

Before you leave college (including withdrawing, transferring or graduating), you should complete an exit interview online which will cover your payment obligations and the number of options available to you as a borrower.

If at any time you have questions regarding the repayment of your loans, contact your lender or the Financial Aid Office.

Q. I was offered a loan, but I'm not sure I should take it; how do I decide?

Because of the limited gift aid available, students are usually offered one or more educational loans.

Although loans are helpful in meeting the cost of education, they must be repaid with interest.

Therefore, carefully consider the amount you are borrowing. Remember, the amount you borrow this year will be added to other loans you have or will be taking out in the future.

You may want to look at your budget and see if there are ways you can minimize your borrowing.

Also, consider the differences in loans, such as the interest rate, when that rate is assessed, the amount you'll be borrowing and repayment options.

Q. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?

Parents will only be responsible for your educational loans if you are under 18 and they co-sign your loan. In general, though, you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans.

Q. If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?

Not immediately. The subsidized Stafford loan has a grace period of 6 months before the student must begin repaying the loan.

When you drop below half-time enrollment you will not have to repay your loan until the grace period is used up.

If you use up the grace period, however, when you graduate you will have to begin repaying your loan immediately.

It is possible to request an extension to the grace period, but this must be done before the grace period is used up.

If your grace period has run out in the middle of your leave of absence, you will have to start making payments on your student loans.

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