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Federal Direct Student Loans

Through a process called "origination," the University advises the federal government if you are eligible to receive a Direct Student Loan, as well as the amount you are eligible to receive.  To learn more about how financial aid works, resources to pay for college, and loan repayment options, visit studentaid.gov.

Federal Direct Student Loan
  • Student borrows from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time at the point of loan certification and disbursement to receive loan proceeds (half-time is 6 hours for undergraduates and 5 hours for graduates during fall, spring, and summer).
  • First-time borrowers are required to complete Entrance Counseling before the loan can be disbursed.  This questionnaire explains the borrower's responsibilities and information about different loan types.
  • Students must sign a Master Promissory Note with the Department of Education.
  • Repayment begins six months after graduation or the last date of at least half-time enrollment.
  • Borrowers must complete Exit Counseling upon graduation, falling below half-time enrollment, or if you stop attending school.  The exit counseling explains your payment responsibilities and information about payment options.
Interest Rates

If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest.  The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and the first disbursement date of the loan.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2021, and Before July 1, 2022
Subsidized Loan
Unsubsidized Loan
Based on financial need per FAFSA Not based on financial need
Long-term loan with a fixed interest rate of 3.73%.¹ Long-term loan with a fixed interest rate of 3.73% for undergraduate students and 5.28% for graduate students.¹
No interest is charged while in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods. Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the moment it's first paid to you.²

¹ Interest rates change each school year.
² You can pay the interest while in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of the loan).  If no payment is made on the interest as it accrues this will increase the total amount you need to repay because interest will be charged on a higher principal amount.

Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits

The total amount of Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans cannot exceed the annual and aggregate (total) loan limits as stated in the chart below.

Annual Loan Limits

Year Dependent Student Independent Student

First-Year Undergraduate

$5,500

No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$9,500

No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Second-Year Undergraduate

$6,500

No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$10,500

No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Third Year and Beyond Undergraduate

$7,500

No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$12,500

No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Graduate or Professional Degree Student

Not Applicable

(all graduate and professional degree students are considered independent).

$20,500

Unsubsidized only.

Aggregate Loan Limits

Classification Maximum Total Debt¹

Dependent Student

$31,000

No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Independent Student

$57,500

No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Graduate or Professional Degree Student

$138,500

No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

¹The graduate debt limits include student loans received for undergraduate study.