The Federal Direct Loan Program provides eligibile students with Subsidized, Unsubsidized, or Parent Plus loans from the Department of Education to help eligible students cover the cost of higher education.

To receive any of these loan options from the Alamo Colleges District, students must submit a request within the loan request timeframe and meet the requirements. The processing time to be awarded is 4-6 weeks.



  • Eligibility:

  • Parent Plus loans are available to help parents pay the remaining cost of their child's education. A credit check of the parent is performed during the application and the parent will make their selections on:

      • The loan amount requested
      • The period that the loan will be paid such as fall only, fall and spring, spring only, and summer
      • Whether any refund will go to the student or parent after the student's balance is paid


      • Student must be classified as Dependent as determined by the FAFSA
      • Student must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours within their degree plan
      • Student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
      • Student must complete any incomplete financial aid requirements including verification
      • Parent applying must be biological, adoptive, or a stepparent. 
      • Parent applying must have good credit history, no defaulted student or Plus loans

Requesting Loans

  • 1. Complete the Federal Direct Loan Request through your ACES account during our published submission dates.

    ACES Tutorial

    2. Complete Entrance Counseling on This is counseling to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan.

    3. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to the terms of the loan on

    4. Review our Direct Loan Eligibility page for all terms and conditions.

  • 1. The parent must complete the Parent Plus Loan Application on during the submission dates.

    2. The parent must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to the terms of the loan on


    Additional Requirements for Adverse Credit History

      • If the credit check was initially denied on the Parent Plus Loan Application, there are options for it to be approved with an endorsers credit or with an appeal on
      • If either of these options are approved, the parent must also complete PLUS Credit Counseling on 
      • If the credit check was denied on the Parent Plus Loan Application, the student may be eligible to borrow additional Unsubsidized loans upon request and a review of eligibility. A Co-signer Statement from the parent and student must be submitted before the student is awarded additional Unsubsidized loans.
What are the interest rates for Federal Direct Loans?

Subsidized Loan 

The interest rate for a Subsidized Loan is published annually on Interest on a Subsidized loan is covered by The Department of Education as long as a student maintains at least half-time enrollment.

Unsubsidized Loan 

The interest rate for an Unsubsidized Loan is published annually on Interest will begin to accrue once it has been disbursed.

Although it is not required to make early payments on interest, any unpaid interest that accumulates will be added to the total principal balance owed at the time of repayment.

Parent Plus Loan

The interest rate for a Parent Plus loan is published annually on Interest will begin to accumulate for the parent that requested the loan once it has been disbursed. 

What are the repayment requirements?

Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loan 

Repayment on the Subsidized & Unsubsidized loan is completed by the student and does not begin until after the first six months you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment (known as a grace period).

Parent Plus Loan  

Repayment on the Parent Plus loan is completed by the parent and they can request for repayment to be deferred as long as their student remains enrolled. 

What if I fail to repay my Direct Loan?

Students who fail to repay their loans are considered to be in default of their loan payments and are not eligible to receive future aid until the default status is either rehabilitated or paid in full. For more information regarding the consequences of defaulting on a Direct Loan visit the FSA Collections website.

Students who are determined to have defaulted on loan payments obtained while at Alamo Colleges will be contacted by the Cennate i3Group. Cennate i3 is the only organization affiliated with Alamo Colleges for loan default purposes.

What is Ion Tuition?

The Alamo Colleges District has partnered with Ion Tuition, a self-help web tool, to assist current and former students understand their Federal Student Loans. Creating an IonTuition account will allow you to:

  • Check the status of your loan, payment amounts, due dates, and servicers in one location.
  • Utilize budget and repayment calculators to assist with repayment options. 
  • Learn about alternative repayment option and solutions to avoid default. 

Ion Tuition also contacts students by both phone and email. Any inquiries from students for servicing can be directed to 866-296-7955. Hours are: Mon-Thurs 8am - 8 pm, and Fri 8am - 5pm CST. 


Alternative Loans

Alternative student loans are funded by private lending institutions. It is highly recommend that you seek available Federal Direct Loan options from a FAFSA before you apply for an Alternative loan as they offer more benefits such as lower interest rates and they don't rely on a student's credit.


    • Each private lender will have their own set of eligibility criteria, interest rates, and repayment requirements. 
    • Alternative loans are based on a student’s credit history and often require a co-signer.
    • Alternative loans are primarily used when federal aid and scholarships do not cover a student's Cost of Attendance (COA).
    • The loan amount requested cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance (COA) minus other financial aid.
    • Due to Federal Lending Laws, private lenders are required to provide multiple disclosures to the student borrower and to collect a Self-Certification Form.
    • The lender will also request eligibility certification from the Alamo Colleges District. Please plan ahead as this process will take several weeks to complete.


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