Federal Direct Loan Information

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. Direct Loans are funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be enrolled half-time (6 credit hours) to be eligible.

Types of Loans 


Direct Subsidized Loans 


Direct Subsidized Loans are available to students with financial need. Under this program, the government pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Students who do not complete their program within 150 percent of the length of the program may lose their subsidy. The interest rate is fixed and changes every July 1. The maximum amount students can borrow is based upon grade level, course of study and financial need. For interest rate information, click here new window.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans 


Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need. Under this program, students are responsible for repayment of the interest accrued from the date the funds are disbursed. Principal payments are deferred until six months after a student graduates, transfers, leave school, or drops below half-time status. However, students are responsible for repayment of the interest accrued from the date the funds are disbursed. The fixed interest rate depends on when the loan is disbursed. The maximum amount students can borrow is based upon grade level and course of study. For interest rate information, click here new window.

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents of Undergraduate Students


Direct PLUS Loans for Parents of Undergraduate Students are available to parents or legal guardians of dependent undergraduate students. Parents or legal guardians may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid each academic year. The fixed interest rate depends on when the loan is disbursed. The repayment period begins 60 days after the loan is disbursed, unless a deferment has been requested and granted. The interest begins to accrue upon initial disbursement. For interest rate information, click here new window

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Loan Limits

 

Annual Loan Limits


Borrowers are restricted to the following loan limits per academic year. (Combined totals for subsidized and unsubsidized loans cannot exceed the following amounts.) **

Dependent Student:

  • $5,500 for freshman status
    (Less than 30 earned credit hours)

  • $6,500 for sophomore status
    (30+ earned credit hours)

Independent Student:

  • $9,500 for freshman status
    (Less than 30 earned credit hours)

  • $10,500 for sophomore status
    (30+ earned credit hours)


** It is not required, nor recommended, to borrow the maximum loan amounts. Please borrow only what you need for your education.

Maximum Timeframe for Interest Subsidy


Due to a federal law, if you are a first-time borrower who takes out Federal Direct Subsidized Loans on or after July 1, 2013 you have a maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you may borrow or be eligible for the interest subsidy of these loans. A first-time borrower is defined as someone who has no outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Federal Direct Loan or Federal Family Educational Loan (FFEL) at the time of receiving a Federal Direct Loan on or after July 1, 2013.

In general, if you are a first-time borrower, you may not receive the interest subsidy on Federal Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program.

To begin the online student loan process, please click the link below:

Applying for Federal Direct Loans