Both loans require the completion of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA to determine a student’s financial need. The subsidized Direct Loan is for students who have a demonstrated financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. The unsubsidized Direct Loan is a non-need-based loan.
Recipients of a Federal Direct Loan are required to complete entrance counseling before the funds are disbursed. Students must also complete exit counseling upon dropping below half-time status, taking a leave of absence, withdrawing or graduating.
To learn about interest rates, loan fees, eligibility and repayment please read the information provided below. Please click here if you are ready to apply for your loan.
The subsidized Direct Loan is only available to eligible undergraduate students and is interest-free during the student's enrollment of at least half-time in a degree-seeking program. Interest will begin to accrue if the student drops below half-time or upon the completion of his or her program and the applicable grace period. The unsubsidized Direct Loan begins to accrue interest upon disbursement of the loan.
Annual Loan Amounts:
|Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
(Amounts below are offset by subsidized Federal Direct Loan eligibility)
Applicants who qualify for the federal subsidy on an amount less than the limits listed above may borrow the difference under the unsubsidized program.
For example, if a first-year student is eligible to borrow only $1,000 under the subsidized program, he or she may borrow an additional $2,500 under the unsubsidized program to receive a total Federal Direct Loan equal to $3,500. A student's annual Federal Direct Loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid for which the student is eligible that year.
Cumulative Loan Limits:
|Subsidized & Unsubsidized|
(subsidized limited to $23,000)
(subsidized limited to $23,000)
On August 9, 2013, President Obama signed H.R. 1911, the "Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013," into law. The effective date of the Act is retroactive to July 1, 2013. This law amends section 455(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (the HEA) as it provides new formulas for the determination of interest rates for all Direct Loan types.
The interest rates for undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 are fixed at 3.76%.
The interest rates for graduate unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 are fixed at 5.31%.
Both the subsidized and the unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 have a 1.068 percent origination fee.
Both the subsidized and the unsubsidized Direct Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 have a 1.069 percent origination fee.
All Direct Loan borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be enrolled at least half-time in a degree- or certificate-seeking program, have not defaulted on a prior federal loan and be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
In a typical academic year, Federal Direct Loans are disbursed in two installments. When the academic period is for one semester or for the summer term, one disbursement is permitted at the beginning of the term. During the regular academic year (fall/spring semesters) funds cannot be disbursed more than 10 days prior to the first day of class. For the summer term, funds cannot be disbursed more than ten days prior to the first day of class.
All subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans have a six-month grace period upon completion of the student's program of study. If a student drops below half-time enrollment or withdraws from the University, they will enter into a grace period prior to repayment of the loan.
Direct subsidized loans will not be eligible for an interest subsidy during the six-month grace period on loans disbursed after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2014.
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Loans begin to go into repayment when a student does the following:
- Graduates from school
- Takes a Leave of Absence
- Withdraws from School
- Drops below half-time enrollment
For more information regarding repayment plans and loan consolidation please visit The Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website