Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide. To be considered for a federal student loan, applicants must meet the following criteria:




  • The Direct Subsidized Loan is available to students with financial need
  • The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to students regardless of financial need
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on the Direct Subsidized Loan while the student is enrollled at least half-time
  • The borrower is responsible for paying interest on the Direct Unsubsidized Loan for any disbursed amount
  • Interest and processing fees for the year are determined annually on July 1
  • Loan servicer will be assigned by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Does not require a credit check
  • Processing fee deducted from each disbursement

First Time Borrower Requirements

Step One: A Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed. The MPN defines the conditions under which you are borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan. The MPN is generally required one time only (it is good for 10 years).

Step Two: Direct Loan Entrance Counseling must be completed before loan funds are paid. The purpose of the counseling is to ensure you fully understand your rights and obligations as a borrower.


Fixed Loan Interest Rates 2014-2015


Loan Type

Date of First Disbursement

Fixed Interest Rate

Undergraduate Students

Direct Subsidized Loans



Direct Unsubsidized Loans



Annual Borrowing Limits (Combined Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Limits):

Grade Level Dependent Student Independent Student
Freshman $5,500 ($3,500 sub max) $9,500 ($3,500 sub max)
Sophomores $6,500 ($4,500 sub max) $10,500 ($4,500 sub max)
Junior/Seniors $7,500 ($5,500 sub max) $12,500 ($5,500 sub max)
Graduate Students n/a $20,500

Cumulative Lifetime Limits (Aggregate Limits):

Undergraduate Dependent Students $31,000 ($23,000 sub max)
Undergraduate Independent Students $57,500 ($23,000 sub max)
Graduate Students $138,500

See Also