Federal Direct Student Loans are a form of Financial Aid that must be repaid along with interest that accrues. The U.S. Department of Education assigns students a loan servicer and the funds are disbursed through the institution.  Students are allocated a one six month grace period before they are required to begin making payments on their student loans. Grace periods will begin when a student drops below half-time enrollment or when a student officially/unofficially departs school.


  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Be enrolled in a program that leads to a certificate or degree
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note
  • Complete Entrance Counseling
  • Be in “Good Satisfactory Academic Progress”

Subsidized Loans:

Subsidized Loans are available to students with financial need as determined through the FAFSA application. The U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest on a Subsidized Loan while a student is enrolled at least half-time, during their grace period or during a deferment period. Students cannot receive Subsidized Loans in excess of their financial need. Generally, Subsidized Loans are automatically offered to eligible students.

*Note There are limitations on the maximum period of time a student can borrow Subsidized Loans. Maximum Eligibility Period

Unsubsidized Loans:

For Unsubsidized Loans students are not required to demonstrate financial need. The amounts a student can borrow is determined based on the student’s cost of attendance and other financial aid received/awarded. Students are solely responsible for repayment of the interest that accrues. Unsubsidized Loans are not automatically offered to students and must be requested via the Direct Loan Acceptance Form.


Students must complete Entrance Counseling every new aid year that they borrow Federal Direct Student Loans.   To determine if you need to complete an In-Person Entrance Counseling Session or if you are eligible to complete the online alternative please see below.

In-Person Entrance Counseling

Entrance Counseling is a Federal requirement for FIRST-TIME borrowers.  All FIRST-TIME loan borrowers at Doña Ana Community College will need to complete an In-Person Entrance Counseling (IPEC) session offered by the DACC Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. This includes new transfer students and returning students who have borrowed loans in the past (but never attended an IPEC session). this one hour session will teach students their rights and responsibilities of borrowing a federal student loan. IPEC takes place at various times and locations including: East Mesa Center Auditorium, Gadsden Center and Sunland Park Center. For FIRST-TIME loan borrowing FRESHMAN (0-27 credit hours), there will be a 30-day hold on Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loans.

Register for IPEC

For In-Person Entrance Counseling sessions please note the following:

  • Arrive early as doors are locked promptly at session start time
  • Must present a picture ID
  • Bring a pen/pencil
  • IPEC is only for students
  • Please make childcare arrangements in advance

*Note: If you arrive late or miss the session please register for another session

Have you already attended an In-Person Entrance Counseling Session at a DACC Campus?

If you have already attended an IPEC in a prior semester then you are eligible to complete online entrance counseling:

  • Login into with FSA username and password
  • Select “Complete Loan Counseling” then Start “Entrance Counseling”
  • When completed will send a confirmation email stating Entrance Counseling was completed
  • Forward the Confirmation Email and Student ID number to your Financial Aid Advisor (determined by last two digits of student ID number)



Federal Direct Parent Plus Loans are available for parents of dependent students. A credit check will be performed when applying. If a parent is denied the student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans (based on parent denial). For additional information on Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans click here.


  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Be in “Good Satisfactory Academic Progress”
  • Apply at
  • Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note


Contact your Federal Student Loan Servicer regarding information on: