Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Federal Financial Aid

The U.S. Department of Education offers a variety of loan and grant programs to support your higher education dreams. This is the place to start to check your eligibility and learn about what’s available.

Am I Eligible for Federal Financial Aid?

Read up on all the requirements for federal financial aid.


You may be eligible for federal financial aid if you meet all of these requirements. You:

  • Are enrolled in a degree or certificate program
  • Are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED or show ability to benefit from a Dutchess Community College education by earning a qualifying score on a federally approved test administered by Dutchess Community College
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress
  • Are not in default on a Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan, PLUS or SLS Loan at any institution
  • Do not owe a refund of any federal financial aid at any institution
  • Are registered with Selective Service, if required
  • Have never been convicted of a drug-related offense
  • Have completed necessary entrance counseling for first-time borrowers of federal Direct Loan awards

Federal Grants

Grants are funds that you do not have to pay back. The federal government offers three types of grant programs to college students.

Through this program, eligible undergraduate students may receive grants based on college costs and the expected family contribution (determined by factors such as family income and assets, size of family and number of post-secondary students in the family). No repayment is required. The Pell grant is available to students taking as little as one (1) credit.

As an undergraduate student, you may receive federal grants. These grants are awarded based on exceptional need and circumstances. No repayment is required.

This program, supported through federal and college funds, may be available to you if you are enrolled and can demonstrate financial need. Awards vary according to need and available funds. You may be employed either on- or off-campus with public or nonprofit agencies. Earnings must be used solely for educational purposes. Biweekly payment is made directly to you based on wage and hours worked. Work-study awards cannot be used for tuition, fees or book vouchers.

Federal Direct Loans

Schedule a phone appointment with Financial Aid advisors.

Federal loans are funds that you must pay back after you’ve left college (whether you graduate or not). There are different types of programs with different eligibility requirements. Read the following sections carefully to understand your options.

  • These loans are available if you need financial assistance and are attending Dutchess Community College at least half-time (six credits or more per semester).
  • Dependent first-year students may be eligible to borrow up to $5,500 per academic year. Up to $3,500 of these funds may be subsidized.
  • Dependent students who have completed at least 30 credit hours may be eligible to borrow up to $6,500 per academic year. Up to $4,500 of these funds may be subsidized.
  • Independent first-year students may be eligible to borrow up to $9,500 per academic year. Up to $3,500 of these funds may be subsidized.
  • Independent students who have completed at least 30 credit hours may be eligible to borrow up to $10,500 per academic year. Up to $4,500 of these funds may be subsidized.
  • Direct Loans can be a mix of subsidized and unsubsidized funds. (see below) 

To apply, you will need to complete your FAFSA listing the college code 002864. An origination fee will be deducted from your loan amount. Loans are disbursed in two separate payments over the loan period. You must begin repayment six months after termination of study or if you drop below six credits. You will need to complete a promissory note online, and first-time borrowers must complete online entrance counseling.

Types of Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with financial need. The Office of Financial Aid will review the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine the amount you can borrow. You are not charged interest while you're in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods.

You are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Like subsidized loans, the Office of Financial Aid will determine the amount you can borrow.

Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the moment you receive it.

You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment and forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount that you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount.

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available from the federal government to assist parents in meeting the cost of their child's education.

An origination fee is deducted from the total loan proceeds. These loans are made to parents of dependent undergraduate students who are registered at least half time (six credits or more) who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program.

The standard repayment plan begins 60 days after the last disbursement (for example: after the spring disbursement for a fall/spring loan). For additional repayment options, including deferring repayment until after the student graduates or drop below 6 credits, parents may contact the loan servicer.

Eligibility is determined by the Office of Financial Aid, and the amount borrowed may not exceed the cost of attendance less any other financial aid the student is eligible to receive.

Who is a Parent? 

To borrow a PLUS loan for a student, the parent must be the student's biological or adoptive mother or father. A stepparent is also eligible to borrow a PLUS loan if his/her income and assets were reported on the FAFSA. A legal guardian is not considered a parent for financial aid purposes.

How Do We Apply? 

Students and parents must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by using Once the FAFSA has been completed, you may apply for the Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) as follows:

To apply for a PLUS loan, parents must go to Once there, a parent will need to sign in using their FSA ID. When signed in, the parent will then select “Start PLUS Application Process.”

First-time parent borrowers must also complete and sign a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have already signed a Federal Direct PLUS MPN previously for DCC or another Federal Direct Loan college (online or paper), you do not need to complete a new PLUS MPN. A Federal Direct PLUS MPN can be completed at the website.

Also Know: The Federal Direct Loan Servicer will complete a credit check on the parent borrower prior to approval. Parent borrowers who are denied the loan based on the credit check will have the option to appeal the decision or the student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funds.

Contact Us

Student Financial Services

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Phone: (845) 431-8060

53 Pendell Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601