Direct Loan Procedures and Requirements Direct Loan Procedures and Requirements

Direct Loan Eligibility Requirements

Before submitting a Direct Loan application, all applicants must already have a current FAFSA application on file with Columbia College AND have an award letter from Columbia College Financial Aid Office.

(Students can check their financial aid requirements and financial aid status online using Columbia’s student web portal, ConnectColumbia)

  1. Have a declared major with the Admissions & Records Office
    Must be seeking a certificate, associate or transfer degree in an eligible Title IV program of study (16 or more units in length) from Columbia.

  2. MUST Meet SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) standards for each semester that they are applying for and/or are awarded a Direct Loan 
    Loan applications may be denied and/or awarded loan amounts may be reduced or canceled if the applicants is not making steady progress towards their declared program of study. Students must be in good academic standing, as spelled out under Columbia College’s FA SAP GUIDELINES.

  3. Enroll in and maintain a minimum of six (6) semester units for each semester that they are applying for and/or are awarded a Direct Loan
    Direct Loan awards are awarded for the entire Fall and Spring enrollment period and will have two (2) disbursements per semester, half in the Fall and the other half in the Spring. If the student is no longer meeting SAP requirements or the minimum enrollment requirement after the Fall semester, the student will lose loan eligibility for the Spring and the remaining loan disbursement will be canceled.

  4. Students must not be in default for any other federal student loans
    The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS): Using your FSA ID you can access your entire loan history including balances, interest rates, and lender contact information.

  5. Must Complete Columbia College Loan Application in its entirety
    Any application that is not fully completed will not be processed or accepted.  Make sure to do all the sections completely.

  6. If attended previous colleges NEED  OFFICIAL transcripts evaluated.

Loan Application Process

If the above requirements are met you can go to West Campus Yosemite Hall Room 147

  1. Request Loan Application

    • Take Application
    • Read every page thoroughly 
    • Provide Personal Reference with different address
    • Complete Monthly Budget on
      1. Under Students click "Register for a free account"
      2. Go to Dashboard select My Assignments 
      3. Under Instructor select Loan Request
      4. Scroll down to Worksheets download and complete Monthly Budget turn in packet
    • Read and sign the student responsibilities 
    • Certification of Identity document will need Valid State or Federal ID
    • Make sure to complete all requested sections
    • You will need to bring print outs of NSLDS, Master Promissory Notes and Loan Entrance Counseling

  2. Loan Entrance Counseling (EC)

This is a Federal requirement and must be completed before any loan can be disbursed. This section will provide you with vital information you will need to know about the terms and conditions of the loan.  It will also go over the right and responsibility as a student borrower

    • Go to and Log in
    • Once logged in click "Complete Loan Counseling"
    • Click "Start" button
    • Add School to Notify
    • Select state and search school
    • Click "Notify School"
    • Select "I am completing entrance counseling to receive Direct Loans as an Undergraduate student"
    • Read and follow Instructions Carefully
    • Print completed loan counseling
    • Remember to Log out

3. Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The MPN is a legally binding contract stating that you understand all the terms and conditions of the loan and the students right and responsibilities.  Your signature indicates you have understood and accepted the terms and conditions of the loan and you are agreeing to repay the loan with interest.

    • Go to and Log in
    • Once logged in click "Complete Master Promissory Note"
    • Click "Subsidized/Unsubsidized"
    • Read and follow instructions carefully
    • Print out completed MPN
    • Remember to Log out

Once all this has been completed return loan application to Columbia Financial Aid Office for review

    • The loan review process will take 4-6 weeks
    • Make sure to keep copies of your Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling
    • You will be notified through your Columbia student email only whether you were approved or denied for the loan





34 CFR 685.301(a)(8) Origination of a loan by a Direct Loan Program school
(8) A school may refuse to originate a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct PLUS Loan or may reduce the borrower's determination of need for the loan if the reason for that action is documented and provided to the borrower in writing, and if-
(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.
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