Code of Conduct and Lender Policies

Reading Area Community College does not have a preferred lender list. If a student desires to use a loan program other than the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, it is their responsibility to locate a lender and complete all paperwork through them. The Financial Aid Office will certify a private loan upon receipt of the necessary information and request for certification. All private loans will be sent to the school in the form of a paper check, and may take additional time to process since our usual mode of certification is through the Federal Direct Lending Program as mandated by recent legislation. The Title IV Code of Conduct gives more information about the College's stance concerning lenders.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal Direct Student loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Information concerning student enrollment and participation in the Direct Lending program is sent each semester to NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System). NSLDS keeps a record of attendance for loan deferment purposes, and the principal and interest accrued from loans at various colleges to assist students with debt management and schools with certification.

The Federal Direct Loan Program makes low interest loans available to dependent and independent students enrolled for at least six credits per semester. Students may be eligible for either a subsidized and/or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan as determined by the College.

  • Subsidized Loans: The Federal government pays the interest on these loans while the student is in school or in a period of deferment.
  • Unsubsidized Loans: The student pays the interest after the loan is disbursed until he or she repays the loan in full.

Direct Loan Limits

Subsidized Subsidized & Unsubsidized
Dependent Undergraduates 1 Annual Total Annual
First Year $3,500 $5,500
Second Year $4,500 $6,500
Independent Undergraduates 2
First Year $3,500 $9,500
Second Year $4,500 $10,500
Aggregate Total Aggregate
Dependent Undergraduates 1 $23,000 $31,000
Independent Undergraduates 2 $23,000 $57,500

1 except students whose parents are unable to borrow under the PLUS program
2 and dependents whose parents are unable to borrow under the PLUS program

Applying for a Federal Direct Student Loan

The following steps must be completed to apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan:

  • Submit a FAFSA for the appropriate academic year.
  • Complete Entrance Counseling* online at
  • Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  • Complete a Loan Request Form indicating the amount you with to borrow and submit it to the Financial Aid Office, B107.

*If we are able to determine that a student has had a prior Federal Direct Student Loan within the last 10 years, we will not require the completion of the Federal Student Loan Entrance Counseling.

Exit Counseling

All students receiving student loans are required to do an exit interview when they leave the student loan program (are no longer intending to borrow). Exit Counseling prepares students for going into repayment, including information concerning available repayment options and contact persons. Exit Counseling helps to ensure that future students involved in the Federal Student Loan Programs will continue to receive a high quality of service. The Exit Counseling can be completed online.

Deferment Options

Under certain very specific conditions, students may be allowed to defer payment on a Federal Student Loan. Information concerning Federal Student Loan Deferments can be found at the Federal Student Aid website.