What Are Loans?

Direct federal loans are a form of financial aid available to assist undergraduate students attending college at least half-time. Students may use the funds to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses. Loans must be repaid at a low fixed-rate.

Interest Rates

Loan Type Borrower Type Fixed Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate Students 4.29%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate Students 4.29%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate/Professional Students 4.84%
Direct PLUS Loans Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students and Graduate/Professional Students 6.84%

Federal Loan Eligibility

To be eligible for Federal Loans you must :

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
  • sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that  you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

A loan based on financial need for which the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status. For Direct Subsidized Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, the borrower will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during the grace period. If the interest is not paid during the grace period, the interest will be added to the loan's principle balance.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues through the life of the loan.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for the Undergraduate Student (PLUS)

A loan available parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.