Loans for Students

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:

Subsidized: The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
Unsubsidized: Not based on financial need. Interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school, during the grace and deferment periods.

To be eligible for loans students must be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program. Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time in an eligible program, you will receive a 6-month grace period on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans during which you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.

Supplemental Loan Form accepted through November 8, 2019, for the fall term, through April 6, 2020, for spring term and through June 18, 2020, for summer term.

For Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans where the first disbursement is on or after July 1, 2019, and before July 1, 2020, the fixed interest rate is 4.53%. 


  1. How do I request a Direct Loan?
  2. Registering for a  Workshop
  3. Workshop Schedule
  4. How much can I borrow?
  5. Are there fees for my Direct Loan?
  6. When will I receive my loan money?
  7. How do I receive my loan money?
  8. Is there a deadline to apply for a Direct Loan?
  9. When do I pay my Direct Loan back?


  1. How do I request a Direct Loan?

    • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
    • Return all documents requested by the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Financial Aid Office to complete your FAFSA application. Refer to your WebSMART for unsatisfied financial aid requirements.
    • If you are a first time borrower, go to to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note.
      • At the Federal Student Aid home page, click the Log In link. Input your FSA Username or E-mail address and FSA ID Password; then click Log In. Once you are signed in, click Complete Counseling. Click the Start Entrance Counseling link for Entrance Counseling.
      • NOTE: If you have previously completed a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note, you do not need to complete them again.
      • Once you finish entrance counseling, click the Submit Counseling link. You will be at the Entrance Counseling Summary screen. Scroll down to the Next Steps section and click Complete a Master Promissory Note.
      • NOTE: If you have completed a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) within the last 10 years, you can confirm your MPN status by clicking on the link Completed MPNs at the left hand side of the screen.
    • If you are a repeat borrower and your Social Security Number ends in an even number or 0, you must register, and attend an SMCCCD Loan Counseling Workshop. Dates and times are listed below. 
      • Ensure your current education goal and major in WebSmart match your SEP. If not, update it in WebSmart.
    • Complete the Supplemental Direct Loan Form  . This is a fillable PDF which you will complete online, then print and sign.
    • Submit the completed Supplemental Direct Loan Form, certificate of loan counseling workshop completion (if required), and your current SEP to your Financial Aid Office. You will need to present a government picture ID for loan intake. 
  2. Registering for a  Workshop

    To register for a Loan Counseling Workshop:

    • Complete the form and choose one of the workshops
    • Submit form
    • A confirmation email will be sent to you

    Please bring your college ID card or government issued ID card. You must be on time or you will be asked to attend another workshop. If at some point you need to cancel or reschedule, please contact Luanne Canestro at (650)-306-3175 or

    Register Now

  3. Workshop Schedule

    Cañada College

    Date Time Room
    Friday, January 17, 2020          11:00-12:00 pm Rm 9-123
    Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:00-2:00 pm Rm 9-123
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020 4:30-5:30 pm Rm 9-123
    Wednesday, April 8, 2020          2:30-3:30 pm Rm 9-123
    Thursday, June 18, 2020 1:00-2:00 pm      Rm 9-123

    Skyline College

    Date Time Room
    Wednesday, January 8, 2020 2:00-3:00 pm Rm 2116
    Wednesday, January 22, 2020 3:00-4:00 pm Rm 2116
    Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:00-11:00 am Rm 2116
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:00-4:00 pm Rm 2116
    Thursday, April 16, 2020 3:00-4:00 pm Rm 2116
    Tuesday, June 9, 2020 11:00-12:00 pm Rm 2116

    College of San Mateo

    Date Time Room
    Tuesday, January 28, 2020              1:00 -2:00 pm        Rm 14-101
    Wednesday, February 5, 2020     11:00-12:00 pm Rm 14-103
    Monday, March 30, 2020 1:00-2:00 pm Rm 14-101
    Thursday, April 30, 2020 11:00-12:00 pm Rm 14-101
    Wednesday, May 6, 2020 1:00-2:00 pm Rm 14-101
    Thursday, June 4, 2020 10:00-11:00 am Rm 14-101
  4. How much can I borrow?

    SMCCCD is a two-year institution district. Therefore, students are only eligible to apply for a first-year (less than 30 units completed at SMCCCD) or second-year (30 units or more completed at SMCCCD) student loan. Note: Transfer units from other institutions may be considered when determining grade level for loan eligibility only after the coursework has been evaluated by our Transcript Evaluation Service (TES) and it applies to your current educational goal.

    Annual Direct Loan Limits are as follows:

      Subsidized Unsubsidized Maximum Total Subsidized Unsubsidized Maximum Total
    1ST Year
    (0-29.5 units)
    $3,500 $2,000 $5,500 $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
    2nd Year
    (30+ units)
    $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 $4,500 $6,000 $10,500

    Note: Your current loan request amount, prior loan debt, Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), program length and time left to complete it will be reviewed, and as a result your loan request could be reduced or denied.

  5. Are there fees for my Direct Loan?

    For all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019, the origination fee is 1.062%. For all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020, the origination fee is 1.059%. 

  6. When will I receive my loan money?

    Student loans are paid in two equal disbursements during the selected loan period.  For academic year loans, the 1st disbursement is paid in fall and the 2nd disbursement is paid at the beginning of the spring semester.  For one-semester loans, the loan is paid in two equal disbursements during the semester.

    In accordance with federal regulations, no loan money may be released sooner than ten days prior to the beginning of a semester. HOWEVERif you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower, the 1st disbursement will be 30 days after the beginning of the semester.

    IMPORTANT!  To receive Direct Loan funds, you must be enrolled at least half time (6.0 units)! Please note! The start date of your classes will affect when you will receive your student loan. Please refer to your registration or the Class Schedule to determine the start date of your classes. 

  7. How do I receive my loan money?

    The Direct Loan funds are delivered to the student through the San Mateo County Community College District. The Financial Aid Offices at College of San Mateo, Cañada College, and Skyline College offer students a financial aid disbursement service through Bank Mobile. For more information about BankMobile, visit this link:

    Cañada College-

    College of San Mateo-


  8. Is there a deadline to apply for a Direct Loan?

    Yes.  Deadline dates are listed on the Supplemental Direct Loan Form. 

  9. When do I pay my Direct Loan back?

    After graduating, leaving school, or enrolling less than half time, a student will have a six month "grace period" before the first loan payment is due. All Direct Loans must be paid back with interest. Typically a student will have 10 years to repay their Direct Loan. The Exit Counseling Guide   will provide a complete picture of your loan repayment options.


    Federal Student Aid OMBUDSMAN

    If you have a problem or question about your student loan, the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans.  For more information about the FSA Ombudsman, go to or call 877.557.2575.  The mailing address is U.S. Department of Education, FSA Ombudsman Group, 830 1st Street, N.E. Mail Stop 5144, Washington, D.C. 20202-5144.  Fax number 202.275.0549.

     If you have additional questions, please contact your Financial Aid Office.

    Important Update Regarding Recent Changes In Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility

    On July 6, 2012 the President signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).  This law places a limit on Direct Subsidized loan eligibility for new borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.  A first-time borrower is no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized loans once the borrower has received Direct Subsidized loans for a period of 150% of the length of the borrower's educational program.  The borrower also becomes responsible for accruing interest during all periods as of the date the borrower exceeds the 150 percent limit. For detail information on 150% Loan Limit visit Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility For First Time Borrowers  .

    A first-time borrower is a borrower who has no outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or FFEL loan on July 1, 2013.  Borrowers who had a loan balance which has been paid in full prior to receiving loans after July 1, 2013 becomes a first-time borrower.