Federal Aid

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers low-interest loans to eligible students to help cover the cost of college. There are two types of Federal Direct Loans for graduate students - unsubsidized and Grad PLUS. Direct Loans are borrowed through the federal government and must be repaid.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

  • The amount you can borrow is based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount of your loan.

Am I eligible for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

You must be enrolled at least half-time, you must also be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree or teaching credential.

How do I apply?

To apply for a Direct Loan, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM). We will use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive.

If it is your first time receiving a Direct Loan, you will be required to

How much can I borrow?

There are limits on the amount of unsubsidized loan that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit.

If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.

The following chart shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Year

Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Independent Students (and dependent teaching credential students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Teaching Credential Students Annual Loan Limit

$5,500

$12,500

Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit

Not Applicable (all graduate and professional students are considered independent)

$20,500 (unsubsidized only)

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit

$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$57,500 for teaching credential—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

What are the current interest rates?

Here are the interest rates for loans first disbursed between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.

 

Teaching Credential Students

Graduate Students

Direct Subsidized Loans

4.66%

N/A

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

4.66%

6.21%

Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?

Yes, there is a 1.072% loan fee on all Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Grad PLUS Loans:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  • The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  • The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

Am I eligible for a Direct Grad PLUS Loan?

To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must

How do I apply for a Direct Grad PLUS Loan?

  • In order to receive a Direct PLUS loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM).
  • You must complete a Grad PLUS Application and Credit Check.
  • If you are eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, you will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), agreeing to the terms of the loan.
  • You will also be required to complete entrance counseling before receiving a PLUS loan.

Can I still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if I have an adverse credit history?

A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct Grad PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history or documenting to the U.S. Department of Education’s satisfaction extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

How much can I borrow?

The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial assistance received.

What is the current interest rate?

The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 7.21%.

Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?

Yes, there is a 4.288% loan origination fee on all Direct PLUS Loans. The fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.