Student Financial Aid & Veteran's Educational Benefits
To be eligible to apply for any of the Title IV student loans you must:
Federal Stafford Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized)
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
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 on-line assistance: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare
FSA Ombudsman Group
You may also seek assistance regarding your student loans from Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General
Illinois Office using the Attorney General’s Student Loan Helpline. Phone 1-800-455-2456 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013).
For more information click here to read the Brochure.
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.
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 (FFEL) Program provides that a school may refuse to certify a FFEL 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 attend the entrance loan counseling session is forwarded with the loan MPN packet. When counseling is completed and packet returned 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 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.
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:
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 Couseling 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 before future loans will be certified.
Key Points in Loan Exit Counseling Sessions:
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
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.