Direct Loan Program

Loan applications may be completed after you enroll for classes for the applicable semester. Loans will be certified after your financial aid award is determined. When applying for a student loan, you must understand that this is a loan that must be repaid.


Students must be enrolled in an eligible program leading to a certificate or degree and be enrolled for at least six eligible credit hours to borrow a Federal Direct Loan for any semester of attendance. Students that are in default on students loans are not eligible for student loans or any financial aid in the future.

Direct Loan 150% Loan Limit Rule

As of July 1st, 2013, any first-time borrower, (which is defined as someone who has no outstanding balance on a FFELP or Direct loan when receiving a Direct loan on or after July 1, 2013), will only be able to obtain federal Direct Subsidized loans for a maximum of 150% of the published program length in which they are enrolled. Additionally, the subsidized loans that had been borrowed up to the 150% point will lose further government subsidy and interest will begin to become the student's responsibility if they do not graduate by the 150% point (and continue to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program). From that point forward, these subsidized loans will become unsubsidized loans.

Here are a few facts that you need to know:

  • Students may receive Direct Subsidized loans for no more than 150% of the length of the current academic program. For example, a student enrolled in a two-year program will have three years' worth of subsidized loan eligibility and a student enrolled in a four-year program will have six years' worth of subsidized loan eligibility.
  • Once a student reaches the 150% mark in a particular program, their future subsidized loan eligibility in that program will end. They may, however, be eligible for unsubsidized loans.
  • A student who reaches the 150% limitation will have their interest subsidy end for all outstanding subsidized loans if the student does not graduate and continues to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program. Repayment does not begin, but like unsubsidized loans, the student (rather than the government) would become responsible for interest that accrues from this point forward.
  • Unlike other measures in determining continued aid eligibility, this provision is not affected by the total dollar amount borrowed. Any and all periods of subsidized loan borrowing will count against the 150% time limit.
  • This policy is in addition to, and not in place of, the lifetime aggregate loan limits that are currently in place.

For more information, view the FACT Sheet from the US Department of Education.

Loan Forms Submission Checklist

The following forms must be completed and submitted as a complete loan packet before loans may be certified by the ICC Financial Aid Office. First time borrowers need to submit items 1-5 below. Repeat borrowers (someone who has borrowed in the previous 5 years at ICC) only need to submit items 1 and 2.

  1. Federal Direct Stafford Loan Acceptance Form and Instructions (download and submit the correct year's form)
  2. Federal Financial Aid History
  3. Copy of Loan Entrance Counseling Confirmation
  4. Copy of Electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN)

Loan Entrance Counseling

First time borrowers must complete Loan Entrance Counseling online at the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loans website. Print the confirmation page when complete to submit with your ICC Federal Direct Loan Application.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The loan promissory note is completed online. This is your promise to repay the student loan and it is a legally binding document. Print a copy of the first page of your completed promissory note to submit with your ICC Federal Direct Loan Application. If you have any questions regarding the eMPN process, please contact Direct Loan Applicant Services at (800) 557-7394.

Processing Loan Applications

Loans will be certified for the amount requested or for the amount you are eligible, if less than the requested amount. If you are enrolled in less than 12 credit hours, your cost of attendance is adjusted to reflect your actual credit hours enrolled and your loan award will be recalculated. Any change in enrollment status after your loan is certified by ICC may require additional recalculation and revision of your original loan amount. If you submit a loan application prior to the tuition due date, you will be held in your classes. If you decide not to attend ICC, you must officially withdraw from your classes prior to the refund date of each class or you will be responsible for payment of your tuition. Please refer to your class schedule for the refund dates of your classes.

Disbursement of Loan Funds

Loan disbursements are completed in two payments during the loan period. If the student has requested a two semester loan (i.e. fall and spring loan), the student will receive one disbursement in each of the semesters. If the student has requested a one semester loan (i.e. fall only loan), the student will receive two disbursements in the semester. The second half of the disbursement is processed the week after midterm break.

Per Federal Regulations, disbursements for first time loan borrowers are not processed until 30 days after the start of the semester (approximately the 5th week of the academic semester)

Situations that may Delay or Cancel Your Loan

  • Enrollment in late start (12-Week and 2nd 8-Week) courses may delay your loan until after these classes start
  • Change in your enrollment status may require a recalculation of your loan eligibility
  • Dropping below six credit hours will result in cancellation of undisbursed loan funds

Return of Title IV Aid

If a recipient of Federal financial aid withdraws during a payment period (or a period of enrollment), the school must calculate the amount of aid the student earned through the date of last attendance. Unearned aid, including loans, must be returned to the Federal financial aid programs.

Find out all the information on Return of Title IV Aid.

Student Loan Default

Student loan default, or not repaying your student loan debt, carries serious consequences. When taking out a student loan, you want to exhaust all other possible funding methods and borrow conservatively. Students that do not repay their student loans become ineligible for any financial aid and loans in the future. Defaulted loans prevent students from renewing professional licenses. The Federal Government can collect on defaulted loans by confiscating federal tax refunds and wage garnishment. It is the student's responsibility to always stay in contact with the loan servicing center to stay current with address and enrollment information to help avoid default.

If you and your loan servicer disagree about the balance or status of your student loan and you have done everything you can to resolve the issue you can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group. They can help you find some resolution to the matter.

Please use the following information to contact the FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group:

US Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group

830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, DC 20202-5144

(877) 557-2575
(202) 275-0549 — Fax

Cohort Default Rate

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.

FY 2017 National Average – 9.7 FY 2017 ICC Average – 12.5

Estimating Your Monthly Payments

The minimum monthly payment is $50 and the maximum repayment period is 10 years.

The following table is based on a standard 10 year repayment plan. Use this table to estimate the monthly payment amount for your Federal Direct Loan

Total Amount Borrowed
5.0% Interest
6.0% Interest
6.8% Interest
7.5% Interest
8.0% Interest
8.5% Interest

Loan Fees

Loan Fees total 1.069% of the loan amount.

Dependent Students
Base Amount
Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Independent Students
Base Amount
Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount

These amounts are the annual maximums set by Federal regulations. Students attending Illinois Central College may not qualify for the total amounts if they are receiving grants, scholarships, Federal Work Study, waivers or other educational assistance.

Lifetime Loan Limits

Undergraduate Dependent Students = $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)

Undergraduate Independent Students = $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)

Loan Exit Counseling and Repayment

Student loan borrowers are required to complete Student Loan Exit Counseling at the completion of enrollment, graduation or withdrawing, whichever occurs first. The Student Loan Exit Counseling is done online. Student loans enter repayment six months after ceasing enrollment in at least six credit hours. The six month grace period for repayment is a one-time grace period. If the student has used the six month grace period in the past, repayment will begin immediately after falling below an enrollment level of at least six credit hours. You will receive notification regarding loan repayment from your loan servicer during your grace period.  In order to look up your loan servicer’s name and contact information, as well as specific information on all of your student loans, go to and sign in to view your loan information.

Direct PLUS Loans

Parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow this loan on their student’s behalf. Student’s must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). Financial need is not required but the loan is limited to the school’s cost of attendance, which varies depending on number of credit hours enrolled, minus other aid the student is receiving. FAFSA filing is required and parents must not have an adverse credit history.

The Direct PLUS loan fee is 4.264% of the total loan amount borrowed. The fee is deducted from the loan amount prior to disbursement to the borrower. The interest rate is 7% and is charged beginning on the date of the first loan disbursement.

Direct PLUS loan repayment begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed as there is no grace period. Payments may be deferred while the dependent student is enrolled at least half-time. A parent borrower who is also a student may defer repayment while he or she is enrolled at least half-time. Deferments must be requested by contacting the agency that services your loan.

Parents may apply for a PLUS loan after the student receives their financial aid award letter from Illinois Central College. The PLUS loan application and instructions are located under the Financial Aid Forms link.