Responsible Borrowing

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College encourages responsible borrowing.  Not sure if a student loan is right for you?  Not sure how much to borrow?  Don’t understand the process for paying back student loans?  Need answers?  Check out this video produced by the Department of Education.

The Department of Education has provided a booklet about borrowing and managing your Federal Student Loans.

Download “Be a Responsible Borrower: Plan Ahead and Graduate with Less Debt

Steps to Accept or Decline a Student Loan

Federal Student Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. There are four types of Direct Loans available:

Direct Subsidized Loans

This loan is based on financial need. The federal government “subsidizes” (or pays) the interest on these loans while you are in school at least half-time, for the six months after you leave school (also known as your grace period), and during a deferment (a postponement of loan payments). Award amounts vary based on grade level in school, dependency status, and other financial assistance received.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

This loan is not based on financial need, and interest is charged on the loan from the time it is disbursed until it is repaid in full. Students have the option of paying the interest during deferment periods and during the grace period, or they may capitalize the interest. Capitalizing interest means that it will be added to the principal amount of the loan, and it will increase the amount of loan to be repaid. Award amounts vary based on grade level, dependency status, and other financial assistance received.

Direct PLUS Loans

This is a loan for parents of dependent students. The maximum loan amount is the difference between the student’s cost of attendance and other aid the student receives. PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parent, not the student. Interest begins to accrue on the day of the first disbursement and repayment begins within 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan.

Federal Direct Loan Limits

Dependent Students

Grade LevelAnnual Loan LimitLifetime Loan Limit
Freshmen (23 credits or less)$3,500 subsidized/unsubsidized
$2,000 additional unsubsidized
$5,500 total
$31,000
$23,000 (Maximum subsidized)
Sophomore (24 credits or more)$4,500 subsidized/unsubsidized
$2,000 additional unsubsidized
$6,500 total
$31,000
$23,000 (Maximum subsidized)

Independent Students

Grade LevelAnnual Loan LimitLifetime Loan Limit
Freshmen (23 credits or less)$3,500 subsidized/unsubsidized
$6,000 additional unsubsidized
$9,500 total
$57,500
$23,000 (Maximum subsidized)
Sophomore (24 credits or more)$4,500 subsidized/unsubsidized
$6,000 additional unsubsidized
$10,500 total
$57,500
$23,000 (Maximum subsidized)

Interest Rates

Interest RatesJuly 1, 2017 – July 1, 2018July 1, 2018 – July 1, 2019
Unsubsidzed Loans4.45%5.05%
Subsidized Loans4.45%5.05%
PLUS Loans7.00%7.60%

Exit Counseling

The U.S. Department of Education regulations require that all loan recipients complete an exit interview when graduating or leaving MGCCC. You can access the exit counseling at StudentLoans.gov.

NSLDS for Students

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid. It receives data from schools, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell Grants that are traced through their entire cycle from aid approval through closure.

Repayment Options

Please visit StudentLoans.gov for repayment options.