William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Minimum half-time enrollment
You must make satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving loans and financial aid. Please refer to the satisfactory academic progress policy for further information.
Direct Subsidized Loan:
This is a need-based loan with the interest paid by the federal government until you graduate, leave school, or fall below half-time enrollment.
Please note: The Budget Control Act of 2011 eliminated subsidized loans for graduate students beginning July 1, 2012. Graduate students will be eligible for the full $20,500 annual amount, but all loans will be completely unsubsidized.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan:
This is a non-need based loan with interest starting to accrue upon disbursement. You have the option to postpone payment of interest which is then capitalized (added to principal balance).
Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan: This is a non-need-based loan, but it is also a credit-based loan and you must meet basic eligibility requirements. If you cannot meet the requirements, you may be eligible if you have a creditworthy endorser or cosigner.
Annual Loan Limits
Amounts are per award year and may be limited by cost of attendance.
For Professional Students:
Dependent students completing a bachelor’s degree are eligible, depending on their FAFSA information, to receive:
Freshmen (0-27 units) — $5,500 (up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized)
Sophomores (28-59 units) — $6,500 (up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized)
Juniors and Seniors (60+ units) — $7,500 (up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized)
Federal Parent PLUS — Up to cost of attendance minus any federal and outside aid
Independent students (or dependent students who were denied Parent PLUS Loan) completing a bachelor’s degree are eligible, depending on their FAFSA information, to receive:
Freshmen (0-27 units) — $9,500 (up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized)
Sophomores (28-59 units) — $10,500 (up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized)
Juniors and Seniors (60+ units) — $12,500 (up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized)
For Graduate Students:
Teaching credential-only students:
Up to $12,500 combination of subsidized and unsubsidized
$5,500 maximum subsidized depending on financial need
Not eligible for the Graduate PLUS Loan
Master’s and doctoral students:
Up to $20,500 unsubsidized
Up to the cost of attendance in PLUS Loan, minus any other aid, scholarship, or loans
Interest and Fees
If you receive a federal student loan (Direct Loan), you will be required to repay that loan with interest. The interest rate for a Direct Loan is fixed, based on the type of loan, either Direct Unsubsidized or Direct PLUS.
Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.
Please visit the Federal Student Aid site for more information and to view current interest rates and fees.
For subsidized and unsubsidized loans, repayment begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status. That six-month time frame is called the grace period. If you have previously used your grace period, your payments may begin immediately.
For Parent/Graduate PLUS Loans, the loan(s) will be placed automatically in a six-month post-enrollment deferment, which you can reduce or cancel by contacting your servicers.
Standard repayment is ten years. However, there are many repayment options available to student loan borrowers. If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to make your student loan payments, there are also deferment and forbearance options available to you.
Please visit the Federal Student Aid site to learn how to best manage your student loans.