Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal Direct Loans

Direct Loans come through the U.S. Department of Education and are funded by the U.S. Treasury. This ensures that the borrower will have a reliable and predictable source of funding.


  1. File the Free Application for Fedreal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current year at If eligible, Direct loans will automatically be processed for students who have completed a FAFSA.
  2. [OPTIONAL] Reduce or decline Direct Loan amounts online prior to disbursement at in order to avoid borrowing maximum eligibility.
  3. Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at Direct Loans if not already on file.
    1. The MPN is a promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). The MPN is your legal signature for the loan.
    2. Before receiving a student loan, borrowers must also complete an entrance counseling session. This quick and easy interactive counseling session provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and helps you to understand your loan responsibilities.
  4. Complete the FAFSA and clear any holds that they may have on their financial aid accounts well in advance of the end of the term to ensure adequate processing time.
  5. Prior to graduating or leaving school, Direct Loan borrowers must also complete exit counseling.
    1. Exit Counseling will explain your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Loan borrower.

Federal Direct Loans cannot be processed after the final day of the term for which the student was enrolled.

Types of Direct Loans

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

Subsidized Loans

You must have financial need to receive a subsidized loan. The U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest that accrues on subsidized Direct Loans during the period the student is enrolled at least half time.

Unsubsidized Loans

Financial need is not a requirement to receive an unsubsidized loan. The student borrower may pay interest quarterly on an unsubsidized loan.


Applicants must be:

  • an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student enrolled at least half time as a degree-seeking student.
  • a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or eligible non-citizen of the United States.
  • not in default on a Federal education loan or owe a repayment of Federal Title IV aid.
  • in compliance Satisfactory Academic progress standards.
  • below Federal borrowing aggregate limits.


  • Interest rates are subject to change July 1 of each year.
  • An origination fee is assessed to all borrowers by the Direct Loan servicer.


Repayment does not begin until six months after students graduate or drop below halftime enrollment. At the time a student graduates or drops below halftime enrollment they will also need to complete Exit Counseling.

For questions about payment plans, a complete listing of deferment options and Direct Loan repayment options, please contact the Direct Loan Servicer at1-800-848-0979 or online at Federal Student Aid. Students may monitor their loan borrowing online through the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) at

The information provided at Student Aid describes the new Income Based Repayment (IBR) Plan for federal student loans. It includes the IBR eligibility requirements, the benefits of IBR, an IBR payment calculator, and some examples of how a borrower's monthly student loan payment amount can be reduced under IBR.

Annual Federal Direct Loan Aggregates

Dependent Base Amount* Dependent Additional Unsubsidized Independent Base Amount* Independent Additional Unsubsidized
1st-year undergraduate





2nd-year undergraduate





3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate










* Up to the base amount may be subsidized, if eligible.

Lifetime Federal Direct Loan Aggregates

Dependent Undergraduate                             $31,000 (no more than $23,000 subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate

$57,500 (no more than $23,000 subsidized)


$138,500 (no more than $65,500 subsidized)


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