Financial Aid: Federal Direct Loan Program (DL)


To be eligible to apply for any of the Title IV student loans you must:

  • Apply for financial aid using the FAFSA
  • Have a completed, verified as accurate, student aid file on record
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
  • Complete the Federal Stafford Loan (DL) Request Form (click here to print form)
  • Attend loan Entrance counseling and other special requirements if applicable.  Visit for Entrance Counseling information.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program in at least half-time enrollment status
  • Have Official Grade Transcripts from previous colleges submitted to DACC for evaluation
  • Be enrolled in only course work relevant to your program of study
  • Meet  DL Program Regulations per 34 CFR part 668
  • Meet School priority processing deadlines (published on campus kiosks, in Campus Planner & on the WEB (click here for dates)
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Before borrowing please consider this:

As a Federal Stafford Loan Borrower, you must understand that you are about to undertake a very serious obligation. Before obtaining a loan, understand that you must repay the full amount of the loan(s) with all accrued interest and deducted fees.

Federal Stafford Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized)

Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

Loans cannot be certified until after the add/drop period of the semester.

Loan disbursements are made in two checks (one per semester) released no earlier than thirty days after the beginning of the semester.

Students may borrow $3500.00 at Freshmen Level and $4500.00 at sophomore Level.

Students must repay this debt regardless of completion of educational goal or securing a career in field of study upon graduation.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents may borrow for their undergraduate students. Parents would be eligible to borrow up to the cost of education minus any financial aid. Contact the financial aid office for additional information or visit the Department of Education Website at:

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman

An ombudsman resolves disputes from a neutral, independent viewpoint. The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman will informally conduct impartial fact-finding about your complaints. Per their published statement: "We will recommend solutions, but we don't have the authority to reverse decisions. We will also work to bring about changes that will help prevent future problems for other student loan borrowers. This free service is provided by the US Department of Education.   The Ombudsman will research your problem and determine whether you have been treated fairly. If your student loan complaint is justified, we will work with you and the office, agency, or company involved in the problem. On your behalf, we will contact other offices within the U.S. Department of Education, your private lender, your loan guaranty agency, and the servicing agency or firm collecting your loan. If your complaint is not justified, we will take the time to explain to you how we reached this conclusion." Effective February 28, 2016, please use the following information to contact the FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group.

Via online assistance:

Via telephone: 877-557-2575
Via fax: 606-396-4821
Via mail: FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
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Stafford Application Processing Checklist

Have you been approved for a loan at DACC and want to be sure you have completed the steps for loan processing? If yes, Click here

Stafford Loan Default Management Plan


In fiscal year 1991 Danville Area Community College (DACC) Cohort Default Rate was at a high of 32%. This was due to a number of various factors. The dire consequences of losing all student aid programs was feared and an acceptance that the school must act and do so quickly was obvious.

Thus, a Default Management Plan (DMP) was initiated with a campus wide team to develop strategies to identify why the problem occurred and what DACC might do to alleviate it.

DACC has chosen a proactive policy in the management of Stafford loan certification, loan counseling and consumer education. DACC actively tracks borrowers before and during repayment and implements a variety of default reduction strategies.

Getting Started:

Compiled the data from the Cohort Report

Accessed data from student’s file to create a profile

Developed a synopsis of data

Developed a synthesis of findings

Researched rules and regulations to insure we were in compliance

Presented material and Plan to school governing authority

Presented Default Management Plan to Dept. of Education

Developed a review process to evaluate effectiveness/success of Plan


  • Reviewed all material given to students and prospective students and made sure updates of new policies were in all materials
  • Posted the policies on billboards in high traffic areas across campus. Added information to the DACC Internet pages.
  • Included policies on all SAP literature and progress letters to students
  • Updated FAO Procedure manual to include all steps needed to follow policies
  • Posted literature of “in-house” payment plan, DACC Foundation Scholarships, scholarship information Internet based “search engines” & alternative loan options

The Financial Aid Packaging Philosophy:

The packaging philosophy at DACC is to council on the loan programs as a “last” resort to meet educational expenses. Students are provide information in regards to the DACC Foundation scholarships, scholarship search engines such as FastWeb and encouraged to visit the DACC WEB page for scholarship listings. Students are also provided with information concerning the DACC tuition payment plan provided by NBS Tuition Management Company. All files are verified for the accuracy of the FAFSA date elements. Each student completes the Institutional Verification Worksheet Form and submits it with supporting documentation relevant to the Award Year before any determination of eligibility for programs begins.

The Loan Processing Procedures:

The DACC Financial Aid staff do not use the FAFSA results (the ISIR) to determine if a student will request a Stafford Loan. It has been the staff’s experience that many students do not understand this question nor answer it properly. It is staff’s summation that a student must know the whole of the cost at the school as well as their funding resources before making the determination a Stafford loan is needed.

A student who completes the DACC Stafford Loan Request Form (provided with their Award Letter, in bulk in Financial Aid office lobby and on-line) and submits it to the DACC FAO will be reviewed for eligibility for the program.

34 CFR Section 668.202(e)(1) of the Federal Family Education Loan Program provides that a school may refuse to certify a Stafford or PLUS loan application or may reduce the borrower's determination of need for the loan if the reason for that action is documented and provided to the student in writing provided the determination is made on a case-by-case basis.

Semester priority processing (deadlines) are established as to the last date a student may request a loan. These are well published and adhered to. There is an appeal process to address these deadlines for extenuating circumstances.

Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized:

If the student has submitted the Request for a Stafford Loan form eligibility for a loan will be determined. As part of the DACC Default Management Plan all requests for a Stafford loan are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Director may request an interview with the student in addition to the student attending entrance counseling. Students are notified in writing if they are not eligible for a loan and the reason. If the student is determined eligible a letter to complete the entrance loan counseling session (if applicable) and the loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). When counseling is completed the certification process begins and at this point the student will be able to see the Gross loan amount as “awarded” on their student aid account.

All borrowers must wait until thirty days after the start of the semester for loans to be disbursed. Students who request to charge books at the DACC bookstore may do so with no fee charged. The tuition, fees and books are deducted from the loan net amount and proceeds released to the student. The second semester disbursement also require the thirty day release criteria. Students are notified prior to the disbursement date to be expecting the disbursement. When the loan disburses the student will see this Net loan amount on their financial account statement.

A student may not have eligibility for the full Stafford Subsidized and the additional Un-Subsidized Stafford at the maximum loan limits due the DACC Cost of Attendance (COA).

DACC does not encourage excessive borrowing and councils every student to borrow at the minimums needed to meet educational costs (direct and indirect).

Key Points in Loan Entrance Counseling Sessions:

  • Review program of study and plan of completion date (Degree Audit preferred on file)
  • Review current as well as long range budget
  • Emphasis using other resources to eliminate or reduce the need to borrow
  • Emphasis the maximum loan limits (including lifetime limits for transfer students)
  • Emphasis to the transfer student that more likely than not they will need to borrow at their four year school to meet direct costs.
  • Review monthly payment amounts based on total loan debt estimates
  • Emphasis the importance of good credit and how borrowing now can affect all future consumer decisions
  • Emphasis other “consumer” credit items such as credit card debt, financing a new car or home

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students:

Parents who wish to apply for the Plus loan may request an application from DACC or submit their own (via Internet or paper). The amount is limited by the cost of attendance and other resources available for the loan period (need or merit based awards).

If a Dependent student’s parent is denied a PLUS loan and the student request the Unsubsidized Stafford this request will be honored. The denial must be documented from the lender/servicer and filed with the Stafford loan paperwork.

Attendance and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Tracking:

The DACC FAO and Records management office work closely to monitor the Tenth Day Enrollment Roster, the Mid-Term Report and the end of semester Grade Report. In addition, individual copies of the Student Add/Drop slips are forwarded to the FAO.

This information serves as a resource to monitor attendance, compliance with the minimum enrollment regulation for Stafford loans and the Return of Title IV Funds regulation.

If a student has withdrawn from a class an immediate acknowledgement of this is made by the FAO that reminds the student of SAP policies as well as enrollment issues concerning Stafford loans.

If a student totally withdraws from the school Exit Counseling material is mailed to the home with an invitation to meet with FAO staff to discuss the material.

Students are required to access the Internet site and complete the Exit Counseling Session before future loans at DACC will be certified.

Key Points in Loan Exit Counseling Sessions:

  • students’ total debt and estimated monthly payment
  • lender/servicer contact information
  • the LoanLocator handbill from NSLDS
  • information regarding the Department of Educations Loan Ombudsperson office
  • The ISAC Navigating Repayment brochure which details forbearance, deferments and the consequences of default
  • Change of Address/Phone Number forms for lender/servicer

Tracking Procedures:

The DACC FAO works closely with the DACC records office to monitor Graduates. The Intent to Graduate form is used to identify those who will be graduating by next term. These graduates, who were Stafford loan borrowers, are notified and provided with Loan Exit Counseling materials and invitation to meet with FA staff to review.

DACC has enrolled in default management services offered by Great Lakes Higher Education (GLHE) Corporation which provides monthly reports regarding estimated Cohort Default Rate based on current data as well as borrowers tracking of loan status and repayment activities. These reports provide DACC with a means to contact student borrowers to offer loan counseling to avoid a default situation.

Another source used is the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) Default Aversion Assistance Roster (DAAR) notices. These notices are used to send a letter to the student indicating contact information, consequences of default and how to avoid it. Included with the notice is an Update form for address, phone, name change if we are aware of any changes we will send this information to ISAC as well as asking the student to do so.

DACC uses the National Clearing House (NCH) and reports all attendance in a preset cycle throughout the year and as needed “real time” via the Internet. In addition, individual lenders/servicers are notified via hardcopy notices as attendance changes, a copy of this notice is sent to the guarantor as well.

The campus as a whole must commit to Default Management. It is not just a financial aid office “issue”. The integrity and availability of financial aid programs are at risk for all future students. The role of the financial aid office is to keep the campus current on issues and monitor the application and success of the plan.

The faculty at DACC designed a New Student Orientation class for all first time attendees at DACC. A session of this class is dedicated to consumer education including student loans. The FAO staff present this session and invite speakers such as staff from Consumer Credit Counseling Services, preferred lenders and local credit unions to offer their expertise on the subject.

The Director and/or Assistant Director prepare an annual statement for the DACC President (that is presented to the DACC Board) that provides updates in all matters concerning student financial aid. A part of this report is dedicated to the Default Management Plan and the current Cohort Default Rate.

This material is presented at the annual Faculty/Staff In-service at the beginning of each fall term. During the In-service the FA staff emphasizes to faculty the importance of reporting students as withdraws who are not meeting their attendance requirements and to do so in a timely manner so that DACC is in compliance with the Return of Title IV regulations as well as the FFEL program concerning minimum enrollment requirements.

The reality is that DACC does not have the power to eliminate all defaults. However, every effort possible is made and DACC staff remains diligent in process and procedures that help improve the situation.

Summary of Processes & Procedures

  • Students must use the Request for a Stafford Loan form before loan eligibility is reviewed
  • Loan eligibility is reviewed and if warranted loan certification denied or reduced on a case-by-case basis with supporting documentation filed
  • Students are counseled extensively with emphases made to alternative resource options to pay for their education before Stafford is certified
  • Eligible students must complete loan requirements by semester deadline
  • All students must perform Entrance Counseling prior to a first” loan being certified
  • All disbursements are held 30 days past the start of the semester
  • All student’s enrollment will be verified prior to the release of the loan proceeds
  • All students must perform Exit Counseling at least once an award year before additional loans will be certified.
  • Students who drop a class are sent notice regarding enrollment requirements in regards to Stafford program and SAP
  • Students who withdraw from all coursework are immediately sent Exit Material and notice to attend Exit counseling session. SAP notice is also sent at this time
  • All borrowers (current & past) are monitored for attendance using the NCH and individual updates to NSLDS.
  • Graduates are monitored using the Intent to Graduate data base and Exit Counseling information provided
  • The GLHE borrower reports and the ISAC DAAR report is used to contact students and then have follow up as to the action taken by student after receiving applicable notices.
  • All new students attend New Student Orientation class that contains consumer information as well as DL overview
  • FAO staff work closely with data providers to NSLDS to assure the accuracy of data and initiate updates as needed
  • FAO and key campus members review DMP and its effectiveness and revise policy or procedures to meet DACC needs as well as the students
  • FAO works closely with DACC Foundation to assure funds are available in the form of scholarships and to be sure their Board and the community is aware of the need of DACC students
  • FAO works closely with the President, Office of Instruction and Dean of Student Services so that there is a campus wide “buy in” of the DMP and full understanding of the consequences of loan defaults.