Federal Direct Loan Programs

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

Federal Stafford Loans are the department's major form of self-help aid and are available through the Federal Direct Loan  Program. You must have a valid FAFSA on file, be enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program and maintaining satisfactory academic progress to receive Stafford loans. 

Direct Subsidized Loans for students. Interest is not charged while you are in school at least half-time, during your grace period or during deferment periods. To receive a Direct Subsidized Loan, you must have financial need. Your school will determine if you are eligible for a Direct Subsidized Loan.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans for students. Interest is charged during all periods, including while you are in school and during grace and deferment periods.

Origination Fee

An amount payable by the borrower and deducted from the principal of a loan prior to disbursement to the borrower. For federally-backed loans, the origination fee is paid to the federal government to offset the cost of the interest subsidy to borrowers.  The exact amount will be reported to you on the “Disclosure Statement”.

Loan Limits 

Dependent Students Annual Loan Limits
Freshmen $5,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)
Sophomores $6,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)
Juniors & Seniors $7,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)
Independent Students Annual Loan Limits
Freshmen $9,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)
Sophomores $10,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)
Juniors & Seniors $12,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$7,000 unsubsidized)
Graduate or Professional $20,500 (unsubsidized)
Lifetime Limits
Undergraduate Dependent $31,000 (Up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
Undergraduate Independent $57,500 (Up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
Graduate or Professional $138,500 or $224,000 (for Health Professionals)

 Academic Year



   Interest Rate   Interest Rate 






*(5.31% for graduate students)



 Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program

Federal PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who have a valid FAFSA on file, are enrolled at least half-time, and are maintaining satisfactory academic progress. The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may still receive a loan if someone (such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check) agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the parent fails to do so. The current interest rate is fixed at 6.31% and borrowers are responsible for all interest on the loan. Repayment begins 60 days after the second disbursement on this loan.

Graduate PLUS Loan

As a graduate or professional student, you are now eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to your cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance. The terms and conditions applicable to Parent PLUS Loans (above) also apply to Graduate/Professional PLUS loans. The requirements include a determination that you do not have an adverse credit history, repayment beginning on the date of the last disbursement of the loan, and a current fixed interest rate of 6.31%. As of July 1, 2008, graduate and professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling; to do so, go to https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action.action and click on the PLUS loan  link to apply for this loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal  Student Aid (FAFSA). You also must have applied for your annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan Program.

Note:  For both Parent and Graduate PLUS loans, forbearance and deferments are available if you qualify. To determine if you do, contact DL Servicing at 1-800-848-0979.



Federal Student Loan Disclosure Statement:

HEOA Sec. 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B(d)(4) (20 U.S.C. 1092b)

Any student or parent wishing to borrow a Title IV loan (Federal Direct Stafford, Graduate Plus, or Parent Plus) should be aware that their loan information is reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  Authorized agencies, lenders, and post-secondary institutions may have viewable access to this information.