Direct Subsidized Loan

This loan is based on need shown on the award letter. The federal government pays the interest on the subsidized loan while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time in school.   

A student's eligibility to receive gift aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, must be calculated before loan eligibility can be determined. A minimum half-time (six credit hours) enrollment must be maintained in a financial-aid-eligible program of study. All eligibility and verification requirements are the same as for the Federal Pell Grant.  

Students complete the FAFSA to apply. If the student has financial need and meets all other eligibility requirements, eSTORM will state the dollar amount of loan eligibility. If no loan is offered, the student may request a loan by completing a "Loan Request" form.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Low interest, non-need based loans are available to students who do not qualify for a maximum Direct Subsidized Loan. All other requirements are the same as those for the Direct Subsidized Loan except that the borrower is responsible for payment of the interest on the loan from the date the funds are disbursed. All unsubsidized loans must be requested by completing a "Loan Request" form.


To participate in the loan programs, the student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Loans are not processed retroactively for prior completed semesters.

The student must accept the loan to have it processed. This is done through self-service on eSTORM. All summer loans must be requested via a "Loan Request" form after registering for summer classes.  

All students at Southwestern Illinois College must complete Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. To complete these requirements, go to

Disbursement of Loan Funds

SWIC establishes a disbursement schedule when certifying the loan. A loan that covers fall and spring semesters will be disbursed the sixth week of the fall semester and the sixth week of the spring semester. A fall only or a spring only loan is disbursed the sixth and 11th weeks of each semester.  Summer loans for existing borrowers are disbursed on the 4th and 6th weeks of the semester. Summer loans for first time borrowers are disbursed on the 5th and 6th weeks of the semester. The loan funds are sent to SWIC electronically and applied to your account. If the loan funds and other financial assistance exceed what you owe, excess funds will be disbursed in a check that is mailed to the address you have on file with the Office of Enrollment Services. All eligibility requirements must be met on the date the loan is disbursed. 

Note:  Changes in enrollment may require that the amount of your loan be revised. Dropping below six (6) hours of enrollment will result in future disbursements being cancelled.

In order for students to be able to charge books at the college bookstore, they must have first accepted the loan via eSTORM. After the loan has been accepted, the loan must have been sent to the Department of Education and received acceptance by the Department of Education. Students must also have completed Loan Entrance Counseling, signed a Master Promissory Note, and have loan funds in an amount greater than tuition and fees. Loan awards that exceed tuition and fees may be used to charge textbooks and supplies directly related to your courses at the bookstore, operated by Barnes and Noble, the week prior and the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters and the week prior and first week of the summer session. A valid SWIC ID is required to receive a charge authorization. Keep the student copy of the completed charge authorization showing the total amount of your charge for your records.

Students must press the big green button (on their eSTORM Student Center) in order to use their funds for books.

All student loan borrowers must attend an exit counseling session prior to withdrawal from school or graduation. This can be completed on the Web by going to Completed exit loan counseling information will be sent to the school electronically.  

Loan Limits

Dependent Student Loan Limits
Dependent Students Base Loan Amount Additional Unsubsidized Loan 
Freshman $3,500 per year$2,000 per year
Sophomore $4,500 per year$2,000 per year
Aggregate Total $23,000 Subsidized Loans $31,000 Sub & Unsub combined 


Independent Student Loan Limits
Independent Students Base Loan Amount Additional Unsubsidized Loan 
Freshman $3,500 per year $6,000 per year
Sophomore $4,500 per year$6,000 per year
Aggregate Total $23,000 Subsidized Loans $57,500 Sub & Unsub combined 


Note:  Students who expect to borrow for summer term need to reduce borrowing in fall and spring.

Dependency status is determined by the FAFSA. To be classified as a sophomore you must have earned at least 30 semester credit hours before the start of the fall semester of the current academic year. If a student is transferring from another institution to Southwestern Illinois College, all prior borrowing at other schools is considered in the yearly maximums.

Direct PLUS Loan

Parents apply online at This loan is not based on need but is subject to approval by the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office. SWIC students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an institutional PLUS Loan Application and complete all requests for documentation and verification to receive a PLUS loan.

Direct PLUS Loans are disbursed following the same procedures as Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Loans may not be certified for amounts greater than the cost of attendance minus other aid.

Alternative Loans

Students may also borrow through the Alternative Loan Program.

Alternative loans will be certified at the student's request. Loans may not be certified for amounts greater than the cost of attendance minus other aid. Alternative loans are certified one semester at a time once a student is enrolled in that particular semester. Alternative loans are disbursed the week prior to the start of each semester or later, based on when certification requests are received by the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office.

Additional Information

For more information about any of the above loan programs, contact the Department of Education at or the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office.

To participate in the loan programs, the student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Loans are not processed retroactively for prior completed semesters.