How to apply for student loans

Loan Limits for Each Year

In addition to the information below, please note that a new provision is in place that affects first-time borrowers:

  • Once the borrower has received Direct Subsidized Loans for a period that is 150 percent of the published length of the borrower’s current education program, the borrower is no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.
  • A first-time borrower who loses eligibility for additional subsidized loans loses interest subsidy on subsidized loans received on or after July 1, 2013 if the borrower did not complete the program AND continues enrollment in the program OR enrolls in another program of the same or shorter length.

Annual Federal Direct Loan limits for students enrolled in eligible programs are as follows:

Dependent Undergraduate Students
BASE AMOUNT (SUB/UNSUB) ADDITIONAL LOAN (UNSUB) Total
First-year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Independent Undergraduate Students and Dependent Undergraduate Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow PLUS
BASE AMOUNT (SUB/UNSUB) ADDITIONAL LOAN (UNSUB) Total
First-year $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000 $10,500

For full details on the Federal Direct Loan program, visit Federal Student Aid.Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program allows parents of undergraduate students to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. A parent applying for a Federal PLUS loan must be a biological or adoptive parent. A stepparent whose information is included on the FAFSA is also eligible to apply for the loan. A parent seeking a loan must not have an adverse credit history. The interest rate for Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017 is 6.31 percent. Federal Direct PLUS loans have an origination fee of 4.272 percent assessed by the U.S. Department of Education and deducted from each loan disbursement.

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For more information about the Federal Direct PLUS loan, visit the Federal Student Aid website.Additional resources: How to apply for a Parent PLUS loan.

How to Apply for Student Loans

New Borrowers

To apply for Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford Subsidized, Stafford Unsubsidized and/or Federal PLUS), you must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Submit the required documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office
  • Be enrolled in six credit hours applicable to your eligible program
  • Submit a Federal Direct Loan Request Form with all required documentation (located on your student portal)
  • Complete Entrance Counseling online at studentloans.gov
  • Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov.

Repeat Borrowers

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Submit the required documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office
  • Be enrolled in six credit hours applicable to your eligible program
  • Submit a Federal Direct Loan Request Form with all required documentation (located on your student portal).
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