Federal Direct and PLUS Loans

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Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans are federally funded types of aid. Any first time borrower will need to complete a master promissory note after accepting a federal loan.

You can find information about the servicers of all your federal loans at the National Student Loan Data System website.

Determining Eligibility for Federal Direct Loans

Direct Stafford Loans: There are two types of Direct Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. The subsidized loan is need-based, which is determined by the difference between the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution. Students borrowing the subsidized loan do not pay interest on the loan while they are enrolled at least half-time. The U.S. Department of Education pays interest while the borrower is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

Unsubsidized loans are non-need-based, and students are not required to demonstrate financial need to borrow an unsubsidized loan. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue and be capitalized (your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Federal Direct PLUS Loans: Parents of dependent students are eligible for PLUS loans, and are subject to a credit check. The maximum amount that may be borrowed is calculated by subtracting other aid from the cost of attendance.

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans: Graduate and professional degree students are eligible for low-interest Grad PLUS Loans. A credit check will be performed. Should you choose to complete your application more than 120 days prior to the start of your semester, you may be required to undergo a second credit check. To borrow a Direct PLUS Loan you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, must not be in a default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs.

How to Apply for a Federal Direct Loan

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are applying for all of the aid programs for which you may be eligible, including direct loans. If you are an RBHS student, you must also complete an additional application for financial aid.

If a Federal Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) has been offered to you as part of your aid package, it will appear on your Financial Aid Award Letter. You can accept or decline these loans just as you would any other aid program assistance offered to you.

To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan (either Parent or Grad PLUS), you must submit an additional application at studentloans.gov.

Request an Increase

To increase the amount of the PLUS loan, complete the appropriate form:

2015-2016

2016-2017

  • Undergraduate/Parent PLUS Increase Form
  • Graduate PLUS Increase Form
Next Steps – Receiving Federal Direct Loans

Once you are awarded a Federal Direct Loan, you must fulfill certain conditions before loan funds can be credited to your account. These include, but may not be limited to:

Complete Entrance Counseling

Entrance counseling is a session designed to help you better understand your obligation as a borrower, and provides other useful information on the loan process, and is required for some first time borrowers.

Sign the Master Promissory Note

Direct Stafford Loan borrowers who want these funds to credit to their term bill must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The same FSA ID used to complete your online FAFSA is used to sign your MPN.

Follow the directions carefully to complete the four step process for the Federal Direct Loan MPN. In “Step 4, Submit Master Promissory Note - Review and Sign,” review and confirm your information. When done, sign and submit the page to complete your MPN process. At the end of Step 4, make sure to save or print the PDF version of your completed MPN for your records.

Declining a Federal Direct Loan

Unless you notify the Office of Financial Aid, Federal Direct Loan funds automatically credit to your student account when all required documents have been processed and you have a signed Master Promissory Note on file. If you would like to make changes to awards or update information, submit a Data Change Form (DCF). If the information on the DCF is correct and does not require updating, there is no need to submit the form.

Federal Direct Loan Interest Rates & Origination Fees

Interest Rates for Federal Direct Loans

Loans disbursed under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program have either a fixed or a variable interest rate, depending on when the loan was first disbursed.

All Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

Perkins loans (regardless of the first disbursement date) have a fixed interest rate of 5%.

Loan TypeBorrower TypeLoans first disbursed on or after 7/1/15 and before 7/1/16
Direct Subsidized LoansUndergraduate4.29%
Direct Unsubsidized LoansUndergraduate4.29%
Direct Unsubsidized LoansGraduate or Professional5.84%

Origination Fees for Federal Direct Loans

July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015Direct Loan-Subsidized GraduateDirect Loan-Unsubsidized GraduateDirect Loan-Undergraduate SubsidizedDirect PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans
Loan Fee PercentageNot Applicable1.073%1.073%4.292%
Interest RateNot Applicable6.21%4.66%7.21%
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016Direct Loan-Subsidized GraduateDirect Loan-Unsubsidized GraduateDirect Loan-Undergraduate SubsidizedDirect PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans
Loan Fee PercentageNot Applicable1.068%1.068%4.272%
Interest RateNot Applicable5.84%4.29%6.84%
Federal Direct Loan Limits
Undergraduate Dependent Students (whose parents were not denied a PLUS Loan)
Combined Base Limits for Subsidized & Unsubsidized LoansAdditional Limit for Unsubsidized LoansHEAL LimitsTotal Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts)
First-Year Undergraduate$3,500$2,000N/A$5,500
Second-Year Undergraduate$4,500$2,000N/A$6,500
Third-Year & Beyond Undergraduate$5,500$2,000N/A$7,500
Preparatory Coursework (for enrollment in an undergraduate program)$2,625$0N/A$2,625
Preparatory Coursework (for enrollment in a graduate/professional program)$5,500$0N/A$5,500
Teacher Certification Coursework$5,500$0N/A$5,500
 Undergraduate Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS Loan)
Combined Base Limits for Subsidized & Unsubsidized LoansAdditional Limit for Unsubsidized LoansHEAL LimitsTotal Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts)
First-Year Undergraduate$3,500$6,000N/A$9,500
Second-Year Undergraduate$4,500$6,000N/A$10,500
Third-Year & Beyond Undergraduate$5,500$7,000N/A$12,500
Preparatory Coursework (for enrollment in an undergraduate program)$2,625$6,000N/A$8,625
Preparatory Coursework (for enrollment in a graduate/professional program)$5,500$7,000N/A$12,500
Teacher Certification Coursework$5,500$7,000N/A$12,500
Aggregate Loan Limits For Undergraduate Students
Limits for Subsidized LoansAdditional Limit for Unsubsidized LoansTotal
Dependent Undergraduate Students (whose parents were not denied a PLUS loan)$23,000$8,000$31,000
Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan)$23,000$34,500$57,500
Graduate & Professional Students
Graduates in Public HealthMedical/Dental Students
 9 months10 months11 months12 months9 months10 months11 months12 months
Limit for Unsubsidized Loans$20,500$20,500$20,500$20,500$20,500$20,500$20,500$20,500
HEAL Limits$12,000$13,889$15,278$16,677$20,000$22,222$24,444$26,667
Total$33,000$34,389$35,778$37,177$40,500$42,722$44,944$47,167


Aggregate Loan Limits For Medical, Graduate Professional Students
Total Limits for Unsubsidized Loans
Graduate Professional Students$138,500
Medical School Students$224,000
Contact Your Loan Servicer

Loan Servicer

Contact

CornerStone

800-663-1662

ECSI Federal Perkins Loan Servicer

866-313-3797

ESA/Edfinancial

855-337-6884

FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)

800-699-2908

Granite State – GSMR

888-556-0022

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.

800-236-4300

MOHELA

888-866-4352

Navient

800-722-1300

Nelnet

888-486-4722

OSLA Servicing

866-264-9762

VSAC Federal Loans

888-932-5626

Repayment Options

Students who borrow a Federal Direct Student Loan and have borrowed a Federal Stafford Loan in the past can have their loans consolidated so that they will be making only one payment. Loan consolidation will be made at the request of the student when entering repayment. The university will provide more information to you regarding this option as you approach graduation.

Loan repayment begins six months after you leave school or cease to be enrolled an at least a half-time basis. These six months are referred to as a grace period.

While you are enrolled in school, no payments are due on the subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan, and no interest accrues (unless you are repaying a previous loan and are enrolled less than half time). The federal government pays the interest for you during this time.

The grace period for the unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan is the same as the subsidized, but you are responsible for the interest on the loan while in the grace period. Repayment on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan begins shortly after the loan is fully disbursed.

Learn more about available options for repaying your student loans.