Federal Direct Loans

The William T. Ford Direct Loan Program offers students low interest loans funded by the Department of Education to assist students with paying their educational expenses. Through the Federal Direct Loan program, Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) offers subsidized and unsubsidized loan types as well as the Parent Plus Loan for dependent students. Unlike grants, scholarships and work-study, Federa Direct Loans must be repaid. When borrowing student loans, a student must understand the loan is a legal obligation and they are responsible for paying the loan with interest, even if the student does not complete their degree program.

Benefits of Federal Direct Loans:

  • low interest rates, compared to other private loans
  • don’t need a credit check or cosigner
  • have a six month grace period, from the time you graduate or fall below half time, before repayment begins
  • if a student demonstrates financial need

Federal Direct Loan Types:


  • Financial Aid Office will determines your subsidized eligibility based on the results of the your FAFSA and your financial need.
  • The government pays for the interest of the loan while you re attending school and enrolled at least half-time
  • Repayment begins six months after you cease to maintain half time enrollment
  • Effective on July 1, 2021: Changes made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 removes the subsidized usage loan limit restriction (SULA) for any borrower who receives a Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, regardless of the award year associated with the loan. In addition, all subsidy benefits will be reinstated retroactively to the date on which the loss of subsidy was applied for all Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loans with an outstanding balance on July 1, 2021, and for all award years since the 2013-2014 award year.Effective through June 30, 2021: If you are a first time borrower on or after July 1st, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time that you can receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. For example, if you are enrolled in a two-year associates degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of two years = three years).


  • Interest starts accruing right away and it is the responsibility of the student to make interest payments, even when attending school and during your grace period.
  • The student must understand if they do not make interest payments, the interest will accumulate and be added to the principle of the loan amount.

Parent Plus:

  • Are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for additional educational cost not covered by other financial aid. To apply, parents must log onto www.studentaid.gov with a parent FSA ID.

To learn more about the Federal Direct Loan program, requirements, and maximum loan limits, visit: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans.

How to apply for a Federal Direct Loan:

To qualify for a Federal Direct Loan, you, the student, must first complete the FAFSA and include Sheridan College (003930). You must be in an eligible degree or certificate program and enrolled in a minimum of six credits per semester. After NWCCD receives your FAFSA, you will be packaged subsidized and unsubsidized loans according to your Estimated Family Contribution and remaining unmet need.

You will be able to accept your student loan package on your MyNWCCD student account, on your Financial Aid Self-Service page. Please keep in mind, your loan amounts will be equally packaged to your account for fall, spring and summer semesters. If you qualify for subsidized loans, you must accept the maximum amount before accepting any unsubsidized loan amounts.

Federal Direct Loan Requirements:

Entrance Counseling: All first time borrowers MUST complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling online and include Sheridan College (003930). This online information session explains the details of the loans as well as loan rights and responsibilities and must be completed before a loan will be disbursed on a student’s account. Click here to complete your Entrance Counseling requirement. If Entrance Counseling has already been completed for another school, the student must log back on and add Sheridan College as a school. Once a student completes the requirement, NWCCD will receive an automatic notification within 24 to 48 hours.

Master Promissory Note: All first time borrowers MUST complete their Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to their loan disbursement. The MPN is a legal document which the student is promising to repay the total borrowed loan amounts, including any interest fees. Click here to complete your MPN requirement. Once a student completes the requirement, NWCCD will receive an automatic notification within 24 to 48 hours.

Exit Counseling: Exit counseling provides students important information to prepare them to repay their federal student loan(s). If you have received a subsidized and/or unsubsidized loan under the Direct Loan Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you drop below half-time enrollment, graduate or leave school. NWCCD will send out an exit loan counseling packet to the most current address on the student’s record within 30 days of determining the student graduated, dropped below half-time or has left school. It is the student’s responsibility to complete this federal requirement.

Loan Simulator:

Loan Simulator helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can also use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans. To view the Loan Simulator, click here.

It is very important to know and understand all resources that are available to you to help you pay for college. If you have not yet completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), NWCCD highly encourages you to do so, to determine your Federal financial aid eligibility. The Department of Education provides many benefits to students through Federal Student Aid programs. To learn more about Federal Aid benefits, please refer to the Student Financial Aid Assistant Programs & Eligibility, Grants and Federal Direct Loan links on our Financial Aid home page.

If you require more financial assistance than what appears on your award letter, and you have not met your Cost of Attendance (COA), you may apply for additional student loans from private student loan programs. The Office of Financial Aid at NWCCD does not have preferred lender arrangement agreements with any private education loan lenders, and will not recommend, and will not refer students to, any specific private student loan programs. You may obtain more information and compare the loans offered by these lenders by visiting the FASTChoice website.

Wyoming Investment in Nursing (WYIN)

The Wyoming Investment in Nursing Program is available to Wyoming residents (or students who graduated from a Wyoming high school) who have been accepted into our Nursing Program and plan to practice as a nurse or nurse educator in Wyoming after graduation. This loan may be repaid by the State of Wyoming if you agree to work full-time as a nurse within the state of Wyoming for a certain amount of time.

Students who apply for WYIN must complete their FAFSA prior to being considered for the loan. The FAFSA application must be received by the school by July 1. Funds are limited, consideration is given to students who have the greatest unmet financial need, submitted their application and self-certification by the posted deadline, and have a completed FAFSA application on file at NWCCD.