FAQ - Student Loans

What is the current interest rate?

Subsidized Loan Interest Rates

First Disbursement on or after...but prior to Interest rate on the unpaid balance
July 1, 2008-July 1, 2009 6.0%
July 1, 2009-July 1, 2010 5.6%
July 1, 2010-July 1, 2011 4.5%
July 1, 2011-July 1, 2013


July 1, 2013 - No end date


Unsubsidized Loan Interest Rates

Loans disbursed July 1, 2006 or later 6.8%

What kind of loans can I get?

There are two main types of Federal Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are loans in which the government subsidizes or pays the interest which accrues on student loans while the student is in school and in their grace period. Unsubsidized loans are loans in which the student is responsible for the interest which accrues on his/her loans while in school and during the grace period. Interest can be added to the principal balance through a process called capitalization.

There are also Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students). Parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) may qualify for a PLUS loan regardless of family income. The yearly loan limit is "cost of education" minus any other financial aid received. The loan is made in the parents' name, and repayment begins 60 days after the first disbursement. The interest rate on Direct PLUS loans is 7.9%. For an application, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one will be forwarded to you.

Are there loan limits?

Annual Stafford Limits*Dependent StudentsIndependent Students
Academic Year Maximum Federal Subsidized/Unsub Additional Unsub Maximum Sub/Unsub Additional Unsub
First Year Student 0-44 cr.hrs. $3,500 $2,000 $3,500 $6,000
Second Year 45 + cr.hrs. $4,500 $2,000 $4,500 $6,000

What is a grace period?

Students have six months after graduation (or dropping to less than half time attendance) before loan payments become due.

What are origination fees?

There is a loan fee on all Direct Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the amount of each loan you receive. For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2010, the loan origination fee is 1.0%. For loans disbursed after July 1, 2012, the loan origination fee is 1.5%.  The Origination Fee is retained by the federal government to reduce the cost of supporting these low interest loans.

How long does it take to process my loan?

It will take 2-3 weeks AFTER receiving all completed application information, including your FAFSA results.

What can I use a student loan for?

Student loans may be applied to tuition, fees, and textbooks. Student loan funds remaining on student accounts after tuition, fees, and textbook charges have been paid are refunded by check or direct deposit to the student's home address the fifth or sixth week of each semester.

How many credit hours do I need to take to get a loan?

All students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (at least six credit hours per term) in order to qualify for a student loan disbursement.

How will my loan be affected if I withdraw from my classes?

If students withdraw from classes before the end of the term, a portion of the loan must be repaid. All students must attend classes and maintain satisfactory academic progress to maintain loan eligibility. Click here for information relating to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

I applied for a loan - why isn't it processed?

In addition to applying for admission to Washington State , and completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you must also complete ALL THREE loan steps to process your loan.

Does WSCC participate in private or alternative loans?

Effective 12/10/09, Washington State does not participate in outside (private) or alternative loans. The FA office will only certify and process Federal Direct Stafford loans that are originated through our application process.


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