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Federal Loan Programs

The federal loan programs described here allow you to borrow funds at low interest rates to help pay education costs. Each requires you to sign a promissory note. Repayment of these loans can be deferred until you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. Depending on the amount borrowed, you may have up to 10 years to repay loan funds.

During the summer, we will send you information about how to obtain these loans. We expect that you will follow these instructions within the timeframes designated. If you have not fulfilled requirements for your student loans by the end of September, we will assume that you do not intend to borrow the loan(s) and we will place the loan in a forfeited status.

Types of Federal Loans

Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan program, formerly called the Federal Stafford Loan, provides low-interest loan funds for students. There are two types of Federal Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Both versions accrue interest while you are enrolled. For subsidized loans, the interest is paid by the federal government until you are no longer enrolled at least half time. With the unsubsidized version, the interest accrued is your responsibility. You have the option of either paying the interest while you are enrolled or deferring it. If you choose deferment, the interest is capitalized (added to the principal) when repayment begins.

For loans disbursed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, the interest rate is 4.45% for undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans. This interest rate will be in effect for the life of the loan.  Each June, the federal government will announce Direct Loan interest rates for the upcoming academic year beginning on July 1.  The federal government limits the amount you can borrow each academic year. First-Years can borrow $3,500, sophomores can borrow $4,500, and juniors and seniors can borrow $5,500. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. There is an origination fee (currently 1.066%) deducted from the loan prior to disbursement. This means the amount of the loan included on your award letter represents the gross amount, and you will actually receive 98.934% of that total.

If you have sufficient financial need, we have offered you a subsidized Direct Loan. If you do not have financial need, or your need is met by other sources, we have offered you an unsubsidized Direct Loan only. All students, regardless of need and grade level, are eligible for an additional $2,000 unsubsidized Direct Loan which is likely included in your award. Please think carefully before accepting the unsubsidized Direct Loan, since the cost of borrowing this loan is more expensive overall due to the lack of a subsidy.

Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan program has been discontinued by the federal government, and we are unable to award new loans.


The Office of Financial Assistance will send you instructions on how to complete the promissory notes and loan entrance counseling for your federal loans. If you want to learn more about Federal Direct Loan requirements and repayment options, visit the website.