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A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. They usually have low interest rates and offer attractive repayment terms, benefits, and options. Generally, federal loan repayment begins six months after the student leaves school or is not enrolled at least half-time. Federal student loans can be used to pay school expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. If you live in Virginia, you will automatically be considered for available state grant funds.

Because of increased student loan default rates, all Federal Direct Student Loans will be made in two (2) disbursements, including one-term only loans. NRCC’s cohort default rate for the past three years has been 0% (2020), 3.2% (2019) and 12% (2018), and the national average is 0%. The pause on federal student loan payments during the COVID pandemic has significantly impacted these rates.

A student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits or more) to remain eligible for student loans at the time of each disbursement. The Financial Aid Office will credit the student’s account electronically with loan funds.

Federal Direct Student Loans

There are two types: Subsidized and Unsubsidized.

  • Subsidized Direct Loan: These loans provide low interest rates and are available to students who demonstrate financial need based on income and other information provided on the FAFSA. A credit check is not required to receive these loans. The federal government pays the interest on these loans until the student is no longer enrolled in school at least half-time.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Loan: These loans provide low interest rates and are available to all students regardless of financial need (although the FAFSA still must be filed). A credit check is not required to receive these loans. The student is responsible for the interest, which may be paid while the student is in school or accrued and then added to the principal balance when the student enters repayment, which occurs six months after the student is no longer enrolled in school at least half time.

PLUS Loans

  • PLUS loans are low-interest loans that parents can obtain to help pay the cost of education for their children. They require a credit check and, in some instances, an eligible cosigner and entrance counseling. Repayment of PLUS loans begins following the final disbursement for the year.

Repayment Options with Loan Simulator

  • Student loan repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates, falls below half-time status, or withdraws from college; if borrowers do not make payments on their student loans for 270 days while in repayment status, they will be considered in default.
  • Failure to repay a student loan will lead to harmful, long-lasting consequences. It will negatively impact the borrower’s credit history, hindering future purchases, such as a house or car. In addition, some employers now include credit checks as part of their hiring decision. Other consequences of defaulting on a student loan include increased loan balance with added collection costs, loss of future federal student loan eligibility, wage garnishment, and withholding income tax refunds.
  • It is recommended that all borrowers complete Entrance Counseling each academic year to receive a loan. All new borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling before a loan is approved. Each borrower is also required to complete Exit Counseling after the student ceases half-time enrollment. Exit Counseling notifications will be sent to the Student Message Center in SIS and the email on file. Both counseling formats are completed online at Studentaid.gov.
  • Additional information on student loans may be found at Federal Student Aid.

Non-Discrimination Statement:
This College promotes and maintains educational opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), veteran status, or other non-merit factors.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the college’s non-discrimination policies: Dr. Mark C. Rowh, Vice President for Workforce Development and External Relations and Equal Opportunity Officer, 217 Edwards Hall, 540-674-3600, ext. 4241. Inquiries concerning Title IX (sexual harassment, sexual assault/domestic violence/dating violence, and stalking) may be directed to Dr. Deborah Kennedy, Dean of Student Services, 268 Rooker Hall, 540-674-3690. or, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Mr. John Bowler, Academic Advisor for the Center of Disability Services, 115 Christiansburg site, 540-674-3600, ext. 4418. Inquiries concerning ADA and Section 504 may be directed to Ms. Lucy Howlett, Coordinator of the Center for Disability Services, Advising Center, 275 Rooker Hall, V/TTY 540-674-3619.



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