Loan Documents

Loan Information

Federal Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans are federal student loans made available to college and university students to supplement personal and family resources, scholarships, grants and work-study. Stafford loans may be subsidized by the U.S. Government or unsubsidized depending on the student's need.

Federal PLUS Loans

The PLUS loan is for the parents of dependent students. Repayment on PLUS loans begins 60 days after the second disbursement of the loan. View the Direct PLUS Loan Process

Federal Direct Loan Updates

On May 9, 2018, the U.S. Treasury’s 10-year Treasury note auction resulted in an increase in interest rates for federal student loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019. The interest rates will be fixed for the life of the loan.

Since 2013, interest rates on federal student loans have been set annually according to the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus a fixed percentage that differs by loan type (e.g., subsidized Stafford, unsubsidized Stafford, PLUS).

Interest rates for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 (and before July 1, 2019), along with a comparison of the past two years, are as follows:

Type of Loan 2018-19 Rate 2017-18 Rate 2016-17 Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans (Undergraduates) 5.05% 4.29% 3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduates) 5.05% 4.29% 3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate) 6.6% 5.84% 5.31%
Direct PLUS Loans (Graduate and Parents) 7.6% 6.84% 6.31%

Loan FAQ

Alternative Loans

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

Alternative education loans (also known as private loans) are an option for financing your education. Federal, state and university policy requires that student borrowers maximize federal loans before the alternative/private loan request is processed. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine student loan eligibility. provides a federal and alternative/private loan comparison. Here are some things to consider:

  • Alternative loan eligibility requirements vary from lender to lender.

  • Alternative loan lenders can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions.

  • Students may also be required to meet citizenship requirements or provide a co-signer who meets citizenship requirements.

  • The interest rate on a private loan may depend on the borrower’s and/or co-signer’s credit rating.

  • Other eligibility requirements may apply depending on the lender.

  • Review the interest rate and processing fees prior to borrowing.

Santa Monica College is not involved in the alternative loan credit decision. All credit decision questions should be directed to the loan lender. Financial aid eligibility applies to all certifications of loan amounts.

School Certification Process

Financial aid staff will post an alternative loan place holder on Corsair Connect after a loan has been certified. You may contact the lender to confirm funds have been sent to Santa Monica College.