Federal Direct Loan Program

By completing a financial aid application, you will be considered for the Federal Direct Loan Program. There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans: the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (available to undergraduates only), and the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (available to both undergraduates and graduates). Students must meet all federal eligibility requirements to qualify for consideration.

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan (undergraduates only): Your eligibility for the Direct Subsidized Loan is based on your financial need and your undergraduate academic level. Repayment is deferred until six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time, and the government pays the interest while you are enrolled in school. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan maximums vary according to academic level and dependency status. In addition, there are lifetime loan limits. For more information, click on the Undergraduate tab below.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan (undergraduates and graduates): Your eligibility for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on financial need. You may borrow the cost of education minus all other financial aid you receive, up to the Direct Loan maximum for your academic level. The interest on the Direct Unsubsidized Loan accrues from the date of disbursement. You have two choices for paying interest: you may pay it while you are enrolled full-time, or it can accrue and become part of the principal that you will owe. You begin making payments six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time. For more information, click on the Undergraduate or Graduate tabs below.

Undergraduate
Students

Interest Rates

Federal Direct Student Loan interest rates are determined each spring for new loans being made for the upcoming award year (defined as July 1 through June 30). Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. You can find more information about current federal student loan interest rates at studentloans.gov

The interest rate for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduates during the 2014-15 award year is 4.66%. This rate is effective July 1, 2014. For more information on interest rates, please visit studentloans.gov

Origination Fee

There is an origination fee deducted from your loan before you receive the funds. For information about current origination fees, please visit studentloans.gov

Loan Requirements

If you are a first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrower, you must complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) and complete electronic Pre-Loan Entrance Counseling before you can receive funds.

Loan Maximums

The maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan amounts available vary according to academic level and dependency status. Please see the tables below for more information.

Dependent Undergraduate Students

​​Academic Level​​​​ Maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan Amount​ Additional Unsubsidized Amount ​Annual maximum amounts a dependent undergraduate may borrow in combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan 
Freshman​ ​$3,500 ​$2,000 ​$5,500
Sophomore​ ​$4,500 ​$2,000 ​$6,500
Junior/Senior​ ​$5,500 ​$2,000 ​$7,500

Independent Undergraduate Students

Academic Level​​ Maximum Federal Direct Subsidized Amount​ Unsubsidized Amount​ Annual maximum amounts an independent undergraduate may borrow in combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan​
​Freshman ​$3,500 ​$6,000 ​$9,500
Sophomore​ ​$4,500 ​$6,000 ​$10,500
Junior/Senior​ ​$5,500 ​$7,500 ​$12,500


Lifetime (Aggregate) Loan Limits


There is a maximum lifetime limit that a student can borrow in Federal Direct student loans. This is called the Aggregate Loan Limit. Once a student reaches these loan limits, he/she cannot borrow Federal Direct student loans. See chart below for the undergraduate lifetime limits.

Dependent $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Independent $57,500 for undergraduates - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
 
 
For more information, visit studentloans.gov.

Federal Loans for Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan program is a federal loan program for parents of dependent undergraduate students. Generally, parents are eligible if they do not have an adverse credit history, are not in default on a federal student loan, and meet the other eligibility requirements outlined in the loan application.

A parent may borrow up to the amount of the cost of education minus other financial aid received, including any other educational loans. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan interest rate is determined each June for new loans being made for the upcoming award year (defined as July 1 through June 30). Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. The interest rate on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan- effective July 1, 2014 for the 2014-15 academic year- is 7.21%. There is also an origination fee charged to the borrower and deducted from the loan proceeds before disbursement. For information about Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan interest rates and current origination fees, please visit studentloans.gov

Repayment of the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement is made; however, a parent borrower can choose to defer payments on the interest and principal until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. If a parent borrower chooses to defer payments, the accruing interest could either be paid by the parent borrower monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. All payments are made to the Federal PLUS Loan servicer.

Applying for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Click here to complete the online FAFSA. Our office will send you more information on all your student aid options, including the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, after you complete the FAFSA.

Once you receive your financial aid award package, your parent must go to the Student Loans website to begin the online request process. After your parent completes the Federal Parent PLUS application, the federal loan processor will notify the DePaul Office of Financial Aid of your parent’s intent to borrow the Federal PLUS Loan. Our office will then complete the school portion of your PLUS Loan request. We will notify you (the student) by email if we need additional information during the process.

For more details on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan online application process, please refer to our Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Information Sheet. You may also find it helpful to view our Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Credit Balance FAQ. If you are planning to apply for a Summer Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, please refer to our Summer Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Information Sheet.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans are not automatically renewed. You and your parent must complete a FAFSA and reapply at the Student Loans website every year. More information on PLUS Loans can be found at the Student Aid website.

Federal Perkins Loan

DePaul provides loans to undergraduate students through the Federal Perkins Loan program. These funds are awarded to exceptionally needy students and are based upon the availability of funds. Annual awards generally range from $500 to $4,000.

The interest rate on this loan is fixed at 5%. No interest payments or principal payments are due until you are no longer enrolled at least half time and your nine-month grace period has expired.

This loan carries some specific cancellation provisions, including cancellations for students teaching in a designated low-income area or serving in the Peace Corps.

Loan Requirements

If you are a first-time Federal Perkins Loan borrower you must complete the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) process.

While you need to complete the Federal Perkins eMPN only once, if you are awarded a Federal Perkins Loan in a subsequent year, you will need to complete a Perkins Loan Reaffirmation.

Receiving Federal Loan Funds

Your federal student loan funds will be disbursed directly to your university student account. In general, you will receive an equal amount for each term for which your loan was approved. If you are enrolled less than half-time in any term, you cannot receive federal loan funds for that term.

Federal student loan funds are first used to pay tuition and other university expenses. Any remaining credit will be refunded in accordance with the refund preference on file with the university. Note: If your parent has borrowed a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan on your behalf, and a credit balance occurs as a result of the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan disbursement to your tuition account, the credit balance will be refunded in accordance with the credit balance preference established by your parent. For more information on Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan credit balances, please visit our Federal Direct Parent PLUS Credit Balance FAQ

Loan Reporting

All federal student loans obtained by you or your parent are reported to and tracked on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS loan records are accessible to all authorized NSLDS users, including schools, student loan guaranty agencies, lenders, federal agencies, and other authorized users.

Only federal loan information is reported to NSLDS: private educational loan information is not reported to NSLDS.

You can view all your federal loan information at NSLDS by logging into the system with your federal pin. Your parent also can view any parent or student loans he or she has borrowed, by logging in with his or her federal pin.

Graduate/Law
Students

Interest Rates

Federal Direct Student Loan interest rates are determined each spring for new loans being made for the upcoming award year (defined as July 1 through June 30). Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. You can find more information about federal student loan interest rates at studentloans.gov.

The interest rates for Federal Direct Loans for graduate students, effective July 1, 2014, for the 2014-15 award year, are as follows:

Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate or Professional Students) is 6.21%
Direct Grad PLUS Loans (Graduate or Professional Students) is 7.21%

Origination Fee

There is an origination fee deducted from your loan before you receive the funds. For information about current origination fees, please visit studentloans.gov.

Loan Requirements

If you are a first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrower, you must complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete online Pre-Loan Entrance Counseling before you can receive funds.

Loan Maximums

The Federal Government sets the loan maximums. The annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan limit cannot exceed $20,500. In addition, there are lifetime loan limits. Please review the chart below.

Graduate/Professional Direct Loan Unsubsidized Annual Maximum Graduate/Professional Direct Loan ​Maximum Lifetime Loan Limit
​$20,500 ​$138,500


 

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

An additional resource for graduate and professional students is the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Program. The Grad PLUS Loan allows credit-worthy graduate students to borrow up to the full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid. This program may be of interest if you need additional assistance to cover educational costs after other forms of aid have been awarded. The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan shares its terms and conditions with the Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Parent Loan) program.

Borrower Eligibility


  • You must be a graduate or professional student enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program or a financial aid-eligible non-degree graduate program to qualify for the Federal Grad PLUS Loan
  • You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid​ (FAFSA) and meet all federal eligibility requirements, including:
  • You need to be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • You need to be in good academic standing and make continuous academic progress in your course of study
  • You must not be in default on any federal loan or owe a repayment on any federal grant
  • You will need to be in compliance with all federal regulations governing selective service registration and the use of federal funds for educational purposes
  • You must first apply for your maximum loan eligibility through the Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loan before the Grad Plus Loan can be awarded
  • Your loan will need to be approved by the Federal Direct Loan Servicer (the loan service for the U.S. Department of Education). Part of the loan approval will require a basic credit check

  • Loan Terms

    You may borrow up to the amount of the cost of education minus other financial aid received, including any other educational loans. Federal Direct Grad PLUS interest rates are determined each spring for new loans being made for the upcoming award year (defined as July 1 through June 30). Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Interest will accrue on the loan while you are in school and until the loan is paid in full.

    The interest rate for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan - effective July 1, 2014 for the 2014-15 award year - 7.21%.

    There is also an origination fee loan before you receive the funds. For information about interest rates and current origination fees, please visit studentloans.gov

    An Important Consideration

    The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan program is one of many credit-based educational loan choices for graduate study. You are encouraged to compare the interest rates, credit check requirements, conditions, terms, and repayment of Grad PLUS Loans with those of private/alternative loans.

    The credit check for the Grad PLUS Loan will not be as stringent as that of most private/alternative loans, which often look at debt-to income ratio. Grad PLUS Loans can be consolidated with other Federal Direct Loans (subsidized/unsubsidized), which allows students to have only one payment after graduation (private/alternative loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans). Interest rates tend to be lower than many private/alternative loans. The Grad PLUS Loan has different requirements regarding deferment during regular and summer terms.

    If you wish to apply for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, please complete the following steps:
  1. Complete a FAFSA application online and meet all federal eligibility requirements 
  2. Complete the online Grad PLUS application in Campus Connection using this path: View My Financial Aid > Aid Year > Accept/Decline > Grad PLUS Online Application.
  3. First-time Grad PLUS Loan borrowers must complete the online Entrance Counseling Session and an electronic Master promissory Note (MPN). For the entrance counseling, select Combination and you will complete both the Grad PLUS Loan and Direct Loan requirements for Entrance Counseling.
    1. For more information, visit studentloans.gov

      Receiving Federal Loan Funds

      Your federal student loan funds will be disbursed directly to your university student account. Funds are first used to pay tuition and other university expenses. Any remaining credit will be refunded in accordance with the refund preference on file with the university. In general, you will receive an equal amount for each term for which your loan was approved. If you are enrolled less than half time in any term, you cannot receive federal loan funds for that term.

      Loan Reporting

      All federal student loans obtained by you or your parent are reported to and tracked on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS loan records are accessible to all authorized NSLDS users, including schools, student loan guaranty agencies, lenders, federal agencies, and other authorized users.

      Only federal loan information is reported to NSLDS: private educational loan information is not reported to NSLDS.

      You can view all your federal loan information at NSLDS by logging into the system with your federal pin. Your parent also can view any parent or student loans he or she has borrowed, by logging in with his or her federal pin.​​
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