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Federal Direct Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan Program is a long-term repayable educational loan that offers low interest rates. It is the Department of Education's major form of self-help aid. Repayment is deferred until you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status (does not include summer sessions). This loan program offers funds to students regardless of family income level. Federal Direct Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. The results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determine which type of loan you are eligible for.

You can find more information regarding this loan program, on the Federal Student Aid website for Direct Loans.

Here are some commonly asked questions about Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans -

  1. How do I apply for the loan?
    Complete the FAFSA.  The results of your FAFSA will provide us with the information on which loan you are eligible to receive.
  2. How much can I borrow?
    Direct Loan limits vary by the student's class level. Freshman are eligible to borrow up to $5500 in Direct Loan funds, with no more than $3500 in Subsidized funds.  These limits increase as you progress through your degree program.
  3. How will I know I was awarded a Direct Loan?
    It will be included in your Financial Aid Award Notification that you receive via e-mail.  You will need to accept the loan and complete all requirements to receive the funds.
  4. How many hours must I be enrolled to receive the loan?
    You must be enrolled at least half time to receive any direct loan funds, there are no exceptions.
  5. Do I need to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive a Direct Loan?
    Yes.  If you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress you are not eligible to be awarded a Direct Loan.
  6. When will my loan funds credit my account?
    The financial aid office will credit your student account at the beginning of each semester.  If you have completed all the loan requirements your loan funds will credit your account for the start of each semester.
  7. When will repayment begin on the loan?
    As long as you are enrolled and attending at least half time, you have six months after you graduate, withdraw from school, or drop below half-time status before you must begin repayment.  You can learn more about the Repayment Plans available on the Federal Student Aid Direct Loan website.
  8. Where can I find out my total federal student loan amounts?
    You can keep track of your federal loan accumulations by using the federal National Student Loan Database (NSLDS).