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A better 2024-2025 FAFSA form is now available. Apply Today! Questions? Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
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Financial Aid Loans

Like any loan, a student loan, must be paid back. Students should learn about borrowing before making the decision to accept a loan.

The following provides details about your loan options as well as directions for borrowing wisely to fund your educational and professional goals. Note that all loans borrowed through Pima Community College will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System and will accessible by authorized agencies, lenders and institutions (HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B).

All federal student loans obtained by a student or parent are reported to and tracked on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  NSLDS loan records are accessible to all authorized NSLDS users, including schools, student loan guaranty agencies, lenders, federal agencies, and other authorized users. 

Alternative and private education loan information is not reported to NSLDS.

Loan Option Direct Subsidized Loan Direct Unsubsidized Loan Parent PLUS Loan Private Student Loan
Need Based Yes No No No
Credit Based No No Yes Yes
Interest Rates

See Federal website for up-to-date Interest Information 

Determined by lender
Origination Fees See Federal Website for up-to-date Fee Information Determined by lender
Repayment Flexible repayment options are available to all students; Some students may also be eligible for a 6 month grace period. Flexible repayment options are available to all students; Some students may also be eligible for a 6 month grace period. 60 days after loan is fully disbursed unless the parent applies for an in-school deferment Determined by lender
Lifetime Limits $23,000 $57,500 
(including Sub eligibility)
Minimum Enrollment 6 credits hours 6 credits hours 6 credits hours Determined by lender 
FA SAP Eligibility Must meet FA SAP eligibility Must meet FA SAP eligibility Must meet FA SAP eligibility NA

With Subsidized Direct Loans the government pays the interest while you are in school (if you are enrolled for 6 credits or more). Your eligibility is based on your financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Repayment begins after you graduate or stop attending six or more credit hours, some students are eligible for a grace period of six months of deferred payments.  If you are a first time borrower as of July 1st, 2013, your payments will be due as soon as your attendance drops below half-time.

With Unsubsidized Direct Loans, the borrower, will have to pay all interest that accrues on the loan.  The interest begins accruing at the time of the first disbursement.  Your eligibility is not based on financial need but may be impacted by other factors determined by your FAFSA. 

Repayment begins after you graduate or stop attending six or more credit hours, some students are eligible for an additional grace period of six months of deferred payment.  If you are not sure if you are eligible it is best to follow up with your servicer.

Private Student Loans for Higher Education

Private Student Loans are not a Title IV (Federal Student Aid) program.  Private Loans are credit-based loans offered to students by banks and other lending institutions to cover the costs of attending college.  These loans are typically requested by students who may not meet general federal student aid eligibility criteria such as, standards of academic progress or that do not intend to complete a certificate or degree program. They often have variable interest rates that exceed the fixed interest rate of Federal Direct Loans. Students who do not have a co-signer will likely need to be employed and are subject to credit approval. Private loans do not always provide deferment periods and often have a shorter repayment term.

Pima Community College does not participate in a preferred loan program with any lending institution.  Students are free to choose the lender that works best with their circumstances.  We cannot guide borrowers to any specific lender or delay a loan certification based on the lender a student has chosen. The college also does not guarantee a private student loan will be processed as some of the lender requirements will not align with our internal policies and procedures. 


An option that you can use to review and compare private lenders is elmselect. Elmselect is not a lender or a bank, it is an online tool that allows students to compare private loans for your school and your degree.  Find the loan rates and terms that meet your needs. Providing the most lender options with this free service and no registration.   

Note: Pima Community College does not endorse any of the lenders included at the links above and cannot recommend specific lenders.  Students may also choose to use a loan provider that does not appear in the list of lenders included at either of the links above.

In most cases, Federal Direct Loans offer better interest rates and repayment terms. Please be sure to inform yourself of all your borrowing options before making a decision.  You must complete the Pima Community College Private Student Loan Request Form and receive credit approval from the lender as soon as possible to ensure that your loan is certified and disbursed in a timely fashion.   

Read about the Truth in Lending Act:

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are credit-based loans that are offered to the parent and/or legal stepparent of the student in order to cover the remaining costs of attending college. These loans have a fixed interest rate and repayment starts within 60 days of the final loan disbursement. Read and apply for the Plus Loan and then complete our Undergraduate PLUS Application.

Applying for Students Loans

In most cases, loan offers will be made automatically for you to accept or decline via your MyPima account as long as you meet certain eligibility criteria. You must have a loan offered and accepted by the semester deadline in order for your loan to be approved. The deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall - December 1st
  • Spring - May 1st
  • Summer - July 1st

The above deadlines apply to requests for loan increases as well.

Learn more about student loans in the Student Financial Aid Handbook.

Consequences of Default

Reduction or Cancellation

If you determine that you do not need to borrow this or future disbursements of the loan, you may return or cancel any portion that is not needed. You can cancel future disbursements and/or return a portion or all of the loan disbursement within 14 days of the loan disbursement notification by completing the Federal Aid Cancellation/Reduction Form along with the funds you wish to return.

Related Resources

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