Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is the U.S. Department of Education's federal student loan program. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender under this program.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a federally-sponsored "need-based" loan. The federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half time. Interest begins to accrue when you enter repayment. This loan is available to undergraduate students only.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federally-sponsored loan which has no interest subsidy. The interest accrues from the date of disbursement. You may pay the interest while you are enrolled or defer the interest. Accrued interest will capitalize once when you enter repayment. Students are encouraged to make the interest payments while in school to help decrease the total costs of the loan.

How to apply for a Federal Direct Loan

Previous loan borrowers

Private lenders in the Federal Family education Loan Program (FFEL) (e.g., Wells Fargo, Bank of America) no longer offer loans. If you previously borrowed a federal Federal Direct, Plus, or Graduate Plus loan through a private lender in FFEL, you need to sign a new Master Promissory Note and complete entrance counseling with the Direct Loan program.

Disbursement of Federal Loan funds

Paying your Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loan Activation form

The Federal Direct Loan activation form (LAF) is only for the following situations:

  • Parents applied for and were denied a PLUS loan
  • Student recently changed class standing and wants a loan increase
  • Student initially declined loans and now wants to accept them
  • Student is requesting one semester only loans

Seeking more loan information?