An education loan is a type of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. Education loans consist of three basic types: student loans, parent loans, and private loans.

Responsibility for financing a college education rests primarily with the student. Therefore, students who choose to take out loans must understand the acceptance of a loan includes the responsibility of full, timely repayment. Defaulting on a loan adversely affects both a student’s financial aid eligibility and his/her credit history.

The Federal Direct Loan Program allows for eligible students to borrow funds to help cover costs of undergraduate study. To see the current interest rate for a direct loan visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Subsidized loans

Subsidized loans are only available to undergraduate students who demonstrate federal financial need. The federal government subsidizes or pays the interest on the loan while the student is attending at least half-time. The interest that accrues on these loans while a student is enrolled more than half-time is paid by the federal government.

Unsubsidized Loans

An unsubsidized loan is awarded to students who do not have financial need or students who don’t qualify for a maximum subsidized direct loan. For more details on Federal Student Direct Student Loans, visit the Federal Student Aid Website

Private and Alternative Loans

Private student loans are made by private lenders to students and most require credit-worthy cosigners. These loans may be more expensive than Federal Direct PLUS loans so students should first maximize any eligibility under the federal loan programs. Private loan fees and interest rates vary among lenders. All lenders will review the borrower’s and cosigner’s credit history. Moraine Valley does not endorse any specific lender or group of lenders.

  • Private Education Loans Self-CertificationCongress has mandated private loan lenders require borrowers to complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form when requesting any private education loans. The self-certification form must be completed by the borrower and submitted to the lender. Forms should not be sent to Moraine Valley.

The cohort default rate calculates the percentage of borrowers that enter repayment and borrowers that default on federal student loans for a given time period. This information is provided by the United States Department of Education. The cohort default rate for Moraine Valley Community College for the most recent year data has been provided, 2020, is 0%. The national default rate is 0%. Cohort default rates can be viewed by visiting the Department of Education's Cohort Default Rate for Schools.

In addition to the information below, please note that a new provision is in place that affects first-time borrowers:

  • Once the borrower has received Direct Subsidized Loans for a period that is 150 percent of the published length of the borrower's current education program, the borrower is no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.
  • A first-time borrower who loses eligibility for additional subsidized loans loses interest subsidy on subsidized loans received on or after July 1, 2013, if the borrower did not complete the program AND continues enrollment in the program OR enrolls in another program of the same or shorter length.

Annual Federal Direct Loan limits for students enrolled in eligible programs are as follows:

Dependent Undergraduate Students
Independent Undergraduate Students and Dependent Undergraduate Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow PLUS

For full details on the Federal Direct Loan program, visit Federal Student Aid.
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program allows parents of undergraduate students to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. A parent applying for a Federal PLUS loan must be a biological or adoptive parent. A stepparent whose information is included on the FAFSA is also eligible to apply for the loan. A parent seeking a loan must not have an adverse credit history. The interest rate for Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, is 8.05 percent. Federal Direct PLUS loans have an origination fee of 4.228 percent assessed by the U.S. Department of Education and deducted from each loan disbursement.

Get general information about the Federal Direct Loan program.

Get additional information about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

New Borrowers

To apply for Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford Subsidized, Stafford Unsubsidized and/or Federal PLUS), you must:

Repeat Borrowers

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Submit the required documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office
  • Be enrolled in six credit hours applicable to your eligible program
  • Submit a Federal Direct Loan Request Form with all required documentation (located on your student portal).

Financial Aid Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA)

Maximum eligibility period to receive Direct Subsidized Loans

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” You can find the published length of any program of study in the Moraine Valley Community College catalog.

For example, if you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of two years = three years).

Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program and can change if you switch programs. If you do switch programs, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the first program you enrolled in generally will count against your new maximum eligibility period.


Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.

Federal Pell Grants are available from the federal government and are based upon calculated financial need. The maximum annual award at Moraine Valley is $7,395  for a full-time student with a $0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

This amount may change, please contact the Financial Aid office for the most recent information.

The Year-Round Pell Grant is a Federal Grant program which enables eligible students to receive 150 percent of their Federal Pell Grant funds in one academic year. The maximum timeframe that students may receive Federal Pell Grant is the equivalent of 12 full‐time semesters. YRP awards will increase the percentage of Pell LEUs used. Keep in mind that one full‐time semester of Pell equals 50 percent. Moraine Valley Community College will start awarding summer financial aid in April to allow students to plan for their summer semester enrollment. Additional Pell Grant amounts cannot exceed 50 percent of a student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award. If you do not use 100 percent of your Pell award, you will still be eligible for the unused Pell for the Fall and Spring semesters and possibly additional YRP funds depending on enrollment level. To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds over the summer, the student must be: Pell Eligible Meeting SAP Enrolled in at least six credit hours

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are available to undergraduate students based on calculated financial need. These awards are available to students who receive the Pell Grant. Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours in an approved program. Annual awards range from *$100-$1200.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission Monetary Award Program (ISAC-MAP) is a need-based grant program available to Illinois residents for tuition and mandatory fees. To be eligible, students must be undergraduates and enrolled in at least three credit hours in an approved program. Awards at Moraine Valley range from *$300-$4,500. 

*Subject to change based on federal, state, or institutional funding.

On June 21, 2019, the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act was signed into law, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020. As described in the enacting legislation, the Act provides that “a student who is an Illinois resident and who is not otherwise eligible for federal financial aid, including, but not limited to, a noncitizen student who has not obtained lawful permanent residence, shall be eligible for state financial aid and benefits...This means that some students who cannot apply for a Federal Pell Grant can now apply for the Illinois MAP grant. Moreover, the RISE Act legislation removed the 75-hour cap on the Monetary Award Program (MAP) paid credit hours for freshmen and sophomores who had previously reached the limit. However, the overall maximum of 135 MAP paid credit hours remains in effect.

How to Apply

The RISE Act application, patterned after the FAFSA, has been available since January 1, 2020, for the 2020-21 academic year.

RISE Act/Alternative Application

Pre-screening questions at the beginning of the application will help students determine which application (RISE vs. FAFSA) should be completed. If you are unable to submit your application online, please contact the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) for more information.

Para información en español, puede consultar el siguiente enlace:

Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act y la Solicitud Alternativa de Ayuda Financiera de Illinois

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (PLEU)

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100 percent, the six-year equivalent is 600 percent.

Percent used: To determine how much of the maximum six years (600 percent) of Pell Grant you have used each year, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) compares the actual amount you received for the award year with your scheduled award amount for that award year. If you receive the full amount of your scheduled award, you will have used 100 percent. It’s possible you might not receive your entire scheduled award for an award year. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of which are you are not enrolled for the full year and/or you are not enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours).

If you did not receive the full amount of your scheduled award, Moraine Valley calculates the percentage of the scheduled award you did receive. For example, if your scheduled award for an award year was $5,000, but you enrolled for only one semester, you received $2,500—50 percent of the scheduled award for that award year. If you received only $3,750 for the award year because you enrolled three-quarter-time, you received 75 percent for that year.

Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Limit

Limit for each term: Payment for each term is made according to the equivalent number of credit hours eligible for MAP payment, with a minimum of three and a maximum of 15 MAP Paid Credit Hours. If you are enrolled for the equivalent of 15 or more credit hours, the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours assessed to you will be 15. If you enroll in a different number of credit hours during the various terms of the same academic year, your actual MAP award may be different for each of those terms.

Please note: Moraine Valley Community College is limited to sophomore status.

Total limit: The maximum number of MAP Paid Credit Hours is capped at the equivalent of 135 MAP Paid Credit Hours.

Students with Bachelor Degree Limits

Once you have a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for MAP, Pell or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). You may be eligible to apply for Federal Work Study and Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans if you have not borrowed your maximum loan eligibility.

If your bachelor’s degree was received in a foreign country, it must be evaluated by an accredited agency to ensure it is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Moraine Valley recommends Educational Perspectives ( For assistance with finding other accredited agencies, visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services website (

If you have a bachelor’s degree, whether it was earned in the U.S. or a foreign country, and you are pursuing a Moraine Valley Associate in Applied Science degree or certificate that is at least 16 hours and financial aid eligible, you must meet with an academic advisor to obtain a signed Career Program Worksheet. Your program on record must match the program listed on your Career Program Worksheet to be eligible.

You are not eligible for aid if you are not degree/certificate-seeking at Moraine Valley. Call the Academic Advising Center at (708) 974-5721 for availability.

The Department of Education (ED) requires schools to disburse the Federal Pell Grant based on a student’s level of enrollment (i.e., full-time, three-quarter time, half-time or less than half-time). Stafford Loans and other financial aid programs also have minimum enrollment requirements.

The following information pertains to the Federal Pell Grant and explains how enrollment status is determined for awarding purposes.

The census date, also known as the Pell Recalculation Date (PRD), is the last day for students to add or drop courses before ”locking in” their enrollment status for Pell Grant awarding purposes. Moraine Valley Community College uses the award period census date for all students who attend classes at the start of the semester. For students who begin attendance after the term has begun (and are NOT enrolled) the census date will be the date, the Pell Grant is first awarded.

The award period census dates can be found in our Financial Aid Calendar.

Note: All registration activity must be completed by each term’s census date to have the courses count toward your enrollment status. Any registration activity that occurs after the census date will be excluded from receiving financial aid.

Why Does Moraine Valley Adjust Enrollment Levels?
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates that schools adjust enrollment level for various reasons, including:

  • Not maintaining the original level of enrollment
  • Not beginning attendance in all registered courses
  • Dropping a module class (such as a late start class) before it begins
  • Courses are canceled by the college
  • Changes to a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)
  • A professor is unable to document your attendance in a class

How Is Your Pell Grant Amount Determined?
Your initial Pell Grant is awarded on the assumption you will be a full-time student. Before your aid first disburses for the semester, the number of financial aid eligible credits is reviewed. Only courses applicable to your eligible program of study will be used to determine your enrollment status. If enrolled in fewer than 12 credits, your Pell Grant will be recalculated and adjusted to your enrollment level.

Semester enrollment levels will be adjusted appropriately through the census date for the semester (i.e., fall, spring, and summer), and federal payments will be issued based on the total enrollment level calculated on this date. Withdrawing from classes after the census date will not impact a student’s financial aid enrollment level should you begin attendance in each course (R2T4 policy still applies).

Helpful Information
Students who add or drop a class after Moraine Valley’s census date are encouraged to review the FA Self Service to see if they have an outstanding balance.

Award letter amounts are based on full-time (12 or more credit hours) enrollment (Illinois MAP grants are based on 15 credit hours) and will be prorated based on actual enrollment level and need.

  • Nine to 11 credit hours will receive 75 percent of the award
  • Six to eight credit hours will receive 50 percent of the award
  • Three to five hours will receive 25 percent of the award
  • Most Pell grant recipients also will receive 25 percent of the award for enrollment in one to two credit hours.

Students who receive a financial aid refund check and withdraw from a class prior to the class census date or are in a class canceled after the disbursement will be required to repay funds received if the new enrollment level is less than the enrollment level used to calculate the financial aid refund.

The enrollment level calculated as of the census date for courses taken in a semester will be used to determine the appropriate amount of funds to disburse for the semester.

Withdrawing From All Classes
Students who withdraw from all classes will have their attendance checked to determine if they stopped attending prior to completing 60 percent of their scheduled classes. If they did not attend and/or actively participate up to the 60 percent mark, they will have to repay funds to Moraine Valley and/or the federal government. Review our R2T4 policy for more details.

Pell Recipients Selected for Verification
If a student is selected for verification, all documentation is submitted and the funds are disbursed during the semester, the student’s Pell grant will be based on hours locked in at the Moraine Valley’s census date and the valid EFC.

If the student completes the financial aid process after the term has ended, the amount of disbursement will be based on the valid EFC, Moraine Valley’s census date and the hours completed. Earned failing grades (F) are considered hours completed for this purpose only. Withdrawal grades (W) will not be eligible to receive financial aid in this instance.

Class Cancelations
The college has the right to cancel courses. In the event a course is canceled, students will be allowed to register for another course to replace the canceled course. The replaced course will be given the same registration date as the canceled course. All the courses you register for must be applicable to your program of study. All other Title IV rules will apply to the newly-added course.


1. Fall term began Aug. 24, 2021, with a Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) of Sept. 2, 2021

Bosley begins attendance on Aug. 24 in six credit hours but adds an additional course for three credit hours on Aug. 28. Bosley’s enrollment status for Pell purposes is nine credit hours (three-quarters time).

If Bosley were to begin attendance on Aug. 24 in 12 credit hours, but drop two courses for a total of six credit hours on Aug. 25, his enrollment status for Pell purposes would be six credit hours (half-time).

2. Fall term begins Aug. 24, 2021 with a PRD of Sept. 2, 2021

Charlie begins attendance on Aug. 24 in six credit hours, but adds an additional course of three credit hours on Sept. 7. Charlie’s enrollment status for Title IV purposes is six credit hours (half-time).

If Charlie were to begin attendance on Aug. 24 in 12 credit hours, but drop two courses for a total of six credit hours on Sept. 1, his enrollment status for Pell purposes would be 12 credit hours (full-time).

When determining Pell eligibility, a school must use the enrollment status established on the earlier of the date of withdrawal or the PRD, whichever comes first.

  • If the student withdraws prior to the PRD, the enrollment status for Pell purposes is established as of the withdrawal date
  • If a student adds a course after the PRD and subsequently withdraws, the enrollment status for Pell purposes is established at the time of the PRD

3. Fall term begins Aug. 24, 2021 with a PRD of Sept. 2, 2021

Kris begins attendance on Aug. 24 in six credit hours, but withdraws on Aug. 28. Kris’ enrollment status for Pell purposes is six credit hours (half-time) for the purpose of calculating R2T4.

If Kris had begun attendance on Aug. 24 in six credit hours, added two courses for an additional six credit hours on Sept. 7, and subsequently withdraws on Oct. 15, her enrollment status for Pell purposes would still be six credit hours (half-time).

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides part-time jobs for students so they can help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient’s course of study.

To apply for the Federal Work-Study program, students must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the college’s priority deadline, March 1
  • Submit all requested documents to the Financial Aid Office
  • Be enrolled in six credit hours applicable to your eligible program
  • Have financial need
  • Submit a FWS application to be considered.

Work-study is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount of work-study you are eligible to earn is shown on your financial aid award letter, viewable online using the Financial Aid Self Service Tool. Financial Aid Self Service can be accessed from the student menu on the MVConnect portal.

The amount of your work-study award is determined by your need and the availability of funds at the college. Once we have exhausted available funds, students will be placed on a waitlist and awarded as funds become available.

Being awarded FWS does not guarantee employment. It’s your responsibility to secure a position by the fourth week of the term (or four weeks after becoming eligible for FWS).

Students unable to secure a position by the deadline will have their funds reallocated to a student on the waitlist.

For assistance with locating and applying for Federal Work-Study employment, visit the Job Resource Center in Building S, Room S202, call (708) 974-5737.

Any student who accepts a student employee position accepts the responsibility of maintaining professional standards and agrees to the following:

  • Perform their job assignment in a serious and responsible manner.
  • Follow a predetermined work schedule that is acceptable to both the student and the employer. The average hours worked per week is four to five. The maximum number of hours per week a student can work is 20 (based on award eligibility).
  • Students cannot work during class hours.
  • All students must complete the necessary paperwork before beginning work.
  • Stop working immediately upon reaching your FWS award limit, become ineligible for your award or your enrollment falls below six credit hours. Students are responsible for keeping track of their hours worked unless other arrangements have been made with your supervisor.

**All Federal Work-study awards are subject to change should a student receive additional aid that would cause an over award or should a student fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.