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Due to unforeseen circumstances, all members of the Pima Community College (PCC) Governing Board will be attending the Board's March 8, 2023, Regular Meeting remotely. At the discretion of the Board Chair, PCC administrators and others making scheduled presentations to the Board may also be appearing remotely. Tonight's meeting will otherwise be conducted in a hybrid format as previously noticed, and members of the public may still attend in person at PCC's District Office, room C-105. During the "Public Comment-Call to the Audience" portion of tonight's meeting, public comments may still be made either remotely or in person. PCC staff will be on-site in room C-105 to assist members of the public attending in person who wish to address comments to the Board.
A student in a Pima Student Center works on a computer

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

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 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)

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. 

On December 21, 2020, Congress released the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. The bill repeals the Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA) restriction, which limited need-based subsidies on Federal direct student loans. Direct Stafford Loans may be subsidized based on financial need, with the federal government paying interest on a student’s subsidized loan while they are attending school. The SULA restriction, repealed under this law, created a “maximum eligibility period” for Direct Subsidized Loans set at 150 percent of the published length of a student’s program.

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

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

Related Resources

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