Loans are another source of financial aid and must be repaid. File the FAFSA application to be considered for the loans listed below. A commitment to borrowing for education is an important decision. Please consider carefully before borrowing from any loan program.

Federal Direct Loans

Under the Direct Loan program, students and parents borrow money directly through the federal government. Families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and loan eligibility is determined by the OCC Financial Aid office. To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis and demonstrate eligibility according to federal guidelines. There are 3 types of Federal Direct Loans: Direct Subsidized Loans for students, Direct Unsubsidized Loans for students and Direct PLUS Loans for parents.

Interest is variable and assigned when the loan is disbursed, but will not exceed 9 percent. Repayment begins six months after leaving school and you may take up to 10 years to repay. Payments are $50 -100 per month per loan. Annual and aggregate loan limits are listed below.

NEW - 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit :

Changes to the Higher Education Act (Section 455 (q)) limit a first-time borrower's eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower's educational program. In May 2013, interim final regulations were implemented.

NOTE: Only first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to the new provision. Generally a first-time borrower is one who did not have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program Loan on July 1, 2013.

How this affects you: The subsidized loan has slightly better terms than the unsubsidized loan. Historically, the US Department of Education has paid the interest for a subsidized loan while you're in school at least half-time and the interest rate has been lower than the rates on an unsubsidized loan. If you are a first-time borrower or have paid off previous loans the new regulation affects you by limiting the time period during which you can receive Direct Subsidized loans to 150% of the standard length of the program in which you are enrolled. For a 2-year associate degree program, the maximum period you can receive subsidized loans is 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). The period used will be reduced for less than full-time study. Once you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you may continue to receive Direct Unsubsidized loans and your subsidized loans may begin accruing interest. For detailed information, view this announcement from the US Department of Education.

Annual Loan Limits

Dependent Undergraduates Independent Undergraduates
1st Year - $5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized) 1st Year - $9,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)
2nd Year - $6,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized) 2nd Year - $10,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)

Aggregate Loan Limits

Total combined debt from all outstanding Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized or unsubsidized)

Dependent Undergraduates Independent Undergraduates
Total cumulative amount $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized) Total cumulative amount $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)

Loan Fees for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans

First Disbursement Date Loan Fee
On or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015 1.073%
On or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016 1.068%

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct subsidized loans are for students with financial need. You are not charged interest while you’re in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods.

Interest Rates

Date of 1st Disbursement Fixed Interest Rate
7/1/15-6/30/16 4.29%
7/1/13-6/30/14 3.86%
7/1/12-6/30/13 3.40%
7/1/11-6/30/12 3.40%
7/1/10-6/30/11 4.50%
7/1/09-6/30/10 5.60%
7/1/08-6/30/09 6.00%
7/1/06-6/30/08 6.80%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct unsubsidized loans do not require you to demonstrate financial need to receive the loan. Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the time it’s first paid out. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount.

Interest Rates

Date of 1st Disbursement Fixed Interest Rate
7/1/15-6/30/16 4.29%
7/1/13-6/30/14 3.86%
7/1/06-6/30/13 6.80%

How to apply for Direct Loans (Students)

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Once the school informs you of your eligibility, complete the entrance counseling session at
  • Before receiving a student loan for the first time, borrowers must complete an online Entrance Counseling Session. This session provides useful tips and tools regarding loan responsibilities, interest rates, and payment options. The session takes approximately 20-30 minutes; the session must be completed, and a confirmation message received.
  • Complete the Master Promissory Note online at

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct Plus loans are for parents. This program offers additional federal loans to parents of dependent undergraduate students, based on credit approval. The maximum amount is for the cost of attendance minus financial aid. Interest on the loan amount begins to accrue the day a check is disbursed at a fixed rate of 6.84%. There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans - the repayment period for each Direct PLUS Loan you receive begins 60 days after your school makes the last disbursement of the loan. However, effective 7/1/2008, you can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half time, and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.

Interest Rates

Date of 1st Disbursement Fixed Interest Rate
7/1/15-6/30/16 6.84%
7/1/13-6/30/14 6.41%
7/1/06-6/30/13 7.90%

Loan Fees for Direct PLUS Loans

First Disbursement Date Loan Fee
On or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015 4.292%
On or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016 4.272%

How to apply for Direct PLUS Loans (Parents)

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Once the school informs your parent of their eligibility and they have determined they will need to borrow a Direct Plus Loan Parents must go to, SIGN IN with the parent Federal Pin Number, Click on Request a Direct PLUS Loan to complete the required credit check. If the credit is approved, they would complete a Parent Master Promissory Note (PMPN).

Loan Repayment

Once you leave school, graduate or stop attending at least half-time (6 credits) the grace period for the loan begins. Repayment begins 6 months after a student drops below 6 credits and it may take up to 10-25 years to repay. Payments can be $50-100 per month per loan. You may verify your loan information at any time on the National Student Loan Database System’s (NSLDS) website by logging in with your FAFSA pin number: or the Federal Loan Servicing Center’s website at .

Students are required to complete an Exit Counseling Session for the school they are leaving, even if the student is transferring or planning to return to OCC at a later date. Exit Counseling gives you an overview of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, as well as information regarding payment options. After leaving school (or studying less than half time), you will be notified by the loan servicer that holds the loans. The notification will include payment options, where to send payments, and contact information.

Exit Counseling may be completed at:

Sample Repayment Chart

Examples of typical Direct and FFEL Stafford Loan and Plus loan repayment plans, by initial amount of debt and type of repayment plan.

Type of Repayment Plan


$5,000 $7,500 $10,500 $15,000 $40,000
Standard (10 years or less)


$4,471 total


$6,905 total


$10,357 total


$14,500 total


$20,714 total


$55,239 total

Extended Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible


$83,289 total

Graduated (10 years or less)


$5,157 total


$7,278 total


$10,919 total


$15,283 total


$21,834 total


$58,229 total

Income Contingent (Single)


$6,092 total


$8,703 total


$13,055 total


$18,277 total


$26,110 total


$72,717 total

Income Contingent (Married or HOH)


$6,405 total


$9,150 total


$13,725 total


$19,215 total


$27,451 total


$84,352 total

*Income Based Repayment (IBR)

Note: Interest rate: payments are calculated using the fixed interest rate of 6.8%.

Graduated repayment plan: an estimated monthly repayment amount for the first two years of the term and total loan payment. The monthly repayment amount will generally increase every two years, based on this plan.

Income-Contingent Repayment plan: Direct Loans Only (income = $25,000) assumes a 5% annual growth (Census Bureau) and calculated using the formula requirements in effect during 2006.

HOH is head of household: assumes a family size of two.

IBR is designed to reduce monthly payments to help make loan debt manageable. To qualify you must have a partial financial hardship. Under this plan, your monthly payments are:

  • based on your income and family size and capped at the 10-year standard repayment amount;
  • adjusted each year, based on changes to your annual income and family size;
  • usually lower than they are under other plans; and
  • made over a period of 25 years.

For more information on IBR and monthly payment calculators visit

Loan Deferment Options

Students who are having difficulty repaying their student loans should contact their loan servicer. You can obtain your servicer’s contact information at any time on the National Student Loan Database System’s (NSLDS) website by logging in with your FSA Username and Password: or the Federal Loan Servicing Center’s website at

You may also contact OCC’s Financial Aid Office for assistance at (315) 498-2291 or via email at

There are deferment options for students in qualified situations that prevent them from making payments. For more information on repayment and deferment options go to

Helpful Links

Loan Contact Information Other Helpful Links

National Student Loan Database System

Direct Loan Information

General Information


Direct Loan Servicing Center/View Your Student Loans

Entrance Counseling
Exit Counseling

Direct Loan Consolidation Center

Loan Repayment Calculator

Private/Alternative Loans

Private education loans are available from a variety of sources to provide supplemental funding when other financial aid does not cover costs. These loans are not sponsored by the federal government, but offered by banks or other financial institutions and are based on income and credit history. Students considering an alternative loan should research each loan option to determine which loan best suits their needs. Students should exhaust their options through the federal aid programs first by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Students choosing to borrow must complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form with their private loan lenders. 

OCC does not recommend or suggest private educational lenders however students can get more information through . For additional information on the differences between the Federal Student Loan programs and private education loans, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website at .

For information on the College's Student Loan Code of Conduct