Borrowing education loans at GCC
There are many ways to pay for college. First and foremost, a student pays for her college expenses through savings, earnings from a full-time or part-time job, scholarships, help from family, and finally financial aid from the federal government. After exhausting all these options, there are loan programs, but loans should only be considered as a last resort.
At GCC, moderate Direct Loans are packaged to help defray the cost of transportation and additional class supplies like, cameras, laptops, OLP equipment, and musical instruments. GCC does not charge students for on-campus housing and therefore does not offer loans to cover housing costs, rather, we provide financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books in an effort to not add an additional financial burden to the student’s household.
Students who wish to borrow education loans to help fill the gap from reduced income due to decreased work hours to pay for rent and mortgage costs will consider private alternative education loans. Students can find information about private education loans at their local credit unions and the financial aid office.
Loans to students
Loans made through the Federal Stafford Direct Loan Program enable students with financial need to obtain low-interest deferred-payment loans with the Department of Education. Students obtain applications from the GCC Financial Aid Office and must maintain minimum enrollment of 6 credits throughout the semester.
There are two types of Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. You must have financial need to receive a subsidized Direct Loan. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues on subsidized Direct Loan during certain periods. Financial need is not a requirement to obtain an unsubsidized Direct Loan. You are responsible for paying the interest that accrues on unsubsidized Direct Loans. Repayment begins 6 months after the student withdraws, graduates, or drops below 6 credits.
The average loan debt for GCC’s 2019 graduates is $7,528.
For our Vermont residents
VSAC’s Vermont Advantage Loan and Vermont Choice Loan programs are available as Private Loan options for GCC students who are Vermont state residents. These loan products offer highly competitive fixed interest rates and multiple repayment options. Online applications that guide students and cosigners step-by-step through the loan process are available using the links provided above.
Parents of dependent students are eligible to borrow from the PLUS Loan Program. Applicants must not have an adverse credit history. GCC requires that the Parent also complete the Direct Parent PLUS Loan Form available on this website or by calling the office at 775-1109.
The school will first apply the PLUS Loan finds to the student’s account to pay for tuition, fees and books. If any loan refunds remain, they will be sent to the parent borrower, unless the parent authorizes the school to release the funds to the student. Any remaining loan funds are to be used for education expenses. PLUS loans are also prorated against attendance and withdrawal.
More important loan information is available in our Student Financial Aid Handbook.
Please note: Students must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours to remain eligible to receive loan funds. If you drop below 6 credit hours, your loan automatically will be cancelled. You must begin loan repayment with the Department of Education if you drop below 6 credit hours.
If you are attending school at least half-time, you may have a set period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below 6 credit hours before you must begin repayment. This period of time is called a grace period. Your grace period will be 6 months for the Direct Loan.