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Financial Aid
Financial Aid
Student Loans

Loans are financial aid that must be repaid by the student, with interest.  Loans are a legal obligation and a serious responsibility.  There are serious consequences when students default on loans.  Students should think carefully about how much they need to pay for their educational expenses and only borrow what they need. For more information about Federal Direct Loans please view The Guide to Federal Student Aid.

If you need further assistance or have questions about the Direct Loan program and Stafford Loans, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (269) 927-8112.

Financial Literacy
First time loan borrowers at Lake Michigan College are required to complete Financial Avenue Courses. Financial Avenue is a financial literacy program designed to help students understand everything from financial aid to banking basics. You complete this financial literacy training by going to Click the Sign-Up tab and enter access code iyrg3q to set up your account. You must complete all six Financial Avenue courses. This is the first step to take in helping you improve your financial knowledge.

Federal Direct Loans
Lake Michigan College offers three types of Federal Direct Loans; the lender is the U.S. Department of Education. You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for these loans.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are need based and interest free while you are enrolled at least half time (minimum 6 credit hours) in school. The loan is borrowed by the student. The 2012-2013 interest rate is 3.4%.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not need based and accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half time (minimum 6 credit hours) and during repayment. The student is responsible for paying all interest that accrues on their unsubsidized loans while they are attending school, during the six month grace period, and once repayment has begun on the loan. The loan is borrowed by the student. The 2012-2013 interest rate is 6.8%.
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loans are not need-based and accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time (minimum 6 credits). PLUS Loans are borrowed by a parent to pay for the educational costs of his/her dependent student.

Federal Direct Loan Qualifications

  • Maintain half-time enrollment during every semester you wish to receive loan funds. At LMC, you must be enrolled in six credit hours to be considered half-time (including Summer term).

  • Complete and submit all tracking requirements. Tracking requirements can be viewed by logging into your student Wavelink account.

  • Meet LMC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

  • Complete online entrance counseling at (only required to complete one time if you are enrolled at LMC).

  • Read and sign a Master Promissory note at (only required to complete one time if enrolled at LMC). Loan eligibility is calculated using cost of attendance (COA) and expected family contribution (EFC).

  • To apply for Stafford loans you must read, sign, and return a Direct Loan Request Form to the Financial Aid Office.

Loan Fees

  • 1.0% loan fee deducted

Master Promissory Note


  • Legally binding agreement between the student and the U.S. Department of Education
  • Need 4-digit federal pin number to complete (same number used to sign FAFSA)
  • Please read and sign your Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note online at
  • LMC will receive electronic notification that you have completed the Master Promissory Note

Entrance Counseling

  • Tutorial and quiz about Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Contains borrower rights and responsibilities as a Federal Direct Loan borrower
  • Go to to complete the requirement. Will need a 4-digit federal pin number to complete (same number used to sign FAFSA)
  • Print a copy of the confirmation for your records
  • LMC will receive electronic notification that you have completed the session about three days after you have done so

Exit Loan Counseling 
Federal regulations require that you complete exit loan counseling before you graduate or if your enrollment drops below half time. If the requirement is not completed, a hold will be placed on your student account until we receive the confirmation that you have completed exit counseling.

  • Tutorial regarding repayment of your Federal Direct Loans.
  • Discussion of various repayment plans, deferment, forbearance, financial literacy options.
  • Tools to stay out of delinquency and default.
  • To complete go to
  • Click exit counseling.
  • Print congratulations and submit to the financial aid office.

How Much to Borrow
Students should take into consideration tuition, fees, books, supplies, and living expenses for the academic year to determine the total loan amount to borrow. Even though a student may request a certain loan amount, it is not guaranteed they are eligible for that loan amount based on other financial aid awards they may receive. We encourage students to only borrow the minimum of what they need. This will reduce the amount of loan debt that you will have when you begin repaying your student loans. Students are strongly encouraged to consider the implications of borrowing Federal Loans and know that it is a serious responsibility.

Federal Direct Loan Limits
There are maximum loan amounts that a student can borrow during an academic year and throughout their undergraduate education. Please refer to the chart below to determine the maximum loan amounts you are allowed to borrow. It is not guaranteed that a student will qualify for the full annual loan limit for an academic year as there are many factors that determine eligibility for the loan amounts awarded. The loan amounts awarded to a student are based on cost of attendance, expected family contribution, enrollment status, grade level, dependency status, and if you borrowed loans at another institution during a prior semester and/or academic year, number of credits passed. The annual loan limit is the maximum amount of loans a student can borrow during an academic year. The aggregate loan limit is the maximum amount of loans a student can borrow as an undergraduate student (associate’s and bachelor degree).

The annual loan limit is the maximum amount of loans a student can borrow during an academic year.

Dependent Student Subsidized Max Unsubsidized Max Total Max
First Year (less than 24 credits) $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore (25 credits or more) $4,500 $2,000 $6,500

Independent Student Subsidized Max Unsubsidized Max Total Max
Freshman (less than 24 credits) $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore (25 credits or more) $4,500 $6,000 $10,500


The aggregate loan limit is the maximum amount of loans a student can borrow as an undergraduate student (associate's and bachelor degree).

Undergraduate Aggregate Loan Limits Subsidized Max Sub & Unsubsidized Max
Dependent Students $23,000 $31,000
Independent Students $23,000 $57,500

Loan Processing
Loan processing takes approximately 10 business days. The process includes a thorough review of the student account, calculation to determine loan eligibility, and a detailed review of the National Student Loan Data System. After LMC determines initial eligibility, the loan must be sent to the Federal government for additional approval and acceptance. This two step process can take up to 10 business days. If a student has not completed the requirements to obtain the loan, this only delays loan processing.

Notification of Loan Acceptance
All students are encouraged to check their Wavelink accounts on a regular basis to review their loan awards. After 10 business days have passed, your loan award should be under financial aid award for the appropriate aid year. If there are any requirements needed to process your loan request please check your LMC Wavelink account under financial aid requirements.

Where to Review Loan Information
A student should always be aware of their total Federal loan history. This information can be reviewed at the National Student Loan Data System. This system will reflect your total amount of outstanding Federal Stafford Loan history debt at every institution you have attended. Go to to begin reviewing your loan history. Click on Financial Aid Review, accept the terms, and follow the directions to confirm your identity to login. This system includes all Federal loans borrowed.

Direct Loan Repayment

If you have questions regarding repayment on your Direct Loan, please contact Borrower Services at:

  • 1-800-848-0979
  • Visit Direct Loan Borrower Services
    • Make payments
    • View your account
    • Forbearance information and forms
    • Deferment information and forms
    • Consolidation information and forms
    • E-mail Direct Loan Borrower Services staff

When Repayment of Loans Begins
All students have a 6-month grace period after they drop below half time, graduate, withdraw, or stop attending school before they must begin repayment of their student loans. For example, if a student stops attending school in January, their first payment will be in June of the same year. If you are unable to repay your Federal Direct Loan, please contact Borrower Services at 1-800-848-0979. Federal Direct Loan Borrower Services are willing to work with you to stay current on your loan payments or set up other arrangements if you are not able or cannot afford to pay them back right away.

Federal Student Loan Repayment Examples
The terms of your loan can vary depending on automatic payments, Loan Services, type of loan, interest rates, and amount borrowed. Use the 10-year payment tables below to give you an idea of your possible payments. The table below shows sample payments for various Stafford Loan amount on a Stafford Repayment schedule with a 10-year repayment period at the interest rate of 6.8%. Access a repayment calculator.

Total Amount Borrowed Monthly Payment
$5,000 $57.54
$10,000 $115.08
$15,000 $172.62
$20,000 $230.16
$25,000 $287.70
$30,000 $345.24
$35,000 $402.78

National Student Loan Data System 
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) can be used for students to review the amount of federal loan debt they have borrowed at all colleges and universities they have attended.  We strongly encourage students to review NSLDS on a regular basis to stay current on the loan amounts borrowed.

Student Loan Resources 

Default Management

It is important as a Direct Loan borrower that you effectively manage your debt, borrow wisely, and utilize all your resources.  Below you will find some important websites that will help you navigate managing your student loans and debt once you graduate or stop enrollment. 

Financial Literacy

Helpful Links

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