Educational Loan Programs

Although California College of the Arts may have determined that you and, if applicable, your parent(s) are eligible to borrow a Perkins, Direct Loans, or PLUS loan, you are under no obligation to accept any loan.

Declining a loan will neither jeopardize other financial aid offered to you nor will it prevent you or your parent(s) from borrowing later in the term or in the future.

The following loans are offered at CCA:

Federal Direct Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest federal educational loans available to college students who are enrolled at least half time, are pursuing a degree, and meet other basic requirements for federal aid.

Subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans do not require credit approval and offer a variety of deferment and repayment options.

Direct Loans are financed directly by the US government, so you do not need to choose a lender. All CCA students borrowing a Direct Loan must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and a loan entrance counseling session prior to the disbursement of loan funds.

Direct Loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time and during authorized periods of deferment.

Beginning with the fall 2012 semester, subsidized loans are available to undergraduate students only.

The interest on unsubsidized loans begins to accrue immediately upon disbursement and is generally capitalized (added to the principal amount borrowed) when the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Eligibility for subsidized Direct Loans is based on financial need as demonstrated via the FAFSA. Students who do not demonstrate sufficient need may borrow unsubsidized Direct Loans.

Independent and dependent undergraduate students may borrow combined subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan amounts not to exceed an annual total of:

  • $5,500 for first-year students (a maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized)
  • $6,500 for second-year students (a maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized)
  • $7,500 for third-, fourth-, and fifth-year students (a maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized)

Independent and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to borrow PLUS Loans (see below) may borrow additional unsubsidized Direct Loan amounts not to exceed an
annual total of:

  • $4,000 for first- and second-year students
  • $5,000 for third-, fourth-, and fifth-year students

Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per year through the Direct Loan program.

The maximum outstanding total subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan debt is:

  • $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students
  • $57,500 for independent undergraduate students (or dependent undergraduate students whose parents do not qualify for PLUS Loans). No more than $23,000 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans.
  • $138,500 for graduate or professional-degree students (including loans for undergraduate study). No more than $65,500 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans.

The interest rate on subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans for undergraduate students disbursed between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, is fixed at 4.45 percent.

The interest rate on unsubsidized Direct Loans for graduate students disbursed between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, is fixed at 6.00 percent and interest begins at the time of disbursement.

For 2017–18, subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 have an initial origination fee of 1.066 percent of the principal amount of the loan. This fee will be deducted from each disbursement of each loan. The standard repayment period under this program is 10 years.

Note: Beginning July 1, 2012, the in-school interest subsidy for graduate and professional students has been eliminated as well as repayment incentives and up front interest rebates.

See also Apply for a Direct Loan

Federal Direct Parent & Graduate PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loans are available to the parents or stepparents of dependent undergraduate students. Graduate and professional students are eligible to take out graduate PLUS Loans on their own behalf. These credit-based loans are not determined by financial need.

PLUS Loans are financed directly by the US government, so you do not need to choose a lender. Parents and graduate students borrowing PLUS Loans must complete a PLUS or graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), respectively.

Parents of dependent undergraduate students must also complete the PLUS Loan request form.

The interest rate on parent and graduate PLUS Loans disbursed between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, is fixed at 7.00 percent. There is no annual limit to the amount that can be borrowed through the PLUS Loan program.

In general, parents and graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid received. Parent and graduate PLUS loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 have an initial origination fee of 4.264 percent of the principal amount of the loan. This fee will be deducted from each disbursement of each loan.

The standard repayment period under this program is 10 years. Interest is charged on parent PLUS and graduate PLUS Loans beginning on the date of the first loan disbursement. Repayment of the principal and interest on a parent PLUS Loan begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

Parents may request an in-school forbearance from Direct Loan Borrower Services during which no payments, or interest-only payments, are required.

Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers attending at least half-time will be placed into in-school deferment, during which no payments are required.

Interest on parent PLUS and graduate PLUS Loans continues to be charged during periods of deferment or forbearance. You may either pay the interest as it accrues or you may allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan’s principal balance).

Capitalization increases the total loan amount that you must repay.

See also how to apply for a Parent Plus Loans and how to apply for a Graduate Plus Loans

Federal Perkins Loan

Due to the recent legislation, Federal Perkins loan funding is no longer available to award to entering students after September 30, 2017.

Alternative Loans

If the combination of federal loans and CCA-administered financial aid does not meet the financial need of a student, "alternative loan" programs should be a consideration.

These private-educational loan programs require the borrower to have a satisfactory credit history and, in some cases, can require a credit-worthy cosigner.

Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal direct loans are available to students regardless of income.

See also alternative loan section »

An educational loan is a serious financial obligation and must be repaid.

Defaulting on any loan will seriously damage your credit rating. Complete information on educational loan repayment is available within the Financial Aid Office.

Grace Period & Loan Repayment Assistance

CCA partners with Inceptia, a nonprofit organization, to provide you with additional loan counseling after attending CCA and assist students in loan repayment.

Counselors from Inceptia might contact you via phone or email on behalf of CCA.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Financial Aid Office.

Loan Debt Statistics for the 2014-15 Academic year 

As part of the California State Law AB 721 annual notification, 130 students graduated from CCA during the 14-15 academic year who started as first-time freshman when they entered.  Of these students, 51% borrowed student loans for a total of $2,131,237 (an average $32,191 each).

50% of the students mentioned above borrowed federal loan for a total of $1,939,725 (an average of $29,842 each).