Student Loans


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Student Loans

Loans are available to students who need additional funding to help pay for college. These loans typically feature lower interest rates, but must be repaid after college.

Types of Loans Available

Note: The college does not participate in private education loans.

Each loan is assessed a loan fee by the federal government at the time the loan is disbursed. For the most current information about interest rates and loan fees please visit

    Direct Subsidized Loans

    Direct subsidized loans are made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Loans can help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. Here’s a quick overview:

    • Feature a low, fixed interest rate.
    • To be eligible for a Direct subsidized loan, you must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated on the FAFSA.
    • You must meet all other Terms and Conditions and eligibility requirements for this financial aid program to receive funds.

    Direct Unsubsidized Loans

    Direct unsubsidized loans are made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan. Here’s a quick overview:

      • Feature a low, fixed interest rate.
      • Available to undergraduate students.
      • No requirement to demonstrate financial need. 
      • Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
      • You are responsible for paying the interest on a direct unsubsidized loan during all periods.
      • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school or during grace, deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (added to the principal amount of your loan). 

      PLUS Loans

      PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. The maximum amount of funds available to be disbursed is the Cost of Attendance less any other aid that the student is receiving.

      • Eligible students must be enrolled at least half time (taking 6 or more credits per semester).
      • The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history. 
      • Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
      • Repayment begins 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed.

      More Information

      To learn more about direct student loans and to complete Entrance Counseling, a Master Promissory or Exit Counseling, visit

      Loan Eligibility

      You must meet the basic eligibility criteria for Federal Student Aid and the following:

      • Rio Salado must have your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information on file
      • All items in your Student Resources To Do List must be completed
      • You must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours or more per semester) at Rio Salado College
      • Loan limits cannot exceed the college's Cost of Attendance minus any other aid received by the student

      Loan Limits

      The following chart provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans:


      Dependent Undergraduate Student (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

      Independent Undergraduate Student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

      First Year: 0-29 credits

      $5,500—no more than
      $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

      $9,500—no more than
      $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

      Second Year: 30+ credits

      $6,500—no more than
      $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

      $10,500—no more than
      $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

      Maximum total debt from Federal Direct Loans (Aggregate Loan Limits)

      $31,000—no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

      $57,500—no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

      Note: Annual loan limit amounts reflect the maximum yearly loan amounts an individual may borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

      • Loans may be awarded in combination of both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
      • Loan eligibility is based on total cost of attendance minus all other financial aid you are awarded for the academic year.
      • The annual loan limits assume that your program of study is at least a full academic year of a 16-week duration for both Fall and Spring enrollment.

      Cohort Default Rate

      A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meets other specified conditions before the end of the second following fiscal year. Rio Salado College’s most recent 3-year official CDR (the fiscal year 2020) is 0%. FY,2018, FY 2019, and FY2020 cohort default rates were significantly impacted by the pause on federal student loan payments that began on March 13, 2020. Due to the payment pause, the cohort default rate (CDR) metric will less accurately reflect the financial well-being of borrowers for the next several years. The U.S. Department of Education calculates CDR. More information and a searchable database of schools' CDRs may be found on the Federal Student Aid website.