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Direct Loan Program Guide

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Loans assist eligible undergraduate and grad / professional students in meeting their educational expenses. 

  • FAFSA is required for consideration for this loan.

Please note that Congress has eliminated subsidized loans for graduate / professional students after 7/01/2012.

  • Loan disbursements after 12/01/2013 will have a 1.072% origination fee deducted from each disbursment.
  • Interest on Subsidized loans is paid by the federal government while the student is in school.
  • Interest on Unsubsidized loans is not paid by the federal government and will start to accrue from date of disbursement. Interest will be capitalized at repayment.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after graduation (or enrollment status drops below half-time.)
  • Your Financial Aid award letter will specify the amount of subsidized and/or unsubsidized  loan funds you are eligible to borrow.


The Federal Direct PLUS Loan assists eligible parents in meeting educational expenses of their dependent student. 

  • FAFSA is required for consideration for this loan.
  • Credit worthy parents can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. 
  • Interest on the PLUS Loan is not paid by the federal government. Loans will start to accrue interest from date of first disbursement.
  • PLUS disbursements after Dec. 1, 2013, will have a 4.288% origination fee. 
  • For PLUS loans made to parents that are first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan for that school year is fully disbursed or wait until six months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
  • When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the U.S. Department of Education will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.
  • If a parent applies for a PLUS loan and is denied because of negative credit, the Financial Aid office will receive this information. Upon verification of a PLUS Loan denial and if no endorser is obtained, dependent students are eligible for an additional $4,000 - $5,000 unsubsidized loan, depending on grade level. The Financial Aid office will offer the additional unsubsidized loan funds on the student's award letter on the NEST. The student can then either accept or decline the additional loan funds.


The Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan assists graduate/professional students in meeting their educational expenses.

  • FAFSA  is required for consideration for this loan.
  • Credit worthy graduate and professional students can borrow up to their full cost of attendance, less other financial aid received. 
  • Interest on the Grad PLUS Loan is not paid by the federal government and will start to accrue interest from date of disbursement.
  • Grad PLUS disbursements after July 1, 2013, will have a 4.204% origination fee.
  • While the student is enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis, s/he is eligible for an in-school deferment that allows the student to postpone payments until s/he graduates or drops below half-time status.  In most cases, an in-school deferment will automatically be granted based on enrollment data reported to the U.S. Department of Education.  Note: Students who receive an in-school deferment will be notified of the deferment and of their option to cancel the deferment and begin making loan payments. 

Loan Ombudsman

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman works with federal student loan borrowers to resolve loan disputes or problems from an impartial, independent viewpoint. If you have a problem with a federal student loan, you should contact the holder of the loan and try to resolve the problem. If you canít resolve the problem, contact the FSA Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575 or


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