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Federal Direct Student Loan and Loan Forgiveness Programs

Federal Direct Student Loan Program

New York State residents and residents of other states are eligible for loans guaranteed by New York State. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is required. Matriculated students registering for at least six credits per semester are eligible to apply for the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Repayment begins six months after graduation or termination of at least half-time studies. Students can apply on-line by completing the FAFSA application at

Federal Ford Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized. When a loan is subsidized, the Federal Government will pay the interest on the loan while the student is in school. The borrower has to demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for this type of loan. The Financial Aid Office determines this status. If a student does not qualify for a subsidized Loan, he/she may apply for the unsubsidized Ford (formerly Stafford) Loan. It offers the same terms and conditions as the subsidized loan, except that the borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accrues while he or she is in school.

For each academic year, a graduate student may borrow up to the annual limit of $18,500. ($8,500 is the maximum amount for the subsidized loan, $10,000 for the unsubsidized loan.)

Students who are taking fewer than six credits will not be allowed any portion of the loan, which must be returned to the lending institution. Westchester Graduate Campus students receiving aid through any of the federal programs receive verification of their eligibility for this loan from the Brooklyn or C.W. Post Financial Aid Office.

Students receiving this financial aid assistance are required to meet standards of satisfactory progress toward their degree objective. Nine credits per major (fall or spring) semester is considered full-time for financial aid purposes, except for TAP consideration which requires the student to register for 12 credits per semester.

Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs

There are federal loan forgiveness programs for which students pursuing initial teacher certification may be eligible. Generally, these programs forgive a percentage of the outstanding federal loan balance for each year of teaching in a high-need district. For more specific information, check the Web site at:

You may qualify for $5,000 to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if you have:

  1. Been a full-time teacher for at least five complete, consecutive academic years with at least one year of teaching after the 1997-98 academic year.
  2. Received the loan to be forgiven before completing your final year of qualifying teaching service.
  3. Borrowed your outstanding loan(s) on or after October 1, 1998, and had no outstanding balance on FFELP or Federal Direct Loans received before October 1, 1998.
  4. Been teaching at an elementary or secondary school listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefit. The directory is in the “Repaying” section of the U.S. Department of Education's website at
  5. Made satisfactory repayment arrangements on your defaulted student loans with your lender to re-establish your eligibility for Title IV student financial assistance.
  6. Not received a benefit for the same teaching service under the AmeriCorps program of Subtitle D of Title I of the National and Community Service Act of 1990.