Federal Direct Student Loans are available to eligible students who complete the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA on the Web) . This federal student aid is made available through the
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program to help pay for educational expenses. The Office of Financial Aid awards a Federal Direct Subsidized or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan, or a combination of both loans.
based on financial need.
The information you report on your FAFSA is used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) , which is a calculated formula established by law. Your EFC is not equal to the amount you and your family must pay, but rather an index that allows colleges to determine financial need. To determine your financial need, your EFC is subtracted from your cost of attendance.
Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan A Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan is awarded based on your demonstrated financial need. The federal government pays interest on a subsidized loan while you are enrolled in school in at least half-time. The interest rate for Federal Direct Subsidized loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2017, for undergraduate students will have a fixed interest rate of 4.45%, while in repayment status.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student loan is not based on your financial need. The interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 is fixed at 4.45%. You are not required to pay the interest on this loan while in school, but we recommend that you do. You will be charged interest starting at disbursement until it is paid in full. If the interest accumulates, it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid.
How much can you borrow through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program?
(as of 7/01/2008)
College Credits Earned
Base Amount Subsidized or Unsubsidized
24 - 53 credits
54 credits or more
Dependent Students with a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Denial and Independent Students
Please keep in mind that your eligibility for these programs depends on the information you provide on the
FAFSA , the program you are in, and the number of credits you have completed.
Generally, you will begin to pay your Federal Direct Student Loans and interest six months after you graduate or you leave the university. However, you may defer paying the loan's principal and interest if you maintain at least half-time enrollment.
Apply for a Federal Direct Student (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) Loan To apply for a Federal Direct Student loan, you must complete the
FAFSA each year. To be eligible, you must be enrolled in a degree program for at least six credits per semester and be maintaining Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards. If you are eligible for a Federal Direct Student loan, it will be included on your Financial Aid Notification.E-sign Your Federal Direct Student (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) If you are a first-time borrower of the Federal Direct Student loan, you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the loan funds can disburse. In most cases, you will only need to complete one MPN during your college career. E-sign your Federal Direct Student loan MPN on the studentloans.gov web site using your
Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) by selecting Log-In. After you sign in, choose Complete Loan Agreement for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan MPN and click the START button. Follow instructions and answer all questions. Select "Continue" at the bottom of each screen once completed. When complete, you must sign by typing your name and clicking "Sign and Submit."
Note: If you are experiencing technical difficulty signing your MPN online at
studentloans.gov , please contact the U.S. Department of Education's customer service center for borrowers toll free at 800-557-7394. You can request a paper MPN from our office; however, a paper MPN will take four to six weeks to process--more than double the time it takes to process the MPN online --so it is always best to sign the MPN online if possible.
Loan Entrance Counseling If you are a first-time borrower of the Federal Direct Student loan, you are also required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling before the loan funds can disburse. Complete this required counseling session by selecting "Complete Loan Counseling" and clicking the START button at studentloans.gov web site. The counseling session provides you with information that will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a federal loan borrower, as well as other tools to assist you with managing your loans.
***Please note that this requirement is separate from e-signing the loan MPN.***
Fees A fee of 1.069% will be deducted from the gross amount of loan borrowed, so you need to take that into consideration when determining the amount you need to borrow. Loans disbursed after 10/1/17 will have a 1.066% origination fee.
Receiving Federal Direct Student Loan Funds It is important to know that loan funds will automatically credit to your student account if the Direct Loan Processor has a valid MPN on file for you and you have completed loan entrance counseling. After you complete your registration and semester classes begin, your student financial aid will begin to disburse onto your Student account.
Reduce or Decline a Federal Direct Student (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) Loan If you wish to reduce or cancel your loan(s), please select complete the Loan Change Form.
Repayment After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a six month period of time before you have to begin repayment. This six month period of time is called the "grace period". Your federal loan servicer will provide information about repayment and will notify you of the date your loan repayment begins.
You will be able to choose a repayment plan that meets your needs. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. Generally, you’ll have from ten to twenty-five years to repay your loans. Our office recommends that you explore the Direct Loan Repayment Plans and Calculators for more information about the repayment plans and to calculate your estimated repayment amount under each of the different plans.
Loan Services For specific questions about loan repayment or deferment, you can contact your federal loan servicing center directly. If you are not sure who your federal loan servicer is, you can look it up on NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System).
FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)Phone: 800/699-2908TDD/TTY: 800/722-8189Overseas borrowers: 717-720-1985Web site:
Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.Phone: 800/236-4300TDD/TTY: 800/236-4300Overseas: 608/246-1700Web site:
NelnetPhone: 888/486-4722TDD/TTY: 888/486-4722Overseas: 303/696-3625Web site:
International Phone: 317/806-0580
International Fax: 570/706-8563
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