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

  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form

    In order to apply for a federal student loan, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is used to determine if you qualify for any financial aid from the federal government for your college education.

  • Accept the loan in MyNEVADA

    After receiving your Award Letter, review it in MyNEVADA. Consider your budget and anticipated expenses, then decide how much of the loans offered to accept. The next step is to accept your loan in MyNEVADA.

    Remember, you may accept your loans 48 hours after the following occur:

    • Accepted admission to the University
    • Completed the supplemental admission questionnaire
    • Paid advanced registration fee (incoming freshman only)

    Log-in to MyNEVADA

  • Complete entrance counseling

    Entrance counseling is designed to help you understand your loan and the responsibilities and obligations of borrowing and repaying a Federal Direct Loan. New borrowers at the University of Nevada, Reno must complete entrance counseling before the University will certify your loan(s) with the lender.

    Entrance counseling is completed through Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education. You may log-in with your FSA ID username, email or mobile phone and associated password.

    Complete Entrance Counseling

  • Sign a Master Promissory Note

    The Master Promissory Note is a legal document where you agree to repay your loan(s), including any fees or interests to the U.S. Department of Education. New borrowers at the University of Nevada, Reno must sign a Master Promissory Note before the University will certify your loan(s) with the lender.

    You may sign your Master Promissory Note through Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education.

    Sign your Master of Promissory Note

    If you do not complete an online Master Promissory Note, the lender will automatically mail you a printed Master Promissory Note. Remember, this process is slower and may delay your funding.

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

  • Notice of Guarantee (NOG) and disbursement dates

    Once your loan is processed and guaranteed, the Federal direct loans processing center will send you a Notice of Guarantee (NOG) listing the approximate disbursement dates.

  • Aid eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress check prior to release of funds

    When funds are received our office reconfirms your aid eligibility, including Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you are eligible and registered in the appropriate number of credits, the funds are credited to your student account. Per federal regulations, funds cannot be disbursed earlier than 10 days prior the start of classes each semester..

    Credit Requirements by Enrollment Funding Status
    Enrollment Funding Status Undergraduate or Teaching Certificate Graduate (must be-graduate-level courses) *GA/TA's are not exempt*
    Full-time 12 or more credits 9 or more credits
    3/4 time 9-12 credits 7-8 credits
    1/2 time 6-8 credits 5-6 credits
  • Notice in writing when loan funds are disbursed

    Our office notifies you in writing each time loan funds are disbursed into your student account. You are encouraged to utilize MyNEVADA to check on the status of your financial aid.

  • Remaining funds issued to student by Cashier's Office

    After all University charges are paid, any remaining funds are issued to the student by the Cashier's Office to the address listed on MyNEVADA or through direct deposit. Direct deposit can be setup using MyNEVADA.

Paying your Federal Direct Loans

  • Repayment

    Once you graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time, you have a one-time six month "grace period" before repayment begins. If you are not able to make the scheduled payments, contact your lender for a deferment, forbearance, or to discuss other repayment plans. Interest accrues during the grace period for graduate loans. There is no pre-payment penalty.

    Repayment plans

    • Although you may be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin to repay your student loans, you can change repayment plans at any time
    • Review, compare, and select the best payment plan for your needs at studentaid.ed.gov
    • Compare payment plans with the repayment comparison calculator
  • Deferments

    Our office participates with the Student Clearinghouse which ensures the lender is updated ten times a year with current enrollment status. If you borrowed a loan at another school and now would like your previous loan deferred, please contact your previous lender. If they request our office to complete a Deferment Form, you may submit the form to admissions and records. Deferment forms can be obtained from your servicer.

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?