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Applying for a Loan

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at AWC is committed to providing post-secondary educational opportunities to all eligible students.  However, it is also our intent to set the standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, assist students in building excellent borrowing habits and educate students in effective loan management.

Because loans require repayment (with interest), we highly recommend that students exhaust all other funding opportunities and utilize loans only as a last resort.

Arizona Western College participates in the Direct Lending Program under the Arizona Student Loan Code of Conduct offering Stafford Loans, either subsidized or unsubsidized, to eligible students.

Students will not be eligible for federal student loans during any summer semester for which they did not attend AWC in at least one other semester (Fall/Spring) during that same school year.


What is a Direct Loan/Stafford Loan?
What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?
What is the eligibility criteria for a federal loan?
What can I do if I don't meet all the eligibility criteria?
What is the deadline to apply for a loan?
What is the process to apply for a loan?
How much can I borrow?
What if I need more loan funding?
What is my repayment responsibility?
What if I'm still in school and my lender wants me to begin  repayment?
What if I'm unable to repay my loans?

What is default?


What is a Direct Loan? -

A Direct Loan is a low-interest loan for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's post-high school education.  The lender is the US Department of Education, though contact regarding the loan will be handled by a loan servicer.  With Direct Loans the student:

  • Borrows directly from the federal government and has a single contact - the loan servicer - for everything related to repayment, even if loans are received from more than one school.
  • Has online access to the Direct Loan account information via the servicer's website.
  • Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower.  The repayment plan can be changed as student needs change.

A student or parent of student who enters into an agreement regarding a Title IV loan will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System. A student is able to access this information by logging in to the NSLDS website. Guaranty agencies, eligible institutions of higher education also have access to information submitted to the NSLDS.

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What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan? -

Direct Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized and a student can receive both a subsidized and unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period.  Students must meet all stated eligibility criteria before being eligible for a Stafford Loan.


subsidized loan

*awarded on the basis of financial need
*interest is not charged before beginning repayment or while in authorized deferment
*federal government 'subsidize' the interest during  these periods

unsubsidized loan

*award not based on need.
*interest will be charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
*interest that is allowed to accumulate while in school or during other periods of non-payment will be added to the principle amount of the loan
*additional interest will be based on the higher amount

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What is the eligibility criteria for a federal loan? -

Students interested in receiving loans must meet all stated criteria.     

  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  A FAFSA must be on file and all necessary paperwork (verifications, etc.) processed before a loan will be reviewed.

  • Must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in a degree or certificate seeking program at AWC.  Students enrolled in remedial (numbered below 100) or ESL classes will not be eligible for loans until they are registered in at least 6 credits of classes that progress toward a degree or certificate.

  • Must be making satisfactory academic progress and deemed in good standing at AWC.  Students must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA at AWC before loans will be offered.

  • Students on financial aid probation will not be eligible for student loans.  Eligibility is regained with demonstrated academic progress and a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

  • Student athletes supported by athletic scholarship will be required to provide supporting documentation with loan requests.  All loan-seeking athletes will be directed to the Athletic Coordinator.

  • Office hours Monday - Thursday, 8a-2p
    Phone: 928.344.7533

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What if I don't meet all the eligibility criteria? -

Students that are not eligible based on stated criteria, but feel there is an unusual or extenuating circumstance, may submit a Petition for Loan Certification.  This document must be accompanied with a written statement and supporting documents explaining the circumstances.  Submission of a Petition is not a guarantee of approval.  Petitions take approximately 30 days for processing.

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What is the deadline to apply for a loan at AWC? -

Deadlines are as follows:

Deadline to Apply for Student Loans
Fall 2015: September 17, 2015
Spring 2016: February 11, 2016

Students are required to apply for loans before stated deadlines.  Those interested in receiving loans after the deadline are required to submit a Petition for Loan Certification along with a written statement explaining the need for additional funding and supporting documentation.  Submission of a Petition is not a guarantee of approval.  Processing for Petitions takes approximately 30 days.

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What is the process to apply for a loan at AWC? -




STEP ONE Submit a current year FAFSA.


Click here for Entrance Counseling.  Most loan questions will be answered while completing this exam.  Students will not receive any loan funds without satisfactory completion.  A score of at least 90% must be obtained.


Click here to complete a Master Promissory Note for a Direct Stafford Loan. 


Complete the Student Loan Request form.  Do not submit this form until registered for at least 6 credit hours.  It is the student's responsibility to submit this form before the loan deadline.

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How much can I borrow? -

The loan amounts available are listed below.  Please remember that loan limits are enforced by the federal government.  Students are not required to borrow the full awards shown, but are held to the limits listed.  





Freshman (0-29 credits)




Sophomore (30+ credits)








Independent (as defined by FAFSA)




Freshman (0-29 credits)




Sophomore (30+ credits)




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What if I need more loan funding? -

For students that have exhausted all of their Pell and Stafford Loan eligibility, but still require additional funding, there are Parent Plus Direct Loans and Private/Alternative loans as an option.  Students and parents should be aware that both types of loans are based on borrower credit.

In order to receive a Parent Plus Loan, students must meet all stated AWC eligibility criteria.  BE AWARE - REPAYMENT OF PLUS LOANS BEGINS ON THE DAY AFTER THE FINAL LOAN DISBURSEMENT IS MADE.  There are several steps parents are required to complete in order to apply for a Parent Plus Loan:

Apply for admission

Before the application process can be started, parents wishing to obtain a Parent Plus Loan must apply for admission to AWC.  This is to ensure that the database is able to receive funding for the parent on behalf of the student.

Complete Master Promissory Note

This form must be completed by the parent with all relevant parent information.  When logging in, the parent FAFSA PIN and Social Security number must be used.

Complete the Student Loan Request form

Without this form, our Loan Officer is not notified regarding the Parent Plus Loan application.  Make sure to indicate that the form is for a Parent Plus Loan by writing it in large letters at the top of the page.

The steps to receive an Alternative/Private Loan are as follows:

Apply for Admissions Must be admitted as a student.
FAFSA A current year FAFSA must be on file.

Contact the lender

Initial contact for a Alternative/Private Loan must be made through the lending institution (bank, credit union, etc.)

Complete the Student Loan Request form

Without this form, our Loan Officer is not notified regarding a Private/Alternative Loan.  Make sure to indicate that the form is for a Private Loan by writing it in large letter at the top of the page.

Complete the additional

Another required form, the Private Education Loan Application Self-Certification form must be completed and submitted before the Loan Officer can begin to review your request.

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What is my repayment responsibility? -

When the student has graduated, stopped attending or dropped below half time (6 credits) enrollment, it is necessary to complete Exit Counseling.  With the completion of Exit Counseling, students become eligible to receive repayment incentives that may have otherwise been missed.

Also, once the student is no longer enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in an eligible program, a grace period of 6 months will be given on the Direct subsidized and unsubsidized Loans.  You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.

The student is responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if no repayment information is received from the lender.  To obtain repayment and loan servicer information, visit the NSLDS website.  Failing to make payments on your loan can lead to default as outlined in both your Entrance and Exit Counseling sessions.  Click here for a loan repayment calculator.

Click here for more information regarding repayment, student responsibilities and contact information.  Click here for information regarding payment plans that may work best for you.

We strongly encourage students to remain in contact with the lender and loan servicer.  If there is an issue that prevents or creates a hardship with repayment, contact your leter as soon as possible.  It is the student's responsibility to update the name, address, telephone number, email and other contact information. 

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What if I'm still in school and my lender wants me to begin repayment? -

Per federal lending guidelines, students registered in an eligible program at least half time (6 credits), are eligible for an In-School Deferment.  The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is not responsible for reporting student enrollment status to the lender.  The In-School Deferment Request form must be completed by the Admissions and Registration Office and faxed or mailed to the lender.

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What if I'm unable to repay my loans? -

Students having difficulty making payments should contact their loan servicer as soon possible.  The staff will work to determine the best option available for the student.  Options include:

  • Changing repayment plans
  • Deferment - if certain requirements are met
  • Forbearance - if certain requirements are met

*Deferment - A deferment is a postponement of payment on a loan, during which interest does not accrue if the loan is subsidized.  Students are required to contact the loan servicer for application of a deferment.  Criteria for deferment eligibility include:

  • Enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in an eligible postsecondary school or studying full time in an approved disability rehabilitation program
  • Unemployed or meet the rules for economic hardship*
  • Qualifying active duty service in the US Armed Forces or National Guard

*Economic Hardship - A Direct, FFEL or Federal Perkins Loan borrower may qualify for an economic hardship deferment  for a maximum of three years if the borrower is experiencing economic hardship according to federal regulations.  Loan borrowers must contact the loan servicer for more information.

*Forbearance - Students unable to make scheduled payments, but not qualifying for a deferment may be able to obtain a forbearance.  A forbearance allows students to temporarily stop making payments on the loan, temporarily make smaller payments or extend the time for making payments.  Some common reasons for getting a forbearance are:

  • Illness
  • Financial hardship
  • Serving in a medical or dental internship or residency

The Financial Aid Office strongly encourages students to make contact with the loan servicer to avoid the serious consequences (wage garnishment, tax refund garnishment and ineligibility for future Title IV funding) of defaulting on your student loans(s).  Loan servicer information can be found on the NSLDS website.

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What is default? -

Default means that a student has failed to make payments on the student loan according to the terms of the promissory note (the binding legal documents signed upon acceptance of the loan).  Default carries serious consequences and can affect many different aspects of everyday life:

  • The entire amount of the loan will be immediately due
  • The student may be denied a professional license
  • National credit bureaus can be notified of the default, which will harm the student's credit rating and make it difficult to buy a car or house
  • The student will be ineligible for additional federal student aid (Pell grant, SEOG, LEAP, loans)
  • Loan payments can be deducted from a paycheck by the federal government
  • State and federal income tax returns can be withheld and applied toward the amount owed
  • Late fees and collections costs will be added to the amount owed
  • The student can be sued
  • Students in default are not eligible for a deferment or forbearance

It is extremely important to keep in contact with the lender and loan servicer.  By maintaining contact, the student is able to avoid default.  It is the student's responsiblity to update the name, address, telephone number, email address and other contact information with the lender and loan servicer.

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Arizona Western College does not discriminate in admission or access to, treatment or employment in its services, programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability.


Arizona Western College prohíbe la discriminación en el empleo en base a la raza, el color, la religión, el sexo, la nacionalidad, la religión, la edad o la discapacidad de las personas. La habilidad limitada del idioma inglés no es una barrera para la admisión o la participación de las carreras técnicas y vocacionales disponibles en la institución.


2.  Entrance Counseling

3.  Master Promissory Note

4.  Loan Request Form

***Petition for Loan Certification may be required for some students

Loan Calculators and Interest Rates

Arizona Western College has partnered with Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program to provide you with FREE assistance on your Federal student loan obligations to ensure successful loan repayment.  Inceptia's friendly customer representatives may reach out to you during your grace period to answer questions you have about your loan obligation and/or repayment options. 

They may also contact you if your loan(s) become delinquent.  Inceptia is not a collection agency.  We’ve partnered with them to help you explore a wide variety of possibilities such as alternative repayment plans, deferment, consolidation, discharge, forgiveness, and forbearance options. 

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