NAICU Washington Update

Help for Colleges Seeking Direct Loan Program Certification

Due to uncertainties about the student loan market in the past months and concerns about the future, some colleges using the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) have now decided to become certified in the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP), and others have now actually made the switch to direct lending. Many others have questions about the ease of completing the certification process and making the transition.

Information is available directly from the Department of Education. In addition, though, the National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC) is offering peer-to-peer help for colleges unfamiliar with the Direct Loan Program. Here is a overview of that assistance, from Eileen O'Leary of Stonehill College, on behalf NDSLC.

"The National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC) is providing outreach to schools that are considering or have decided to move to Direct Lending (DL). To that end the Coalition provides multiple tools for schools to use in the decision making and transition processes. In addition, colleagues at direct loan schools have volunteered to serve as mentors to new DL schools, assisting them in all aspects of implementing direct lending. A mentor list of these administrators by school size and type, as well as mainframe software platform is available on the NDSLC website at You are invited to contact anyone on the list to discuss issues in decision-making, application, best practices, and implementation strategies."

Beyond the colleges now converting to direct loans, others have become certified or are planning to do so in case they wish to convert in the future. Colleges can become certified in direct lending, while still using the FFELP program.