Federal Loans

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About Federal Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

There are two types of Direct Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

You must have a valid FAFSA on file, be enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program and maintaining satisfactory academic progress to receive Stafford loans.

Direct Subsidized Loans: The subsidized loan is need-based, which is determined by the difference between the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution. Students borrowing the subsidized loan do not pay interest on the loan while they are enrolled at least half-time. The U.S. Department of Education pays interest while the borrower is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Unsubsidized loans are non-need-based, and students are not required to demonstrate financial need to borrow an unsubsidized loan. Interest is charged during all periods, including while you are in school and during grace and deferment periods. If you choose not to pay the interest during these periods, your interest will accrue and be capitalized (your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Federal Direct Plus Loan Program

Federal PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who have a valid FAFSA on file, are enrolled at least half-time, and are maintaining satisfactory academic progress. The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history. If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may still receive a loan if someone agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the parent fails to do so. The current interest rate is fixed at 7.00% and borrowers are responsible for all interest on the loan. Repayment begins 60 days after the second disbursement on this loan. The maximum amount that may be borrowed is calculated by subtracting other aid from the cost of attendance.

Federal Direct Grad Plus Loans

Graduate and professional degree students are eligible for low-interest Grad PLUS Loans. A credit check will be performed. Should you choose to complete your application more than 180 days prior to the start of your semester, you may be required to undergo a second credit check. To borrow a Direct PLUS Loan you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, must not be in a default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, must be enrolled in at least 6 credits, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs. Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and a current fixed interest rate of 7.00%.

Note: For both Parent and Graduate PLUS loans, forbearance and deferments are available if you qualify. To determine if you do, contact DL Servicing at 1-800-848-0979.

Origination Fee

An amount payable by the borrower and deducted from the principal of a loan prior to disbursement to the borrower. For federally-backed loans, the origination fee is paid to the federal government to offset the cost of the interest subsidy to borrowers. The exact amount will be reported to you on the “Disclosure Statement”.

Loan Limits

Dependent Students

Annual Loan Limits

Freshmen: 0 - 30 credits

$5,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)

Sophomores: 30 – 60 credits

$6,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)

Juniors & Seniors: Over 60 credits

$7,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)


Independent Students

Annual Loan Limits

Freshmen: 0 - 30 credits

$9,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)

Sophomores: 30 – 60 credits

$10,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)

Juniors & Seniors: Over 60 credits

$12,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$7,000 unsubsidized)

Graduate or Professional

$20,500 (unsubsidized)




Undergraduate Dependent

Undergraduate Dependent Graduate or Professional

$31,000 (Up to $23,000 may be subsidized)

$57,500 (Up to $23,000 may be subsidized)

$138,500 ($224,000 for Health Professionals)



Interest Rates for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans
First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2020 and Prior to July 1, 2021

Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate): 2.75%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate): 4.3%

Direct Plus Loans (Graduate/Parent):  5.3%

Entrance Counseling

Federal Student Loan Disclosure Statement:
HEOA Sec. 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B(d)(4) (20 U.S.C. 1092b)
Any student or parent wishing to borrow a Title IV loan (Federal Direct Stafford, Graduate Plus, or Parent Plus) should be aware that their loan information is reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Authorized agencies, lenders, and post-secondary institutions may have viewable access to this information.

Before your federal student loans are paid out to you, students must complete entrance counseling. The goal of entrance counseling is to help you understand what it means to take out a federal student loan. Log in to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID and password to complete the entrance counseling. You should expect it to take you about 30 minutes.

During entrance counseling, you will learn about the following:

  • What a Direct Loan is and how the loan process works
  • Managing your education expenses
  • Other financial resources to consider to help pay for your education
  • Your rights and responsibilities as a borrower

Exit Counseling

Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s). If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school