Loans (Self Help)

Loans are considered a form of financial aid you borrow and must be repaid.

Before you borrow, consider these tips

  • Only borrow what you need.
  • Know what you owe.  The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid.  Check your current loan balance at:  www.nslds.ed.gov.
  • Choose the right Repayment Plan for you.
  • Know the consequences of DEFAULTING on your student loan.
  • Contact your campus Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are available to students and parents at low interest rates to help meet the cost of education after grant/scholarship options are exhausted. Student's must be eligible for federal financial aid funds and enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits) within the term to receive a Federal Direct loan.

Federal Direct loan repayment can be deferred while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time (6 or more credits).

Types of Federal Student Loans

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. 

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. 
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.
  • Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

Time Limitation of Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility

If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans.  If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program/plan. This is called your "maximum eligibility period."
For example, if you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years). 

Entrance and Exit Counseling

Entrance counseling is a mandatory information session that takes place before you receive your first federal student loan that explains your responsibilities as a student borrower. 

Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).  If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or Parent PLUS loan, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment (less than 6 credits)
  • Graduate
  • Withdrawal (officially or unofficially) from school

Private Loans

Private loans are not part of the federal education loan programs. They are designed for students who need additional financial assistance, beyond the Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized and PLUS Loan programs, to pay for school. Miami Dade College certifies private loans for International Students, or students in "high cost" educational programs (i.e. Aviation-Pilot Technology, Physician Assistant, and Culinary).

Student Loan Code of Conduct

Miami Dade College understands that ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process is essential to providing students fair and affordable access to higher education. In accordance with the requirements of the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 601.21, Miami Dade College has developed the following Code of Conduct which prohibits activities which may create conflicts of interest. 

  • Prohibition of Revenue Sharing
    Miami Dade College has instituted a ban on revenue sharing agreements.  Revenue sharing is defined as any arrangement between a school and a lender that results in the lender paying a fee or other benefits, including a share of the profits, to the school, its officers, employees or agents as a result of the school recommending the lender to its students or families of those students.
  • Gift Restrictions
    Employees of Miami Dade College shall not solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer.  Gifts include but not limited to: gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loans, transportation, lodging, meals, reimbursement or other items having a monetary value of more than a nominal amount.
  • Private Loans and Opportunity Pool Loan
    Miami Dade College will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans (including funds for an opportunity pool loan), to students in exchange for the College providing promises to the lending institutions for a specific volume of Title IV loans made.
  • Preferred Lender List
    Miami Dade College will not steer borrowers to a particular lender or delay loan certification based on the lender chosen.
  • Staffing Assistance
    Miami Dade College will not seek or accept any type of assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing from any lender, guaranty agency or servicer.
  • Advisory Board Compensation
    Any employee of Miami Dade College who is employed in the financial aid office who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or loan servicer, is prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or loan servicer, except that the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred while serving on the advisory board.