The Federal Direct Student Loans are a primary financial aid source for Graduate students. The Federal Direct Student Loans will be listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter if you filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and you are eligible to borrow this federal student loan. However in order for a Federal Direct Student Loan to be applied to your Bursar account, TWO important steps need to be completed. These steps are completed at one Federal Student Aid website https://studentaid.gov/. You will be directed to log into the website using the same FSA ID you used to electronically sign your FAFSA.
Once all requirements have been met and appropriate documents submitted, the Financial Aid Office will process the federal Direct student loans you accepted on your Financial Aid Award. The U.S. Department of Education will place your loan with a federal loan servicer (company that collects the repayment of your loan(s)) and your loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Your loan information will be accessible to guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the system. To view your processed loans in NSLDS log into the NSLDS website using your FSA ID you used to log into your FAFSA.
Step 1: Student Loan Entrance Counseling - This is a federal requirement which lets you know your rights and responsibilities as a federal student loan borrower. Student Loan Entrance Counseling is completed at https://studentaid.gov/app/counselingInstructions.action
Step 2: Sign a Master Promissory Note - Sign a Promissory Note for your Federal Direct Student Loan. Signing the Promissory Note indicates your commitment to repay the loan you are borrowing. The Master Promissory Note is signed at https://studentaid.gov/app/launchMpn.action?mpnType=gradPlusMpn
What is a Federal Direct Student Loan?
Federal Direct Student Loans are low interest rate loans made to Graduate students attending accredited colleges and universities. The FAFSA results determine the student's eligibility for the Unsubsidized student loan.
The Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan is a federal loan however the U.S. Department of Education does NOT pay interest on this type of loan. The interest rate is 6.54% as of July 1, 2022 and the interest will start accruing on the date of your first disbursement. Students may pay interest while in school but have the option to defer paying the interest until the loan goes into repayment. The Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan goes into repayment once you have dropped below a half-time enrollment status. There is a loan fee on all Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The fee will be deducted from each loan disbursement before the school receives the loan. The amount of the loan fee for Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2022 is from 1.059% to 1.057%. A FAFSA must be completed to qualify for a Federal Direct Student Loan.
Federal Direct Student Loan Maximum Amounts For Graduate Students:
Maximum Total Loan Amount per Academic Year (up to Cost of Attendance) = $20,500.
Maximum Total Debt from Federal Direct Student Loans (Undergraduate + Graduate) = $138,500 with a maximum $65,500 in Direct Subsidized Student Loans
The following link offers important information about Repaying Your Loans. Repayment plans and calculators are available as well as information on Postponing Repayment (Deferment, Forbearance), Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Consolidation. You can estimate your monthly payments using the Loan Repayment Chart.
Ombudsman: The Student Loan Ombudsman’s Office has been established by the Dept. of Education to resolve problems between you and your school, lender, guarantor, and loan services. They may be reached by telephone: 1-877-557-2575, on-line at https://studentaid.gov/feedback-ombudsman/disputes, by fax at 606-396-4821, or by postal address: U.S. Dept. of Education, FSA Ombudsman Group, P.O. Box 1843, Monticello, KY 42633