Federal Direct Loans (Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan)

To initially borrow the Federal Direct Loan, you must have completed your FAFSA.  After the loan has been offered, you must accept it your MyNEVADA account. 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, or student is requesting one semester only loans . We accept the LAF in person to Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, Fitzgerald Student Services Bldg. - 3 rd floor, via U.S. Mail to Mailstop 0076, Reno, NV 89557 or via fax (775) 784-1025. If you have any questions, please contact our office at (775) 784-4666 or toll-free at (877) 666-0014.

Types of Loans

Your Offer Letter will include a subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan or a combination of both.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Subsidized loans are not offered to graduate or professional/medical students.

Fees, Interest and Repayment

New Borrowers at The University of Nevada, Reno

  1. The William D Ford Federal Direct Loan program is the sole provider of Subsidized and Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans.
  2. Go to the Direct Loan website for more information and to complete entrance counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN).  You sign using your FAFSA PIN. New borrowers at the University of Nevada, Reno must sign the Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling before we will certify your loan(s) with the lender. If you don't complete the online MPN, the lender will automatically mail you a pre-printed paper MPN, but this process is slower and may delay your funds.

Previous Borrowers

If you have previously borrowed a federal Federal Direct, Plus, or Graduate Plus loan through a private lender in the FFELP loan program (Wells, Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank etc.,) they no longer offer loans and you will need to sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling with the Direct Loan program.

Processing Instructions

  1. Read these instructions carefully. In MyNEVADA accept your loans (this can only occur at least 48 hours after you have accepted admission and completed the supplemental admission questionnaire and, for incoming freshman, paid the advanced registration fee).
  2. Review your Award Letter on MyNEVADA. Consider your budget carefully and your anticipated expenses, then decide how much of the loans offered to accept.

Disbursement Information

  • 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.
  • 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 StatusUndergraduate Or Teaching CertificateGraduate
(must be graduate level courses)
GA/TA are NOT exempt from this requirement.
Full- Time 12 or more credits 9 or more credits
¾ Time 9-12 credits 7-8 credits
½ Time 6-8 credits 5-6 credits
  • 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.
  • 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.

William D Ford Direct Loan Program

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (hereinafter will be called "the Lender") rather than a bank or other financial institution.

Important Information

  • Academic year loans are disbursed in two equal increments, one each semester.
  • A spring semester only loan is monitored for a minimum of seven working days by the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) to ensure that the borrower does not receive more than one loan for the semester and does not exceed the academic year borrowing limits. If you are transferring to this University, please cancel your spring loan at your previous college immediately.
  • Go to the Office of Financial Aid.
  • You are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to receive the Federal Stafford Loan. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative UNR GPA 2.0 or better; graduate students must maintain a cumulative UNR GPA 3.0 or better each semester. Furthermore, you must earn the credits for your enrollment/funding status. This is a brief synopsis only; you are required to read and understand the entire SAP regulations.

Loan Links

  • Direct Loan Servicing
    This is your site for managing your account, view your account balances and payment history, enroll in electronic services, make online payments and change your billing options. Also 1098-E tax information and loan consolidation.
  • Manage My Direct Loan
    This site is your source for information from the U.S. Department of Education about how to mange your student loans. It is also the site to sign the Master Promissory Note and Complete Entrance Counseling. Information on repayment plans and calculators, loan discharge, public service and teacher loan forgiveness programs are available.
  • ELM Resources
    If you borrowed a private/alternative loan through a private lender this site can help you review your previous loan(s). It shows amounts, changes, disbursement dates, and more.
  • National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS)
    This site is an excellent resource to help you track the principal and outstanding aggregate limit on your entire FFELP and Direct Loan borrowing history.


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.


Once you graduate 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.

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.

Achieving Your Financial Goals - Paying It Back

When borrowing a Federal Direct Loan, it is the borrower's responsibility to ensure the loan is paid back in accordance with the terms detailed in the Master Promissory Note. The University has partnered with lenders and guarantors to develop a comprehensive default prevention plan. If you are delinquent in repayment, the University, the lender, and the guarantor will contact you to reestablish satisfactory payment arrangements.

Defaulting on a federal student loan is very serious and could have costly consequences such as:

  • Negative Credit History
  • Wage Garnishment
  • Higher Interest Rates on Future Purchases
  • Denied Consumer Loans and Loss of Eligibility of Future Financial Aid
  • Stress
  • Collection costs
  • Offset paid out of federal tax returns, state tax returns, lottery winnings, and other federal and state funds

Academic Year Borrowing Limits by Class Standing

Academic Year Borrowing Limits by Class Standing
Class StandingCumulative Credits EarnedBase Loan Eligibility (Subsidized or Unsubsidized)Additional Unsubsidized Loan Eligibility
Dependent Students
Freshman 0-29 credits $3500 $2000
Sophomore 30-59 credits $4500 $2000
Junior 60-89 credits $5500 $2000
Senior or 2 nd BA 90-191 credits $5500 $2000
Independent Students and Dependent Students Whose Parents Are PLUS Denied
Freshman 0-29 credits $3500 $6000
Sophomore 30-59 credits $4500 $6000
Junior 60-89 credits $5500 $7000
Senior or 2 nd BA 90-191 credits $5500 $7000
Additional Categories
Teaching Cert. - $12,500
Graduate 0-139 graduate credits - $20,500
Medical 1st Year - $42,722
2nd Year - $42,722
3rd Year - $47,167
4th Year - $44,944

Note: If you advance into a higher grade level between fall and spring, you may request the higher loan amount by submitting a Federal Direct Loan Activation Form for an increase.

Aggregate Lifetime Limits

Aggregate Lifetime Limits
CategoryMaximum Federal Direct Loan Eligibility
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized)
Graduate $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which may be subsidized)
Medical $224,000 (no more than $65,500 of which may be subsidized)

Note: If you advance into a higher grade level between fall and spring, you may request the higher loan amount by submitting a Loan Activation Form for an increase.

Student Loan Cohort Default Rates

The school's cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions during a 3-year period after the student enters repayment.

Below is a comparison of UNR 3-year cohort default rates to the national average. UNR has consistently achieved a lower than average default rate, meaning that our students are less likely to default on their federal student loans.

Student Loan Cohort Default Rates
Cohort Default RateUniversity of Nevada, RenoNational Average
FY 2014 5.1% 11.5%
FY 2013 5.2% 11.3%
FY 2012 5.5% 11.8%