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 Federal Student Aid.

Origination Fee

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

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.

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

Federal regulations stipulate that Direct PLUS loans be distributed in even disbursements across the terms of the loan period. For example, if you request a loan for the academic year — that is, for Autumn, Winter, and Spring terms as a graduate student, or Autumn and Spring as a professional student — the total amount of the loan will disburse evenly across these terms. We encourage you to calculate the PLUS amount needed for the entire academic period and request that amount.

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.

For more information, visit

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 your federal student loans 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 FSA ID. ​​​​​