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William D. Ford Direct Federal Loans

Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act, interest rates will be determined each June for new loans being made for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program provides loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution.
  • Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Graduate students not based on financial need. Interest is charged during all periods.
  • To be eligible for a Federal Direct loan a student must submit a current FAFSA form and list Cabarrus College of Health Sciences on the FAFSA. For Undergraduate students a minimum of 6 credit hours of program required courses are required each semester. For Graduate student a minimum of 4.5 credit hours of program required courses per semester are required. Some additional eligibility requirements as determined by the Department of Education apply.
  • Students or parents seeking to receive a direct loan must have a valid master promissory note on record
  • New students apply on-line at and you will use your FSA ID number from the FAFSA to sign the master promissory note electronically. New students must also complete an "Entrance Counseling" to receive a Direct Loan. Financial Awareness Counseling is encouraged. Both of these counseling modules may be found at after you sign into the site. Students or parents with an active master promissory note (MPN) are not required to complete a new MPN.
  • Direct Plus Loans are low-interest loans for parents of dependent students and graduate students. Interest is charged during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan's first disbursement. Borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history; a credit check will be performed. Apply online at Borrowers will also use their FSA ID number from the FAFSA to sign the master promissory electronically.

Fees are deducted from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

Loan Origination Fees: Most federal student loans have loan fees that are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow.

Please find current interest rates and fees associated with these loans at

Academic year loan limits as determined by Federal guidelines are:
  • Freshman: $5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this may be Subsidized Loans
  • Sophomore: $6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this may be Subsidized Loans
  • Junior: $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this may be Subsidized Loans
  • Senior: $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this may be Subsidized Loans
  • Graduate: $20,500 Unsubsidized loans only

If you are an independent undergraduate (as defined by federal regulations) or a dependent student whose parents are unable to secure a PLUS loan, you may borrow additional unsubsidized Direct Loan funds to the limits listed above. The academic year additional loan limits are:

1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year
4th Year
$4,000 $4,000 $5,000 $5,000

Students who choose to accept Federal loans offered to them cannot receive their first loan disbursement until a master promissory note is completed and Federal Loan entrance is completed. These are both done one time at the beginning of the student's enrollment and directions to complete these are included with the award package. Upon graduation or leaving Cabarrus College, students are required to complete Federal Loan Exit Counseling at Failure to complete this Federal requirement will result in all records being placed on hold including transcripts.

A student, or parent of a student accepting a Federal Loan should understand that origination data related to the loan is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Code of Conduct for Education Loans
Learn more about the code of conduct to which Cabarrus College adheres.

Forgivable Loans

Atrium Health Educational Loan Forgiveness Program

For students committed to working in critical need positions at Atrium Health after graduation. Loan forgiveness may be available at the discretion of Atrium Health. Available for the following academic programs: Medical Assisting (Diploma), Surgical Technology (Associate Degree), Nursing (ADN and BSN) for Atrium Health nursing teammates and nursing alumni of Cabarrus College of Health Sciences or Carolinas College of Heath Sciences.

Current Program Eligibility

  • Student must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Student must enroll in an approved program.
  • Student must be in good standing.
  • Student is not in default on Federal Loans.
  • Student must be eligible to attend an Atrium Health clinical facility.


Amount Available

  • Up to $10,000 for the Associate of Science in Nursing and RN-to-BSN programs
  • Loan limits of up to $10,000 for Medical Assistant and Surgical Technology associate degree programs
  • Loan limits of up to $5,000 for the Medical Assistant diploma program
  • This amount is applied evenly as a credit to the student’s account, each semester (until funds have been exhausted). No money is issued to the student.


Details of Loan Forgiveness

  • The student must work as the healthcare provider for which they have been educated in a qualifying program at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences.
  • Student must accept full time (standard 32 hours per week) employment with an eligible Atrium Health facility.
  • Full time (standard 32 hours per week) employment must begin within 6 months of graduation. There is no guarantee/promise of employment.
  • Graduate/employee must remain in good standing (satisfactory work performance) for a period of time equal to that for which monies were advanced (one year of service for every $5,000 borrowed).
  • Loan is interest free if full time employment is started within 6 months of graduation.
  • Students who fail to complete their academic program and/or who do not complete the service requirement are responsible for repayment of the loan and Interest.
  • At the time of forgiveness (pay period), the amount forgiven is considered taxable income 

Frequently Asked Questions about Loan Forgiveness


North Carolina Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS)

Provides financial assistance to qualified students enrolled in an approved education program and committed to working in critical employment shortage professions in North Carolina.


A recipient must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for FELS:

  • Apply to the state agency and be approved for this funding
  • Be a legal North Carolina resident and NC resident for tuition purposes by completing the Residency Determination Service at
  • Meet the minimum GPA requirements of the program
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours or more

Note: You do not have to be admitted to the program when you apply, but you must be admitted prior to receiving funding, if selected.

The academic programs at Cabarrus College that are eligible for this funding are Nursing – associate degree and bachelor’s completion program, Occupational Therapy – associate degree and master's degree, and Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging.

Apply at

Private Loans

Private loans may be available to students who need additional funding beyond what their Financial Aid package provides. Students must select their lender apply and be approved based on their credit. Students may need a co signer for their private loan and this is determined by their selected lender. After approval of the loan the student must contact the Director of Financial Aid to have their eligibility certified to their lender. Please notify your lender that Cabarrus College uses ELM service to process certification and disbursements for all Private loans. Loan amounts certified by the college are limited to the total cost of attendance less financial aid. Amounts that are certified on an academic year bases may need to be reduced based on enrollment