Federal Direct Stafford Loans
California Community Colleges work hard to be an affordable and viable option for many to receive their education. Columbia College is a low cost community college that has limited entrance requirements. There are multiple programs offered to offset the low cost: The California College Promise Grant (formerly known as BOG) enrollment fee waiver and the PELL grant, both of these combined, typically cover the cost of education at Columbia College. However, some students (out of state residents, for example) may need to borrow money to help with school related expenses. Typically, a student who needs to borrow money to get through school is making a good investment for the future.
Unfortunately, many students enter into debt without a clear picture of how it will affect them in the future. For this reason, if a student is interested in a federal student loan at Columbia College, they are required to submit a completed loan request application.
Columbia College is dedicated to supporting our students at being successful in the educational goals. We want all potential student borrowers to have a realistic borrowing plan. We want to ensure that transferring students have enough loan eligibility to complete their educational goals. Also to the students working towards a certificate or associates degree to not be overly burdened with student loan debt.
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 actively attending at least half-time (6 Units)
- 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
Loans will require an extensive application process and will need approval from the US Department of Education
34 CFR 685.301(a)(8) Origination of a loan by a Direct Loan Program school
(i) The determination is made on a case-by-case basis;
(ii) The documentation supporting the determination is retained in the student's file; and
(iii) The school does not engage in any pattern or practice that results in a denial of a borrower's access to Direct Loans because of the borrower's race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability status, or income.