The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a low-interest loan available to students for post secondary educational expenses. Most matriculated students are eligible for an Unsubsidized Loan each academic year. The loan is made to the student who is responsible for repayment. The interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 and before July 1, 2023 is 6.54%. The interest rate for a loan disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024 is 7.05%.
Subsidized Loan: As of July 1, 2012 Subsidized Loans are no longer available for graduate students.
Unsubsidized Loan: The government will not pay interest while a student is in school. Interest accrues as soon as the loan is disbursed, and must be paid or capitalized, during periods of in-school enrollment and/or deferment.
You are eligible to participate in the Federal Direct Loan Program if you are: (1) a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (2) enrolled in a degree program on at least a half-time basis and credits count towards the degree; and (3) making satisfactory academic progress. This requires that you have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (grades of I and C+ or lower are interpreted as failures).
How much may I borrow?
Graduate and professional students are eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per year in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The cumulative maximum for the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Program (formerly called the Stafford Loan Program) is $23,000 for undergraduates, and $138,500 for graduate and professional students, including any amount borrowed for undergraduate study.
How do I apply?
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must do this each year that you apply. Our Title IV code is 002130.
- Complete an electronic Direct Unsubsidized Loan Request Form each year.
- Complete a Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) if this is you are a first time borrower or if you have not borrowed a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan within the last five years.
- Since the Master Promissory Note (MPN) does not list loan amounts, the Graduate School will send all students a loan approval letter, which lists the approved loan amounts. This notification will be mailed to students once the FAFSA and Loan Request Form are complete, usually in early July. Students can also check on the status of loan funds by accessing the Student Link.
- If you are a first-time borrower, federal regulations require you to complete Entrance Counseling before your loan funds can be credited to your student account. Students who have previously borrowed a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan at another institution can have this requirement waived by submitting documentation of previous Federal Direct Loan borrowing to Graduate Financial Aid. Note that federal loan funds will not be disbursed until this requirement is completed; therefore it is advised that entrance counseling be completed as early as possible.
- “Aidan,” a virtual assistant, is now available to all users on the StudentAid.gov website, not just those who are logged in to their account. The relatively new myStudentAid mobile app will now give users the ability to complete a Master Promissory Note and the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA) directly in the app, and the virtual assistant is also now available on the app. The ASLA has also been overhauled so it is now broken up into shorter and easier-to-digest modules as opposed to the previous single page. FSA added that additional updates and improvements will continue to be announced throughout the year.
When will the loan funds be available to me?
Once the loan servicer has approved your loan, the loan amount minus an origination fee will be electronically credited to your student account within five to ten business days. For loans whose first disbursement will occur on or after 10/1/20 and before 10/1/24, the origination fee will be 1.057%. This fee is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Funds cannot be disbursed until the Entrance Counseling requirement has been fulfilled, until you have signed a Master Promissory Note, and until you are registered for the semester.
If there is a credit on your student account after all other charges are paid, then you may request an electronic refund by logging into the Student Link, select the Money Matters tab, then Student Account Inquiry. Click ‘Request a Refund’ in the upper right hand corner. The earliest that the University can release refunds is on the first day of classes for the semester/term.
Federal legislation requires that all Federal Direct Loans be disbursed in two equal installments. The second disbursement cannot be made available until halfway through the loan period. This means that for students who are attending both semesters of the academic year, half the loan amount is available in the fall and the other half is available in the spring. For students borrowing for one semester only (January graduates or students beginning their studies in January), the loan is disbursed in one lump sum.