Federal Direct Loans

Federal Subsidized Loan
Eligibility for need-based loans is based on results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and on receipt of other types of financial assistance, such as scholarships and grants.

The Federal Direct Loan is subsidized by the Federal Government, which means the Federal Government pays the interest while the student is in school. Students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to qualify for this program. The Federal Direct Loan is awarded based upon financial need of the student. There is no priority deadline to qualify for this program. Students need to enroll at least half-time to be eligible for this program.

The base annual limits for dependent students for Federal Direct Loan (combined subsidized and unsubsidized) are:
  • $3,500 for 1st year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $2,000.
  • $4,500 for 2nd year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $2,000.
  • $5,500 for 3rd & 4th year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $2,000
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Degree only
The base annual limits for independent students for Federal Direct Loan (combined subsidized and unsubsidized) are :
  • $3,500 for 1st year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $6,000
    • $9,500 total combined subsidized and unsubsidized
  • $4,500 for 2nd year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $6,000
    • $10,500 total combined subsidized and unsubsidized
  • $5,500 for 3rd & 4th year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $7,000
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Degree only
Repayment begins after a six-month grace period, which means students do not begin repaying the loan until six months after the student either withdraws, graduates, or falls below half-time status. This loan may also carry some teacher cancellation provisions. For additional information regarding this program go to Studentloans.gov.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is not subsidized by the federal government. Therefore, the student is responsible for paying interest on the loan while he/she is in school. Students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to qualify for this program. There is no priority funding deadline to qualify for this program. Students need to enroll at least half-time to be eligible for this loan.

The base annual limits for the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans (combined subsidized and unsubsidized) are:
  • $3,500 for 1st year undergraduate students base amount. Additional unsubsidized loan amount $2,000.
  • $4,500 for 2nd year undergraduate students base amount. Additional unsubsidized loan amount $2,000.
  • $5,500 for 3rd & 4th year undergraduate students base amount. Additional unsubsidized loan amount $2,000 (Bachelor of Applied Science Degree Only)
Independent students can also borrow additional amounts in the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan:
  • $3,500 for 1st year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $6,000
    • $9,500 total combined subsidized and unsubsidized
  • $4,500 for 2nd year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $6,000
    • $10,500 total combined subsidized and unsubsidized
  • $5,500 for 3rd & 4th year undergraduate students base amount.
    • Additional unsubsidized loan amount $7,000
    • $12,500 total combined subsidized and unsubsidized
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Degree only

Repayment begins after a six-month grace period, which means students do not begin repaying the loan principal until six months after the student either withdraws, graduates, or falls below half-time status. This loan may also carry some teacher cancellation provisions. For additional information regarding this program go to Studentloans.gov.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents
Parents of dependent students may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to help pay their child's education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met.

To be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents:
  • The parent borrower must be the student's biological or adoptive parent. In some cases, the student's stepparent may be eligible.
  • The student must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program.  Generally, a student is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married.
  • The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may still receive a loan if someone (such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check) agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the parent fails to do so. The parent may also still receive a loan if he or she can demonstrate extenuating circumstances.
  • The student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs. For additional information on eligibility requirements, go to the student aid eligibility page.
How does a parent get a loan? 
For a Direct PLUS Loan, the parent must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that a parent receives over multiple academic years although a separate Loan Request must be filed for each school year. If the parent previously signed an MPN to receive an FFEL PLUS loan, he or she will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct PLUS Loan.

Complete the PLUS application and MPN online at www.studentloans.gov.

How much can a parent borrow?
The annual limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives.

For example, if the cost of attendance is $6,000 and the student receives $4,000 in other financial aid, the student's parent can request up to $2,000.

Repayment Plans-The Direct PLUS Loan Program for parents offers three repayment plans-standard, extended, and graduated-that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The terms differ between the repayment programs, but generally borrowers will have 10 to 25 years to repay a loan. To read more about repayment plans, go to Repayment Information.