Skip to main content

Student Loans

Coastal Alabama participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program and also accepts alternative loan funds from other sources. Federal Direct Student loans are automatically packaged to student accounts upon completion of the FAFSA. 

Coastal Alabama encourages students to borrow responsibly. Loans must be repaid. Students and families should consider and anticipate monthly loan payments and future earning potential before borrowing any student loans. 

Federal Direct Student Loans – To apply, complete the FAFSA. Students must be enrolled at least part-time (6 credit hours) in an approved program of study/degree plan. Students must complete entrance counseling and an undergraduate master promissory note at There are two types of federal student loans.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans – interest does not accumulate as long as the student is continually enrolled in 6 or more credit hours per semester. Eligibility is based on need.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans – interest accumulates immediately upon disbursement while a student is enrolled. Students are eligible regardless of family income. 

Federal Direct Student Loan Maximums

Many students do not qualify for the maximum loan amount. The maximum is the most a student might be able to borrow and many students are eligible for an amount less than the maximum. All students at Coastal Alabama are Freshmen or Sophomores, regardless of previous degrees

•    Freshman – 0 to 29 credit hours earned
•    Sophomore – 30 plus credit hours earned
Subsidized Total (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
Dependent Freshman  $3,500 $  5,500
Dependent Sophomore $4,500 $  6,500
Independent Freshman $3,500 $  9,500
Independent Sophomore $4,500 $10,500

*updated only at the end of a term, once all end of term processes are complete

Private Alternative Student Loans

*Effective June 8, 2023, anyone applying for a private student loan, MUST have a completed FAFSA on file.

Financing college can be a concern for many families. Most financial aid offers will include federal student loans, but additional funds may be necessary. All students must submit a FAFSA at 

Private alternative student loans are available to students and families needing additional expense funding. These loans may be more expensive than federal loans. A credit history and a co-signer may be required. 

Coastal Alabama Community College does not endorse any lender or lending institution. To assist in your search, we do recommend using FASTChoice. FASTChoice is a tool for comparing a historical lender list of private alternative loan lenders through which our students have borrowed in the past. The lenders are listed in random order, and the information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. 

Compare and Apply for Private Alternative Student Loans on FASTChoice

We will process a private education loan from any lending institution. If you choose to borrow through a lender that is not on this list, we will process your application and certify your eligibility with that lender.

Lenders are required to provide the borrower with a right-to-cancel period for their lender-approved and school-certified loans. The right to cancel period may take between 3 to 10 days, depending on the lender. Private loan funds are released to Coastal Alabama after this period and then are disbursed to student accounts. 

Federal Parent PLUS Loan

Parent with a good credit history may be eligible for a loan to pay the education expenses of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least part-time. Parents must sign in at to endorse a PLUS loan.

The PLUS loan application will be certified by Coastal Alabama and then forwarded to the Department of Education. Loan funds are sent directly to Coastal Alabama and applied to the student’s account. 

If approved, parents will need to complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note at Parent will need to complete and submit the Parent PLUS Loan Request Form to the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Note

All students who receive a student loan after July 1, 2010, must complete a new Master Promissory Note and complete new Loan Entrance Counseling. Loan funds cannot be paid to a student until both are complete and received by Coastal Alabama.
You can complete your Entrance Counseling and MPN at

Borrower Rights and Responsibilities

Borrowing a student loan comes with a responsibility to repay the student loan. The master promissory note, signed by the student is an agreement to repay the loan according to the terms of the loan. It is a legal and binding document, except in cases of discharge, the borrower must repay the loan, even if the borrower does not complete the degree, does not find a job, or is dissatisfied with the education received. If student loans are not repaid on time, according to the term in the promissory note, the borrower may go into default, which has very serious consequences.  Payments must be made, even if a bill or repayment notice is not received. 

If a student reenrolls in school, they must continue making payments until they are notified that their request for deferment due to being in school, has been approved. 

Upon graduation, withdrawal, or a drop to less-than-half-time status, the borrower must notify their loan service provider. If there is a change in name, address, Social Security Number, or transfer to another school occurs, the loan service provider should be contacted by the borrower. 

Regardless of the type of federal loan borrowed, entrance counseling must be completed prior to the first loan disbursement. Exit counseling must be completed before leaving school. These counseling sessions must be completed at

Student borrowers have certain rights. Prior to loan disbursement, the following information about a loan will be received:

  • full amount of the loan
  • interest rate
  • loan repayment date
  • effect of eligibility for other types of financial aid
  • a complete list of any charges that must be paid (loan fees) and information on how those charges are collected
  • yearly and total amounts available to borrow
  • maximum repayment periods and the minimum repayment amount
  • explanation of default and consequences
  • explanation of available options for consolidating or refinancing a loan
  • statement of loan prepayment without penalty

Before leaving school, the following loan information will be received from the school or lender:

Amount of total debt (principal and estimated interest), interest rate, and the total interest charges on a loan

  • Expected fees during repayment, such as late charges and collection or litigation costs upon loan delinquency or default
  • Explanation of available options for consolidating or refinancing a loan
  • Statement of loan prepayment without penalty.
  • Right of grace period before repayment begins (Parents may not receive a grace period for a PLUS Loan.) A grace period begins when the borrower leaves school or drops below part-time status. The grace period length is shown on the promissory note.
  • Loan repayment schedule from school, lender, and/or the Direct Loan Servicing Center (as appropriate) stating the date that first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment
  • Summary of deferment, forbearances, and discharge (cancellation) provisions, including the conditions under which the U.S. Department of Defense may repay the loan.

Student Loan Code of Conduct

In compliance with the Student Loan Code of Conduct requirements outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, The Coastal Alabama Community College Financial Aid Office prohibits all of the following:

  • Assigning a lender to a borrower or refusing to certify a loan for a borrower’s choice of lender or guarantor
  • Accepting from lenders any staffing assistance for the financial aid office
  • Revenue sharing agreements with lenders
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Accepting gifts above a nominal value from lenders or guarantors
  • Accepting private loans conditioned on the use of a lender’s Title IV loans
  • Contracting arrangements with a lender that provides compensation to school students

For the following purposes, it is not considered a “gift” to the school for a lender or guarantor to provide:

  • Standard materials, activities or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention or financial literacy (i.e. brochures, workshops, training).
  • Food, refreshments, training or informational material that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer if the training contributes to the professional development of the school staff.
  • Favorable terms, conditions, and borrower benefits, as long as these are provided to all students at the school.
  • Entrance and exit counseling services, if the school controls the counseling and does not promote the products and services of the lender.
  • Philanthropic contributions not tied to loan volume.

Ombudsman Information can be located in the College Catalog at bottom of the page at this link