Direct Loans

Federal student loans provide eligible students with an avenue of covering their educational costs while they're enrolled. The Department of Education acts as a lender for students. Unlike grants, loans must be repaid and follow a rigorous application process in order to make sure that students understand the implications of receiving a student loan. Qualifications for a Federal Direct Loan entails the following:

  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time
  • Students must show a financial need after other grants and student resources have been exhausted
  • Students must be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree or certificate

Watch Financial Aid TV About Direct Loans

Types of Federal Direct Loans:

  • Subsidized Direct Loans are available to undergraduate students only. The interest on subsidized loans are paid for by the United States Department of Education as long as the student is in school half-time, during the 6-month grace period after the student leaves school, and during deferment.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Borrowers are not required to show financial need to receive an unsubsidized loan as long as total aid does not exceed the cost of attendance. Unlike subsidized loans, interest will accrue on the borrowed principal balance while the student is in school and is not paid for by the Department of Education. Unless borrowers qualify for a deferment, loan repayment begins six months after they cease to achieve at least half-time enrollment in a postsecondary institution.

Both loans will require an extensive application process and will need approval from the US Department of Education.

Cohort Default Rate

San Joaquin Delta College’s Cohort Default Rate (CDR) is 3.3% and the National Default Rate is 2.3%.  Approximately 3% of our student population borrow student loans.

Federal Direct Loan Procedures and Requirements
Student Procedure

How to Apply for a Federal Direct Loan

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. If requested, submit all required documents to complete your Financial Aid file with Delta College. Check your MyDelta Student Portal under the Tasks tile for additional paperwork you may need to submit.
  3. Receive your Financial Aid eligibility notice in your student email account. You will also be notified whether or not you may apply for a Federal Direct Loan. 
  4. To apply for loans during primary terms (Fall and Spring), submit loan request by emailing Please submit loan request from your Delta E-mail account and include your Delta ID#.
Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must be in good academic standing, as spelled out under Delta's Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines.
  • Students must not be in default for any other federal students loans.
  • New borrowers must complete the Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.
  • An Exit Counseling session must be completed before the 2nd loan disbursement date.
Loan Application: Dates of Availability and Disbursement Info

Loan Application - Dates of Availability and Disbursement Info

Fall 2023
Applications Available to Eligible Students August 18, 2023
1st Disbursement  September 22, 2023
2nd Disbursement October 20, 2023
Spring 2024
Applications Available to Eligible Students January 12, 2024
1st Disbursement  February 16, 2024
2nd Disbursement March 15, 2024


Deadlines for Loan Application Submission

Fall 2023
All Applicants November 22, 2023 at 5 p.m. (PST)
Spring 2024
All Applicants April 5, 2024 at 5 p.m. (PST)


All applications received after the deadlines outlined above will not be processed until the following semester, and will be considered an award for the following semester. For disbursement information, please read the Loan Disbursement Policy & Regulations below.

Loan Disbursement Policy and Regulations

Disbursement Information

According to our policy and regulations, loan funds will be disbursed as follows:

  • Loans are disbursed in two payments per semester. No exceptions.
  • If the student is awarded for a full year, the award total will be allocated 50% in the Fall and 50% in the Spring. Each semester will have two payments, fewer loans, and origination fees.
  • If the student is awarded for only one semester, students will receive their award in two payments during the semester, less loan and origination fees.
  • All loans are subjected to loan and origination fees enacted by the Federal Department of Education.

All applicants for student loans must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling, as prescribed by the Eligibility Requirements spelled out above.

Federal Regulations for New First-Time Borrowers

If a student is enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate program of study and has not previously received a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or a Federal Supplemental Loan for Students, a school may not disburse the proceeds of a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan until 30 days after the first day of the student's program of study. [34 CFR 685.303(b)(5)]

New first-time loan borrowers will receive their first disbursements 30 days after the first day of school.

Student's Rights and Responsibilities

Students Rights

You have the right to ask a school

  • What it costs to attend and about the refund policies for students who drop out.
  • How the school determines whether students are maintaining satisfactory academic progress and what happens if they are not.
  • What financial assistance is available, including all federal, state and school financial aid programs.
  • What the deadline is for submitting each aid application and about the criteria used to select recipients.
  • How each student's financial need is determined, including how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses are considered in your budget.
  • What resources-such as parental contribution, other financial aid, personal assets, etc.-are included in the need calculation, and how much of your financial need, determined by the school, has been met.
  • To explain the various programs in your student aid package. If you believe you have been treated unfairly, you may request reconsideration.
  • What portion of the financial aid must be repaid and what portion is grant aid.
  • What is the interest rate, the total amount to be repaid, repayment procedures, the length of time to repay the loan, and the date when repayment begins.
  • How to apply for additional aid if your financial circumstances change.
  • Within certain timeframes, you may cancel a loan or request a lower amount by contacting the school at

Students Responsibilities

It is your responsibility to

  • Review all information about a school's program before enrolling.
  • Pay special attention to your application for student financial aid, complete it accurately, and submit it on time to the right place. Errors can delay financial aid. Intentional misreporting of information on application forms for financial aid is a criminal offense subject to penalties. Aid awarded due to inaccurate information will have to be repaid.
  • Submit all paperwork by the deadline.
  • Submit all paperwork to the right place.
  • Respond promptly and return all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by the financial aid office or the agency to which you submitted applications.
  • Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms that you sign.
  • Notify the lender within 10 days of changes in your name, permanent mailing address, and school status.
  • Repay the loan according to the repayment schedule. Payment is required even if you do not get a bill.
  • Do not wait for the lender to contact you; write and request a repayment schedule.
  • If you cannot make a payment or think no payment is due, contact your lender and request a deferment of repayment, forbearance, hardship extension, or in-school extension.
  • Understand the school's refund procedures.
Defaulting on Student Loans

Defaulting on student loans is a serious matter and should be addressed as soon as possible. DO NOT be afraid to contact your lender or collection company; they are there to assist you in finding the best way to pay off your student loan, regain your financial aid eligibility and straighten out your credit record. In order to regain eligibility for financial aid and get back on track with credit bureaus, some important options are available:

  • Pay the defaulted loan in full.
  • Borrowers can meet satisfactory repayment criteria, like making six consecutive satisfactory payments.
  • Some loan servicer(s) allow consolidation of defaulted loans, though some consolidation lenders will require students to make satisfactory repayments on their loans for a specific period of time before consolidation can be considered.
  • Rehabilitation of the defaulted loan, meaning students can agree with their loan servicers on an affordable repayment plan, which would allow repayments to occur for 12 consecutive months. Once the 12 payments are made, default information will be removed from the student's credit records.

For more help with student loan defaults as well as a listing of loan servicers and possible repayment options, students can utilize with their lenders, visit Delta's Default Management page. Also visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information on what it means to be delinquent on student loans, what the consequences are for going into default, and tips on how to get out of it.

Important Note

Federal Direct Loans (also called Direct Stafford Loans) are funds which must be repaid to the United States Department of Education. Unlike private loans, student loans cannot be forgiven and places the borrower in debt until the balance of the loan is fully repaid. San Joaquin Delta College highly recommends that students only request a student loan as a last resort, as defaulting on a student loan can lead to serious consequences for the borrower in the future. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Delta College Financial Aid department.

For more information on federal loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid Direct Stafford Loan website or the FSA Student Loan web page.