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Before You Borrow

Helpful Videos

Are you thinking about taking out a federal student loan to help pay for college? Before accepting the full amount offered to you, determine how much you really need to borrow. Ask yourself some questions such as:

  1. What are my expenses?
  2. Am I borrowing to pay for school or for other things?
  3. Will I be able to make monthly loan payments when I'm done with school and still be able to live comfortably?
  4. What is the interest rate and how will it affect the amount I have to pay back?

Use the Loan Calculator to estimate what your monthly payment will be based on how much you borrow and what your income needs to be in order to be able to make your monthly payment. Also visit Degrees & Programs for an average income in your chosen industry.

To learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out loans for college, visit

Accept Your Loans

Now that you know how much you need to borrow, review the following and then move on to the application steps.

  1. have an HTC award letter and have been awarded loans
  2. registered for at least 6 credits
  3. meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
  4. in a financial aid eligible major
  5. have a FSA ID (the one you used to sign your FAFSA)
  6. have driver's license and social security number
  7. have names, addresses, and phone numbers of two references (references must live at different addresses)

Steps 1 & 2: Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) on

Step 1: Loan Entrance Counseling will walk you through your responsibilities as a borrower. It will explain the entire loan program in detail. Allow about 30 minutes to complete the Entrance Counseling.

Step 2: The MPN is the official legal document that you will electronically sign, promising to pay back your loan according to the terms that have been explained to you in the Loan Entrance Counseling. Allow about 15 minutes to complete the MPN.

Be sure to complete this for Direct Stafford Sub/Unsub Loans, not for Parent PLUS nor for Grad PLUS.
If you're a transfer student and borrowed loans previously, we may be able to use the MPN already completed.

For additional instructions on completing these two steps, please visit our Entrance Counseling and MPN Guide.
If you'd like help with completing these two steps, sign up for a FAFSA Complete Session.

Please allow 1-3 business days for us to receive your Entrance Counseling and MPN.

Step 3: Request your loan in eServices

Log into eServices > Select “Financial Aid” > Select “Loans” > Click on the “Loan Application” tab

The loan is automatically set up for fall and spring terms. We recommend you borrow the loan for fall and spring terms. If you need to change the loan period to one term only, such as fall term only or spring term only, please contact us for assistance by calling 952-995-1300 to schedule an appointment or email us at

Each loan period will have two loan disbursements. For example, a loan for spring term only (or fall term only or summer term only) will be split into two disbursements, one towards the beginning of the term and the other at the mid-point of the term.

After you Borrow

When you graduate or stop attending at the half time level, you will have six months before you need to start repaying the money you borrowed. This six month period is call the Grace Period. During this time you should complete the Loan Exit Counseling. The exit counseling will prepare you for the next step of repaying the money you borrowed.

You should also identify your loan servicer and keep your contact information current with them. The loan servicer will provide information about your repayment schedule and options. To find your loan servicer, log on to the National Student Loan Data System, NSLDS. Most loan servicers will have their own web site where you can create an account to manage your loans. Your loan servicer is there to help you to stay on track with your payments. Don't hesitate to contact your loan servicer if you are experiencing a financial hardship.

More information on repaying student loans

The Fine Print

Interest Rates
Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2021 will have a fixed rate of 3.73%.

In order to receive your loans, you must be registered for at least six credits. You are not eligible for loans if you do not attend.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards in order to receive your student loans. This means you must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and complete a minimum of 67% of all attempted credits. You can view the entire SAP policy here.

Loan Proration
You are subject to certain prorated loan limits if you are in a program of study that is less than 24 credits. Loan limits are also prorated if the program's duration is equal to or longer than 30 credits but the borrower is completing the remainder of the program in a period of enrollment that is shorter than an academic year, such as with a fall semester graduation. Proration is calculated at the time the loan request is processed. The prorated amounts will not be reflected on the Financial Aid Award Letter.

Cost of Attendance
The Cost of Attendance (COA and also known as Budget) is an estimate of the expenses you'll incur as a student at Hennepin Tech. It is used to determine if you are eligible for need based aid and to set a cap on the amount of aid you are eligible to receive.

Cost of Attendance (Fall and Spring Terms)

  Full Time
12 or more Credits
Three Quarter Time
9-11 Credits
Half Time
6-8 Credits
Less Than Half Time
1-5 Credits
Tuition and Fees $2,970 $1,980 $1,386 $594
Books and Supplies $1,000 $1,000 $600 $400
Misc Personal $1,650 $1,650 $1,650 $0
Transportation $1,375 $1,375 $1,375 $1375
Housing and Food $4,364 $4,364 $4,364 $0
Total $11,359 $10,367 $9,374 $2,369
  • As identified in the chart above, COA at HTC for the 2023-2024 school year is 22,718 for full time students (12 or more credits), or 11,359 for one term.
  • The COA for three quarter time enrollment (9-11 credits): 20,734 or 10,367 for one term.
  • The COA for half time enrollment (6-8 credits): 18,748 or 9,374 for one term.
  • COA adjustments can be made if you are taking course that are charged higher tuition rates, or if you have unique educationally related expenses. 
  • Federal Loan fees are included in the personal category and we assume that the costs for dependent and independent students are basically the same.

Other Loan Options

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS)
Federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) program is available for parents of dependent undergraduate students attending post-secondary schools. The parent is the borrower of the PLUS loan and is responsible for paying the interest and principal on the loan.

The application process for the PLUS loan consists of the parent completing the PLUS MPN and the PLUS Application. Both of these are completed at the website.

Applying for Additional Assistance
If you require additional financial assistance, you may apply for a private student loan. For more information and a comparison of private loans available to students at HTC, please continue to the FASTChoice website.