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Student Financial Aid & Veteran's Educational Benefits


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)
  • Complete the Online Financial Literacy session, USA funds Life Skills (click here to access)
  • Attend loan Entrance counseling and other special requirements if applicable.  Visit the www.StudentLoans.gov 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)

Before Borrowing CLICK HERE

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: www.studentloans.gov.


BE A WISE CONSUMER!    Please click here for important information from the Federal Trade Commission regarding Facts for Consumers, Student Loans: Avoid Deceptive Offers .  FTC link


 



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

Background:
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 with DMP:
– 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

Implementing the DMP:
–  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 the NBS Tuition Management Company.  All files are verified for the accuracy of the FAFSA data 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.

(Note: A student who has had a  past loan default that is reflected on a Student Aid Report must have an updated Student Aid Report (generated by NSLDS updates) that reflects the default status has been resolved before any Title IV and/or State student aid will be awarded. DACC will not except "Letters of Good Standing" from any agency.)


The Loan Processing Procedures


The DACC FA 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 staffs 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 FAO Lobby and on-line ) and submits it to the DACC FAO it will be reviewed for eligibility for the program.

A student must complete the Financial Literacy Session, USA Funds Life Skills before the loan request will be considered.

34 CFR Section 668.202(e)(1) of the Federal Direct Loan (DL) Program provides that a school may refuse to certify a DL 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 processing priority deadlines are established as to the last date a student may request a loan for priority processing. These are well published and adhered to. There is an appeal process to address these deadlines for extenuating circumstances. 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

Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized:

Once  the student has submitted the DACC Request for a Stafford Loan form and completed the Financial Literacy Session; 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 (click for on-line Entrance counseling link). 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 attend the entrance loan counseling session is forwarded with the loan packet. The student may also use electronic means to complete a loan application if his or her lender offers this option. When counseling is completed and packet (or electronic application) is returned to the the FAO the certification process begins.

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 based on loan proceeds may do so with no fees charged. The tuition, fees and books are deducted from the loan net amount and proceeds released to the student. The second semester disbursement also has the thirty day release criteria.

It is rare that an Independent student has eligibility for the full Stafford Subsidized and the additional Un-Subsidized Stafford at the maximum loan limits due the 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 they likely 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


Attendance and Satisfactory Academic Progress Tracking


All Title IV (this includes the loan programs) recipients must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and enrollment requirements. Click here to review the SAP policy. DACC's 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 acknowledgment 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 drops below half-time enrollment or 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 StudentLoans.gov Internet site and complete the Exit Counseling Session upon graduation. transfer or total withdrawal of courses.

Key Points in Loan Exit Counseling Sessions:

• Students’ total debt and  estimated monthly payment
• Lender/servicer contact information
• The Loan Locator handbill from NSLDS
• Information regarding the Department of Education's Loan Ombudsperson office. Click here for their WEB page
• 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.

Another source used is the 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 and reports all attendance in a preset cycle throughout the year.

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 has designed a New Student Orientation class (Sucess in College) 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 DL program concerning minimum enrollment requirements.

DACC fiscal years Cohort Default Rates have improved, from this we know that the initiative taken has helped improve the situation. The reality is that DACC does not have the power to eliminate all defaults. DACC staff will remain diligent in monitoring and accessing the process and procedures in DL management to continue to improve the situation.


Summary of Processes & Procedures

• 100% verification is performed on all FA files
• Students must use the Request for a Stafford Loan form and complete the online financial literacy session 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 (scholarships, payment plans) options  before Stafford is certified
• All  FIRST TIME BORROWERS  must perform Entrance Counseling prior to a 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 upon graduation, transfer, dropping below half-time enrollment or total withdrawal of courses
• Students who drop a class are sent a notice regarding enrollment requirements in regards to the DL  program and SAP
• Students who withdraw from all course work 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 National Student Loan Clearinghouse (reporting every 30 days)
• Graduates are monitored using the Intent to Graduate database and Exit Counseling information provided
• The ISAC DAAR report is used to sent student a notice as received and revisited for follow up for action taken by student after receiving notice
• 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 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 VP of Student Services so that there is a campus wide “buy in” of the DMP and full understanding of the consequences of loan defaults.


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." To visit the U.S. Department of Education's Loan Ombudsman login to: http://ombudsman.ed.gov/


Board Policy Section 4016.1 – Student Loan Code of Conduct

All Danville Area Community College (DACC) employees who are in anyway responsible for the administration of student educational loans will adhere to the Danville Area Community College Student Loan Code of Conduct.  This includes all Financial Aid Staff, supervisors of Financial Aid Administrators, Business Office personnel who work with the loan processes and anyone who otherwise has responsibility, authority or involved in decision making regarding student loans.

Prohibition against remuneration to DACC
DACC will not solicit, accept or agree to accept anything of value from any Lending Institution, Guarantee Agency or Servicer in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided by the Lending Institution related to its student loan activity.  This prohibition covers, but is not limited to: Revenue Sharing Agreements, Any computer hardware which DACC pays below market prices and any computer software used to manage loans unless the software can manage disbursements from all lenders. This does not prevent DACC from soliciting, accepting or agreeing to favorable terms and conditions where the benefit is made directly to student borrowers.

Prohibition against remuneration to DACC Employees
DACC will require and enforce that no officer, trustee, director, employee or agent of the college will accept anything more than a nominal value on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another during any 12 month period from, or on behalf of any Lending Institution, Guarantee Agency or Servicer. This prohibition will include, but not be limited to a ban on any payment or reimbursement from any Lending Institution, Guarantee Agency or Servicer to college employees for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars. This does not preclude any officer, trustee, director, employee or agent of the college from receiving compensation for conducting non-college business with a Lending Institution, Guarantee Agency or Servicer or from accepting compensation that is offered to the general public. This prohibition does not prevent the college from holding membership in any non-profit professional associations.

Ban on gifts
No DACC employee involved in the affairs of the college’s financial aid office shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans. ‘Gifts’ are defined, but not limited to: Any type of gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having more than a token monetary value. The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.

The following items are not to be considered to be ‘gifts’: Exit counseling services provided to borrowers to meet DACC’s responsibilities for exit counseling as required by law ‘as long as’ DACC staff are in control of the counseling (and)  Such counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender,   Philanthropic contributions that are unrelated to education loans or any contribution not made in exchange for any advantage related to education loans and/or   State education grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by on behalf of a State.

Ban on gifts to family members
Gifts to family members of any officer, trustee, director or university employee will be considered a gift to any officer, trustee, director or college employee if: The gift is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the officer, trustee, director or college employee (and) the officer, trustee, director or college employee has reason to believe the gift was given because of the official position of said officer, trustee, director or college employee.

Limits of college employees participating on lender advisory boards
DACC will require and enforce that no officer, trustee, director or employee of the university from receiving any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of an advisory board for any Lending Institution, Guarantee Agency or Servicer of receiving any reimbursement of expenses from said participation. This does not preclude any officer, trustee, director or employee from participating on any lender advisory board that are unrelated to student loans. This does not preclude any DACC employee not involved in the affairs of the college’s financial aid office from serving on the Board of Directors of a publicly traded or privately held company.

Contracting arrangements prohibited
Any officer, trustee, director or employee is prohibited from accepting any payments of any kind from a lender in exchange for any type of consulting services related to educational loans. This does not prevent anyone else in the college who has nothing to do with student loans from entering into these agreements. This does not prevent anyone not employed in the financial aid office who has ‘some’ responsibility for student loans from entering into these agreements if that individual, in writing, excuses him or herself from any decision regarding educational loans. This does not prevent anyone from serving on a Board of Directors or trustee of an institution if the individual excuses him or herself from any decision regarding educational loans.

Revenue sharing agreements prohibited
DACC will not enter into any revenue sharing agreement where: A lender provides or issues a loan that is made, insured, or guaranteed under this title to students attending the institution or to the families of such students; and where DACC recommends the lender and in exchange the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits.

Prohibition on offers of funds for private loans
DACC will not request or accept any agreement or offer of funds for private loans in exchange for concessions or promises of: A specified number of loans made, insured or guaranteed a specified loan volume and/or a preferred lender arrangement

Ban on staffing assistance
DACC will not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing. This does not include:  Professional development training for financial aid administrators, Educational counseling materials, financial literacy materials, or debt management materials to borrowers, provided that such materials disclose to borrowers the identification of any lender that assisted in preparing or providing such materials. Staffing services on a short-term, nonrecurring basis to assist the institution with financial aid related functions during emergencies, including State declared or federally declared natural disasters.

Interaction with borrowers
DACC participation in the Federal Family Educational Loan Program and all student and parent borrowers are packaged under that program. In respect to alternative loans: DACC will not, for any first-time borrower assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender. DACC will not refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.