Federal Direct Loans (Student Loans)

Federal Direct loans (PDF) are loans a student may receive to pay for educational expenses. A student must be enrolled in at least six credits per semester to qualify for a Direct loan.

There are two types of Direct loans:

  • Subsidized Direct Loans are based on a student's demonstrated financial need. The federal government will pay the interest on a subsidized loan while a student is in school and during any grace periods.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available for students who don't demonstrate financial need. A student is responsible for all interest that accrues on the loan. Students may choose to make interest payments while in school or defer interest payments, which will then be added to the principal of the loan.

Students who would like to be considered for a Direct loan will need to complete and submit a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN may be completed online ( Students who are borrowing for the first time while at NCC are also required to complete online entrance counseling before a Direct loan can be granted. Additional information about Direct loans is available at

Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Loans)

Federal Direct PLUS loans are loans offered to the parents of dependent undergraduate students to pay for student educational expenses. As with student loans, a student must be enrolled in at least six credits per semester for his/her parent to apply for a Direct PLUS loan. However, unlike a student loan, a Direct PLUS loan is approved based on the parent's credit worthiness.If you are planning to apply for a Direct PLUS loan, please read Northampton Community College's Lending Code of Conduct (PDF).

Private Student Loans

A private student loan is an education loan from a bank and is usually an option of last resort for most students. You are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ( to apply for federal, state and institutional grant aid first.

The next step would be to apply for a student Federal Direct Loan. The application for a Federal Direct Loan is at To apply for subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, you will need to complete Student Loan Entrance Counseling as well as a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). You will need your FSA ID Number that you used to electronically sign your FAFSA in order to complete the Federal Direct Loan application process.

If you are still unable to cover your educational expenses, then a private student loan may be a viable option for you.