The William D. Ford Direct Loan ProgramFinancial Aid questions? Get video answers.

Forsyth Technical Community College participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program.  Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans will be offered to eligible student borrowers when they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and submit all required documentation to apply for financial aid.  Federal Direct PLUS loans are awarded to eligible parent borrowers who request a PLUS loan at

Loans are disbursed in two equal installments per semester.  The first disbursement will occur mid-way through the first half of the semester; the second will occur mid-way through the second half of the semester.


The Federal Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans:

  • Subsidized: available to eligible students with demonstrated financial need.  The government pays the interest due on the loan while a student is enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours), during the 6 month grace period after dropping below half-time enrollment, and during deferment periods.
  • Unsubsidized: available to eligible students regardless of financial need.  No payment on principal is required until the student drops below half-time enrollment and has completed the 6 month grace period; however interest begins accruing from the date of disbursement.   By making interest payments while in school, a student can avoid capitalization of the interest. When interest is capitalized, it is added to the principal amount of the loan upon which further interest charges are based.
  • PLUS:  available to eligible parents of dependent students regardless of financial need.  Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other aid received by the student annually.  PLUS loans feature low interest rates and long-term repayment options.  A credit check will be performed to determine eligibility.


Annual Loan Limits – Dependent Students

Base Amount (may be subsidized, unsubsidized, or both) Additional Unsubsidized Amount Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized Amount
1st year, Fewer than 33 credits earned up to $3,500 per year up to $2,000 per year up to $5,500 per year
2nd year, 33 or more credits earned up to $4,500 per year up to $2,000 per year up to $6,500 per year
Undergraduate aggregate maximum up to $23,000 up to $8,000 up to $31,000

Maximum Annual Loan Amounts


Annual Loan Limits – Independent Students

Base Amount (may be subsidized, unsubsidized, or both) Additional Unsubsidized Amount Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized Amount
1st year, Fewer than 33 credits earned up to $3,500 per year up to $6,000 per year up to $9,500 per year
2nd year, 33 or more credits earned up to $4,500 per year up to $6,000 per year up to $10,500 per year
Undergraduate aggregate maximum up to $23,000 up to $34,500 up to $57,500

Note: These annual loan limit amounts are the maximum yearly amounts a student can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Because a student cannot borrow more than the cost of attendance as determined by the school, minus any other financial aid awarded, the actual award amount received may be less than the annual maximum amounts. Also, the annual loan limits assume that the program of study is at least a full academic year and that a student is not receiving a Direct Loan at another school for the same period of enrollment.


Applying for a Federal Direct Loan

To receive a Federal Direct Loan:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at  Include Forsyth Tech’s school code 005317 on your application.
  2. Respond promptly to all requests for additional information from the Office of Student Financial Services.
  3. Once your file is complete, we will determine if you are eligible for any state or federal grants.
  4. If you are not eligible for any grants, or if the amount of grant money you are awarded is not sufficient to cover your full cost of attendance at Forsyth Tech, you will automatically be offered a Direct Loan if you are eligible.  The amount offered on your financial aid award letter is the maximum amount you would be able to borrow for the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.  If you wish to borrow for a different time period (i.e. Spring and Summer terms, or Summer term only), the amount will likely be different.
  5. You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements in order to be offered, awarded, and disbursed a Direct Loan.
  6. Students wishing to ACCEPT all or a portion of the Direct Loan they have been offered must do so on the MyForsythTech Self-Service portal on TechLink.  After logging in to MyForsythTech, click on ‘Financial Aid’, then click on the ‘Review and accept your Financial Aid Award Package’ link.  To accept your loan award ‘as is’, simply click the ‘Accept All’ button under ‘Total Awards’.  To change the semesters or the amounts, click the ‘Accept or Decline’ link under the individual loan award and uncheck any semester you do not want to receive loan funds, and/or enter a new amount for any term, then click ‘Accept’.
  7. The parent of a dependent student would complete the Direct PLUS Loan Request process at to apply for a PLUS loan.
  8. Once the loan is processed, the student will receive a disclosure statement from the US Department of Education explaining the type of loan, loan amount, and anticipated disbursement dates.
  9. Loan information for students or parents of students who enter into an agreement regarding a Title IV, HEA (Higher Education Act) loan will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.


Receiving Federal Direct Loan funds

  1. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) in order to be eligible to receive the loan funds.
  2. Loans are disbursed in two equal installments per semester.  The first disbursement will occur mid-way through the first half of the semester; the second will occur mid-way through the second half of the semester.
  3. An origination fee will be deducted by the Department of Education before disbursing your funds to the school.
  4. Entrance Counseling must be completed once during your undergraduate college career.  If you have never completed Entrance Counseling for undergraduate students, you must do so at  If you have completed Entrance Counseling for a loan at another school, you must add Forsyth Tech as a ‘School to Notify’ on
  5. A Subsidized/Unsubsidized Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed once every 10 years.  If you have not completed a Direct Loan MPN in the past 10 years, or have defaulted on a student loan since then, you must do so at This is your source for information from the U.S. Department of Education about how to manage your student loans.


Graduating or Leaving Forsyth Tech

All students who receive a Federal Direct Loan at Forsyth Tech MUST complete Exit Counseling when they drop below half-time enrollment, leave the college or graduate.  Click on this link to complete Exit Counseling online.



  • To determine what type of loan you have, how much your loan balance or total debt is, or who your loan servicer is:  Call 1-800-4-FED-AID or check the National Student Loan Data System at NSLDS Student Access.
    NSLDS Student Access (National Student Loan Data System)
  • To resolve a problem with your loan, request payment relief, cancellation or discharge, contact your loan servicer.
  • If you have further concerns or complaints, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575.
  • When you graduate or leave Forsyth Tech, you may want to consider consolidating your student loans in order to have one single payment, rather than several payments for different loans or to different lenders. For more information please see the Federal Student Aid Loan Consolidation site.


Student Lending Code of Conduct

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008 includes provisions that campuses participating in Federal Student Aid loan programs publish a code of conduct which describes prohibited practices related to loan programs. To avoid any conflict of interest with the responsibilities of a Forsyth Technical Community College employee with respect to student loans, the Forsyth Tech Code of Conduct prohibits the following:

  • Revenue sharing arrangements with any lender.
  • The solicitation or acceptance of gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans at the institution.
    • A gift is defined as: any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having monetary value of more than a de minimus amount.
    • A gift is NOT: A brochure used for default aversion or financial literacy; food, training, or informational material provided as part of training to improve service; entrance or exit counseling assistance that does not promote a lender; philanthropic contributions unrelated to loans; state education grants or scholarships.
  • Receipt of any fees, payments or other financial benefits (including a stock purchase option) by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender, or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • The assignment of a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refusing to certify or otherwise delay certification of any loan regardless of the lender or guaranty agency the borrower selects.
  • The acceptance of any funds to be used for private education loans in exchange for the institution providing concessions to the private lender.
  • Requesting or accepting assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing from any lender.
  • Any employee with responsibilities with respect to financial assistance at the institution who serves on an advisory board or commission of a lender or guarantor may not accept anything of value from the lender or guarantor except reimbursement for the reasonable expenses of serving on the board or commission.


Preferred Lender List

Forsyth Technical Community College does not provide a lender list for private educational loans. Students who choose to borrow privately should contact the student’s bank, credit union, or other lender and carefully compare terms and rates.