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What Kind of Student Loans are There?


    • Subsidized
    • Unsubsidized

Direct Stafford Loans (DL) are financial aid funds that must be repaid after completing a program of study or being enrolled less than half time. These federal educational loans have moderate fixed interest rates and multiple repayment options, which make them easier to repay than most non-educational loans and other forms of credit. But because loans must be repaid from future earnings, Cañada College recommends that students use all other possible resources first and borrow only when it is absolutely necessary.

Students who are planning to transfer to four-year colleges should be aware that loans are often the largest portion of a financial aid package and should consider total educational indebtedness before borrowing at the community college level.

Students may request a loan by completing the FAFSA and a Loan Request Packet.

To learn the steps for applying for a Federal Direct Student Loan, please visit our Loan Page.

Subsidized: for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal methodology. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you are enrolled in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.

Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time you are in school, during the grace period and deferment periods.

To be eligible for loans, students must be enrolled in an eligible program at least half time. If you fail to complete the minimum 6 unit requirement with at least a 2.0 GPA, your subsequent disbursement is subject to cancellation.

Loan Applications Accepted- through November 15 for fall term; through May 15 for spring term; through July 15 for summer term

Entrance Counseling

First-time student loan borrowers are required by federal law to complete student loan counseling prior to receiving their first Direct Stafford Loan. This counseling is conducted online and normally takes less than 30 minutes to complete. To complete Entrance Counseling for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, go to  You will need:
  • Your Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID). If you have not applied for one or have forgotten your FSAID, go to the Federal Student Aid website and create your ID.
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have never borrowed a Direct Stafford Loan from Cañada, you are required to complete a Master Promissory Note and can do so through the online process at

Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time in an eligible program, you will receive a 6-month grace period on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans during which time you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.

If you have an in-school deferment on a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan that entered repayment at an earlier date (before you returned to school) and you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or withdraw from school, you will be required to immediately begin making payments on the loan. The 6-month grace period has already been used and there is no second grace period. Make sure that both your school and loan servicer know that you are no longer enrolled.

**If you don't begin making payments when required, there is the possibility that you will lose repayment incentives you may have received or even go into default.

Exit Counseling

Cañada College is required to ensure that you receive exit counseling before you graduate or withdraw. If you have federal student loans disbursed through Cañada College, you will be asked to complete exit counseling each year while enrolled at least half-time and then again once you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or withdraw from school. Please complete exit counseling through the National Student Loan Data System for Students (NSLDS) website.

For complete loan Exit Counseling information, please download and read the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide. Refer to this resource often.

There are time limits on Direct Subsidized loan eligibility for first time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013. Refer to the Department of Education’s Fact Sheet.