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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).

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

4.53% fixed
for 2019-2020

2.75% fixed
for 2020-2021

4.53% fixed
for 2019-2020

2.75% fixed
for 2020-2021

7.08% fixed
for 2019-2020

5.30% fixed
for 2020-2021

Determined by lender
Origination Fees 1.059%
until 10/1/2020
until 10/1/2020
until 10/1/2020
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 Stafford 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)

Subsidized loan eligibility rules require that subsidized loan eligibility be limited to 150% of the published length of a program. This means that your eligibility for – and benefits from – subsidized loans end when you borrow subsidized loans for 150% or more of the time needed to complete your program of study.  This also means that once you reach or exceed 150% of the weeks required for your program of study, ALL of your subsidized loan(s) will CHANGE to interest bearing loan(s) for the life of the loan or until fully repaid.

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. For information review the 150% Subsidized Usage Limitations section in the Student Financial Aid Handbook.

With Unsubsidized Stafford 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 credible. Credible is an online tool that allows students to compare personalized loans from multiple lenders.  Students can analyze pre-qualified rates, terms, and eligibility rules side-by-side in just a matter of minutes.  Credible is not a lender or bank.  Credible partners with private lenders so that applicants have a variety of competitive options, each addressing their particular needs.  

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.

Take control of your student loans by exploring refinancing options through credible.

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

Learn how to apply for loans and what to expect next in the Student Financial Aid Handbook

Consequences of Default

Related Resources

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