Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan Program is a means to assist undergraduate and graduate students with paying for college.  In order to receive a Federal Direct Loan, students must submit a FAFSA for each year they are in school.  There are two types of Federal Direct Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. 

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
    • Need-based, long term federal loan.
    • Federal Government pays the interest while a student is enrolled as well as during a period of deferment and for the grace period after you graduate. 
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Available to all students, regardless of need.
    • Interest begins to accrue immediately and accumulates during deferment periods and during the grace period.
    • Paying the interest on the loan is optional, but strongly advised while enrolled


Students are eligible to borrow Federal Direct Loans based on the number of credits they have earned.

  • 0-23 credits: $5,500 (of which $3,500 can be subsidized, if eligible)
  • 24-53 credits: $6,500 (of which $4,500 can be subsidized, if eligible)
  • 54 credits or more: $7,500 (of which $5,500 can be subsidized, if eligible)

Independent students, as well as students whose parent is ineligible to borrow the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, are eligible to borrow additional Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

  • 0-53 credits: $4,000
  • 54 credits or more: $5,000

Interest Rates

The interest rate for the 2020-2021 academic year, for undergraduate students, is fixed at 2.75%*. The is a origination fee that is withheld at the time of disbursement from all Federal Direct Loans  The origination fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is 1.057%.

*The Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 was signed into law August 9, 2013. Under this law, federal student loan interest rates will be calculated based on the 10-year Treasury bill. Loans will be "fixed -variable," meaning students would receive a fixed rate for the life of that loan, but each year rates will be recalculated and new loans will be made at the new rate.

For example, an undergraduate student borrowing in 2014-2015 had an interest rate of 4.66% for the life of that year's loan. But, for 2015-2016 there was a recalculation of the applicable rate based on the 10-year Treasury Note at that time, and this new rate will apply to the life of the 2015-2016 loan. This law also places a cap of 8.25% on future interest rates for undergraduate loans.


Repayment of loans begins 6 months after the borrower graduates, ceases to be enrolled at least half-time (less than 6 credits in a semester), or withdraws from the school


All New Student borrowers must complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note at studentaid.gov

Students will need their FSA ID that was used to file the FAFSA in order to log in and complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note.  This is a loan in the student's name, and it is important that students understand their loan. Parents should not do this for the student.

The Federal Direct Loan award is for the academic year, and it will be disbursed to your student account, half in the fall semester and half in the spring semester.