Student loans, unlike grants and work study, are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Before you take out a student loan consider carefully the amount that you will have to repay in the years after graduation. Financial aid recipients may be eligible for either a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or a combination of both loans. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits to qualify.

Federal Student Loans 

Federal Student Direct Loans attributes: 

  • Enrolled in a financial aid eligible program of study 

  • Enrolled in at least 6 credits per term 

  • Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling 

  • Aggregate limits apply- both annual and lifetime 

  • Repayment begins six months after you graduate, drop below 6 credits, or withdraw from all classes. Loan servicing information can be found at https://NSLDS 

  • Might be selected to participate in an experimental program for additional loan counseling (see paragraph below) 

The two primary Federal Student Direct Loans (DL) are Subsidized and Unsubsidized.  


  • Interest accrues once repayment begins 

  • Eligibility limits apply based on length of program (See 150% Limit information below) 

  • Annual limits apply based on year in school 

  • Need based  

150% Limit  

First-time borrowers are subject to 150% limitation on subsidized direct student loans. Generally, a first-time borrower is one who did not have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program Loan on July 1, 2013. 

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program. For example, if you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). 
Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period. 
Certain types of enrollment may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans when the U.S. Department of Education usually would have paid it. 


  • Interest accrues upon disbursement 

  • Non-need based 

  • Annual and lifetime limits apply