Loans

Educational loans help students and parents pay college expenses when grants, scholarships, student employment, and other types of aid are not enough. Loans must be repaid, regardless of whether you complete your educational program. Award timeline for loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan program is the most widely used student loan program. Borrowing limits, interest rates, and terms of repayment are defined by the U.S. Department of Education.

It is not uncommon for students to have both subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans during the same semester.

The interest rate is fixed at 4.29% for Direct Stafford Loans disbursed between 7/1/2015 and 6/30/2016. Loan limits vary. The FAFSA and Penn College Financial Aid Application (FAA) are required.

  • Subsidized Stafford Loans are based on financial need. The federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time and during your six-month grace period. Your academic level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), any additional financial aid awards you might have, your EFC (determined in your FAFSA), and your estimated cost of attendance are all factored into the eligibility decision.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to virtually all students enrolled in a degree or certificate program. You are responsible for the interest, which begins accumulating as soon as the funds are disbursed.

The amount that you can borrow per year is determined by the number of credits you have earned toward your program or major:

Academic Level/Credits Earned Toward Your Program/Major Dependent Students Annual Loan Limit Independent Students (or dependent student with PLUS denial) Annual Loan Limit

Freshman

Less than 30 credits earned toward degree or certificate

$5,500

($3,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 unsubsidized)

$9,500

($3,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $6,000 unsubsidized)

Sophomore

30 or more credits toward an associate's degree or certificate or 30 to 59 credits toward a bachelor's degree

$6,500

($4,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 unsubsidized)

$10,500

($4,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $6,000 unsubsidized)

Junior or Senior

60 or more credits toward a bachelor's degree

$7,500

($5,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 unsubsidized)

$12,500

($5,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $7,000 unsubsidized)

Aggregate (lifetime) loan limit

$31,000

(no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)

$57,500

(no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)

The U.S. Department of Education deducts an origination fee from the loan proceeds at the time of disbursement.
Therefore, the loan amount the College receives on your behalf, and posts to your eBill, will be less than the principal you have to repay.

To be eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you must meet specific requirements:

  • You must submit your FAFSA for each year you intend to apply for this loan.
  • You must be enrolled in 6 or more credits each semester.
  • You may not be in default on any federal educational loan or owe a refund on an educational grant.
  • You must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of your degree or certificate.

To apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan:

  1. Submit – or review and revise, if needed – your Penn College Financial Aid Application (FAA);
  2. Complete a FAFSA for the academic year by April 15, Penn College's Priority Application Deadline;
  3. Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling*
  4. Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)*

* These steps are not necessary if you have borrowed through the Direct Stafford Loan Program in the past twelve (12) months.

After you apply, you can learn if the Financial Aid Office has received the two parts to the Direct Loan application process by checking the Financial Aid Award Summary page on the Student Information System (SIS). Allow 2-4 weekdays.

Your Federal Direct Stafford Loan will be disbursed once each semester, but not before classes begin, as long as you have complete each of the application steps. We will credit your eBill with the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan amounts, less the origination fees deducted by the U.S. Department of Education. If your student bill shows a credit balance, you will receive a refund. [You must have an activated PCT OneCard from Higher One in order to receive a refund. Your card will arrive in the mail at your home address after your attend a Summer Connections session, or after you have registered (paid) for your semester's classes.]

If you are transferring to Penn College from another college, ask your prior college to cancel the next disbursement of your Federal Direct Stafford Loan; then contact the Financial Aid Office to transfer your loan application to Penn College.

If you do not wish to accept the maximum amount (i.e., if you wish to minimize your debt), you may contact the Financial Aid Office, in writing or by e-mail, to cancel any part, or all, of your Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds. Your cancellation request must include your full name, your student ID number, and the total amount you wish to have canceled.

Refer to your Loan Disclosure Statement that you receive from the Federal Direct Loan servicer for more information.

Repayment of a Federal Direct Stafford Loan begins 6 months after you graduate, withdraw, drop below half-time (5 or fewer credits) status, or stop attending. You can choose to make interest payments while you are enrolled in college, and you have up to 10 years to repay the loans. If you withdraw from all classes, or drop below half-time status, or graduate, you must complete Exit Counseling for your Stafford Loan.

Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily postpone or reduce your loan payments. You will need to work with your loan servicer to apply for these options.

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify you for federal student aid (FSA) funds for a specific time period, but only if you were convicted for a federal offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving federal student aid.
Refer to the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Handbook for more information.

NSLDS

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a central database of student aid maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. NSLDS allows you to access information about your federal loan(s), outstanding balances, loan statuses, and disbursements. Information about the Federal Pell Grant and other U.S. Department of Education aid programs are also on record at NSLDS. You need your federal FSA ID to access your records at the secure NSLDS site.

Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) lets parents borrow money to pay the education expenses of their dependent student. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in six or more credits each semester, and the parent applicant must pass a credit check.

The interest rate is a fixed 6.84% for loans disbursed on or after 7/1/2015, and before 7/1/2016, both while the student is in college, and during repayment. FAFSA is required.

The amount that a parent can borrow per year is equal to your total cost of attendance minus the sum of all other financial aid you receive. For example, if your total cost of attendance is $20,000, and you receive $4,000 in other financial aid, your parents could borrow up to, but no more than, $16,000.

To apply for a PLUS Loan:

  1. Submit – or review and revise, if needed – your Penn College Financial Aid Application (FAA);
  2. Complete a FAFSA for the academic year by April 15, Penn College's Priority Application Deadline;
  3. Parent must submit a PLUS Loan Request during June-July, for the fall semester, to initiate a credit check. Your parent will need an FSA ID to sign in to the PLUS Loan Request.
    • If a PLUS Loan is denied due to adverse credit history, your parent will be given information about options for qualifying by obtaining an endorser or submitting documentation about extenuating circumstances, along with instructions for completing the required PLUS Counseling.
    • If your parent knows of his/her credit report issues and does not have an endorser, the PLUS denial stands; you are then eligible to receive an additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan.You must contact the Financial Aid Office to provide a copy of the Plus Loan denial. The amount for which you are eligible is based on the number of credits you have earned toward your program or major.
  4. Parent must complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) during June-July, for the fall semester. (Separate MPNs must be submitted for different students in the same family.)

If you are transferring to Penn College from another college, ask your prior college to cancel the next disbursement of your Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan. You parent will need to re-apply for this loan, following the steps above.

Private Alternative Loan

A private alternative loan is a non-federal educational loan, through a private lending institution (not backed by the federal government), typically issued in a student's name and requiring a creditworthy cosigner.

The amount that you can borrow per year is determined by the amount you will need to cover your college expenses, after subtracting the sum of all other financial aid you will be awarded for that period. Borrow only what you need. We recommend that you first submit a FAFSA to learn if you quality for government grants and other types of financial aid. We also recommend borrowing from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program before considering a private alternative loan.

To be eligible for a private alternative loan, you must be enrolled in 6 or more credits each semester. A private lender may not require a FAFSA; however, if you only wish to apply for a private alternative loan, and you refuse to submit a FAFSA, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

To apply for a private alternative loan, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a lender.
  2. Send all requested documentation – for you and your cosigner, if you have one – to your lender.
  3. Sign your loan application or promissory note. If you have a cosigner, they will also need to sign the application.
  4. If you are preapproved, accept or decline your loan offer from the lender.
  5. Complete the Private Alternative Loan Self-Certification form provided by your lender. All of the information needed to complete this form is found on your Estimated Cost of Attendance, available in the Financial Information section on the Student Information System (SIS). You may use this Self-Certification form, if your lender has not provided one to you.
  6. Log in to SIS.
  7. Under 'Financial Information', select 'View Financial Aid Information'.
  8. From 'Select Year', choose the academic year for which you are applying for the loan.  This will bring you to the Financial Aid Award Summary page; at the bottom select 'Estimated Cost of Attendance' to find your cost of attendance (COA) and estimated financial assistance (Total Aid) for the period of enrollment covered by your loan. 
  9. Return the completed form to your lender.
  10. Read and understand the three disclosures you will receive from your lender. You will receive one when you apply for your private alternative loan, another when you are approved and offered the loan, and a final disclosure just prior to disbursement.
Starting Semester Private Alternative Loan Application Timeframe
Fall Apply any time after June 1 of that year, and at least three weeks before your tuition bill is due in early August.
Spring Apply after October 1 of the previous year, and at least three weeks before your tuition bill is due in mid-December.

Do not apply for a private alternative loan more than 90 days prior to the beginning of the semester for which you are applying. Otherwise, your credit check may run out, and your loan will not be valid at the time of scheduled disbursement.

You have the right to select the private alternative lender of your choice. Because lenders, and the loans they service, can have different requirements, rates, terms, and services, you may wish to refer to our list of Questions for Your Private Alternative Lender when shopping for a lender.

Penn College does not promote, endorse, or recommend any particular lender or loan product. As such, Penn College is not liable if you, the borrower, are dissatisfied with the rates, terms, or services provided by any lender, nor is Penn College responsible for any damages incurred by you as the result of your choice of lender.

Following is a list of lenders with whom Penn College students have conducted business in the past 3-5 years. This list is provided solely for your information, and does not constitute an endorsement.

  • Citizens Bank Student Loan (fixed rate and variable rate products)
  • Discover (Discover Student Loan)
  • M & T Bank (Smart Option Loan)
  • Mifflin County Savings Bank (iHelp Loan)
  • PNC Bank (Solution Loans for undergraduates and health/medical professions)
  • SallieMae (Smart Option Loan)
  • StuFund (Smart Option Loan)
  • SunTrust Custom Choice Loan (fixed rate and variable rate products)
  • Union Federal Private Student Loan (fixed rate and variable rate products)
  • Wells Fargo (Collegiate Loan)
  • [Alaska residents] AlaskAdvantage Loan
  • [Connecticut residents] Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA)
  • [Maine residents] Maine Educational Loan Authority (MELA)
  • [Massachusetts residents] Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA)
  • [New Jersey residents] NJCLASS Loan
  • [Rhode Island residents] Rhode Island Family Education Loan (RISLA)
  • [Vermont residents] Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) Advantage Loan
  • [membership restrictions] Credit Union Ed Access Private Student Loan
  • [membership restrictions] Credit Union Student Choice

To comply with the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (enacted August 14, 2008) Penn College adopts a Code of Conduct for Education Loans to serve as the formal guiding principles in insuring the integrity of the student aid process and ethical conduct of Penn College employees in regard to student loan practices.

Contact Financial Aid

  • Address
    • Pennsylvania College of Technology
      DIF 108
      One College Avenue
      Williamsport, PA 17701