Federal Direct Student Loans for Undergraduate Students

The Federal Direct Student Loan will be listed in your financial aid award if you filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are eligible to borrow this federal student loan. However in order for a Federal Direct Student Loan to be applied to your Bursar account, TWO important steps need to be completed. These steps are completed at one Federal Student Aid website studentaid.gov. You will be directed to log into the website using the same FSA ID you used to electronically sign your FAFSA. 

Once all requirements have been met and appropriate documents submitted, the Financial Aid Office will process the federal Direct student loans you accepted on your Financial Aid Award. The U.S. Department of Education will place your loans with a federal loan servicer (company that collects the repayment of your loan(s)) and your loan information will be submitted to a loan servicer on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education. To view your processed loans log into the federal website studentaid.gov using your FSA ID you used to log into your FAFSA. 

Step 1: COMPLETE STUDENT LOAN ENTRANCE COUNSELING - This is a federal requirement. It is a learning tool that is designed to provide you with some financial literacy and lets you know your rights and responsibilities as a federal student loan borrower. Student Loan Entrance Counseling is completed at studentaid.gov

Step 2: SIGN A MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE - Complete the application and sign a Promissory Note for your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Student Loan.  Signing the Promissory Note indicates your commitment to repay the loans you borrow. The Subsidized/Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan Master Promissory Note is signed at studentaid.gov

What is a Federal Direct Student Loan?

Federal Direct Student Loans are low interest rate loans made to undergraduate students attending accredited colleges and universities. There are two types of Direct Student Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized and the FAFSA results determine the student's eligibility for the type of loan awarded.

The Direct Subsidized Student Loan is a federally subsidized loan program available on the basis of financial need to students enrolled at least half-time. For students who are eligible to borrow the Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you're in school at least half-time, and during other specified periods. The interest rate for new undergraduate loans with initial disbursements on or after 7/1/23 are expected to be 5.50%. A FAFSA must be completed to qualify for a Direct Subsidized Student Loan.

The Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan is also a federal loan however the U.S. Department of Education does NOT pay interest on this type of loan. The interest rate is fixed and is expected to be 5.50% for new loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and the interest will start accruing on the date of your first disbursement. Students may pay interest while in school but have the option to defer paying the interest until the loan goes into repayment. The Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan does not go into repayment until you have dropped below half-time, six months after you leave school (your grace period) and during periods of deferment (a postponement of loan payments). A FAFSA must be completed to qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan.

Loan Repayment: 

 The following link offers important information about Repaying Your Loans.  Repayment plans and calculators are available as well as information on Postponing Repayment (Deferment, Forbearance), Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Consolidation.  You can estimate your monthly payments using the Loan Repayment Chart.

Federal Direct Student Loan Maximum Amounts

Grade Level



Additional Amounts** (Independent Students & Dependents whose parent is denied for the Direct Parent Loan)

First year

Less than 27 credits



Second year

28 -56 credits 



Third and Fourth years
57 credits+



Maximum Total Debt from Federal Direct Student Loans as an undergraduate student

$31,000 with a maximum of $23,000 in Direct Subsidized Student Loan

$57,500 with a maximum of $23,000 in Direct Subsidized Student Loan 


Note: These amounts indicate the federal maximums. At least $2,000 of the maximum for each grade level will be Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan.  Individual student loans are based on the need level, expected costs, other financial aid and additional factors. Borrowers are reminded that there are upfront fees of 1.057% for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2022.

**Additional Loan amounts are available to eligible independent undergraduate students or dependent students whose parent is unable to borrow under the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Program.

Ombudsman: The Student Loan Ombudsman’s Office has been established by the Dept. of Education to resolve problems between you and your school, lender, guarantor, and loan services. They may be reached by telephone: 1-877-557-2575, via e-mail: fsaomudsmanoffice@ed.gov, or by postal address: U.S. Dept. of Education, FSA Ombudsman Group, 830 First Street, N.E., Mailstop #5144, Washington, D.C. 20202-5144.