Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is required for all financial aid.
A loan is money you borrow and must be paid back with interest. If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand all of your loan terms and repayment obligations. Your loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and be accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
Direct Subsidized Loans are loans for eligible undergraduate students, who demonstrate financial need, to help cover the costs of higher education. Interest is paid by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half-time and during any approved deferment periods.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students, not based on financial need, to help cover the costs of higher education. Although payments can be postponed while you are enrolled at least half-time, interest will accrue from the date of disbursement, and after your grace period (see Exit Counseling and Repayment below) unpaid interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan.
Annual Loan Limits
Annual loan limits are set according to whether the student is considered dependent or independent for financial aid purposes, whether the student is a first year (less than 30 completed credits) or second year (30 or more completed credits) student, and whether or not the student has demonstrated financial need, as determined by the student’s FAFSA for the year of the loan.
- Dependent, first year: $5,500 total, up to $3,500 subsidized
- Dependent, second year: $6,500 total, up to $4,500 subsidized
- Independent, first year: $9,500 total, up to $3,500 subsidized
- Independent, second year: $10,500 total, up to $4,500 subsidized
Limits for dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS Loan are the same as for independent students.
Requirements and Deadlines
Student borrowers must complete the following steps to obtain a student loan.
- Submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the school year of the loan.
- Complete Student Loan Entrance Counseling.
- Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
- Submit a Federal Direct Loan Request to the Financial Aid Office.
- Loan requests should be submitted as soon as possible to ensure timely loan disbursements. Processing time is 4 to 6 weeks.
Loan requests will be accepted no later than 2 weeks before the last day of instruction for the semester of the loan. Depending on the volume of submitted loan requests, students can expect to receive an updated financial aid offer in their MyUH portal within 4 to 6 weeks from the date of submission.
Federal Direct (Parent) PLUS Loans
Federal Direct (Parent) PLUS Loans are loans made to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid, up to the student’s cost of attendance. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf you are obtaining a PLUS Loan.
To be eligible to apply, you must be the student’s biological or adoptive parent. You may also be the student’s stepparent, if you are married to the biological or adoptive parent at the time of application.
Requirements and Deadlines
Parent borrowers must complete the following steps to obtain a PLUS Loan.
- Make sure that the student has already submitted a FAFSA for the school year of the loan.
- Apply for a (Parent) PLUS Loan.
- Submit a Parent PLUS Loan Request to the Financial Aid Office.
- Loan requests should be submitted as soon as possible to ensure timely loan disbursements. Processing time is 4 to 6 weeks
Loan requests will be accepted no later than 2 weeks before the last day of instruction for the semester of the loan.
Interest Rates and Fees
Interest rates for Federal Direct Student Loans, including Federal PLUS Loans, are determined by the loan type and the first disbursement date of the loan. Additionally, origination fees are deducted from the loan total at the time of each disbursement. To determine your interest rate and loan fee percentage, navigate online to https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates.
Example: ‘Iolana’s $1,000 subsidized loan disburses a week prior to the Fall 2022 semester. Because the disbursement date is between July 1st, 2022 and July 1st, 2023, the interest rate of the loan is 4.99%. Because the disbursement date is between October 1st, 2020 and October 1st, 2023, the loan fee is 1.057%. The total loan amount ($1,000) is reduced by the loan fee amount ($1,000 X 1.057% = $10.57, rounded to $11), and the total dollar value of the loan disbursement after fees ($1,000 - $11 = $989) is applied to ‘Iolana’s tuition. Interest on ‘Iolana’s loan is calculated at 4.99% according to the simple daily interest formula.
The minimum enrollment for student loan eligibility is 6 degree-required credits per semester at Hawai’i Community College. Any borrower who has earned fewer than 30 credits at Hawai’i Community College and has never received a federal student loan will have their loan funds disbursed no earlier than 30 days after the first day of instruction.
If your loan period is for a single semester (fall only or spring only), your loan funds will be disbursed in two equal installments during the single semester, one at the beginning and one at the midpoint. If you drop below half-time status before the midpoint disbursement, undisbursed funds will be canceled.
Canceling Your Loans
You may cancel undisbursed loans, including future disbursements of a loan that has already been disbursed, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your loans have already disbursed, within 14 days of your student loan disbursement notification, you may submit a request to cancel your loans by emailing email@example.com. After 14 days, you must work with your loan servicer to cancel or repay your loans.
Exit Counseling and Repayment
When you graduate, enroll less than half-time, or leave school, you will be required to complete Student Loan Exit Counseling. If you are a student borrower, you will enter a six month grace period, during which you will not be required to make payments. At the end of the grace period, if you have not taken action to enroll in a different option, your loan servicer will place you on the Standard Repayment Plan. You can also review other repayment options and work with your loan servicer to enroll in a different repayment plan.
If, after leaving school or enrolling less than half-time, you decide to return to school and attend at least half-time, you may be eligible for in-school deferment, which allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your Federal Direct Student Loans.
Parent borrowers will enter repayment as soon as the (Parent) PLUS Loan has disbursed.
Private education loans are non-federal loans, offered through banks and other lenders, for higher education expenses. A FAFSA is not required, however private loans are credit-based and may require a co-signer. Hawai’i Community College does not maintain a preferred lender list or provide any lender-specific information to students. Students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA and exhaust all other financial aid options (grants, scholarships, federal student loans, and work study) prior to considering private loans. Federal student loans are often a better option than private loans. For specific information regarding private loans, including how to apply, students must contact the bank or lender of their own choosing.
The Financial Aid Office processes private education loans upon student request. Once a request has been received, before proceeding, the Financial Aid Office will review the student’s account to ensure the student has considered all other options.