The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program provides loans to students and parents. Under the Direct Lending program, the school and student receive funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education. In other words, the Department of Education serves as your lender.
Directions to Accept Loans
Steps for Receiving your Direct Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan Funds (Students)
Steps for Receiving your Parent PLUS Loan Funds
If one of your parents wishes to borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan the parent requesting the loan must complete the following steps:
- Accept your Loans in Bannerweb — To accept, reduce or decline the Direct Loan you have been offered, log into Bannerweb, view your awards by selecting Financial Aid > My Award Information > Current Award Year. You will then see a series of tabs. You must first select the Terms and Conditions tab before the Accept Award Offer tab can instantly become activated. Once the Accept Award Offer tab becomes activated you may select it to review your awards. If you wish to borrow a loan amount less than the amount you were offered, type the amount that you wish to borrow. Please note: you cannot accept a loan amount larger than the amount you have been offered. Once you have reviewed your financial aid, click Accept.
Note: Students cannot accept a parent PLUS Loan through the process described above. If a parent chooses to borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, the loan will be accepted by the Office of Financial Aid after we receive a completed Parent PLUS Loan application.
- Complete Entrance Counseling — As a student borrower you must complete entrance counseling before your Direct Loan funds can be credited to your account in the Business Office. Counseling will inform you about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, the terms of your loan, and your repayment options. You can complete entrance counseling at studentloans.gov.
- Complete the Master Promissory Note — The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. After signing in to studentloans.gov, click the "Complete Master Promissory Note" link and then choose "Subsidized/Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS." You can complete the MPN at anytime. To sign the promissory note you must have a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which serves as the legal signature. The FSA ID can be obtained at Create an FSA ID now.
Note: Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers are subjected to a credit check.
- The parent borrower must apply by completing the PLUS Loan Request at studentloans.gov. After signing in to studentloans.gov, the parent borrower clicks the "Request a Direct PLUS Loan" link and then chooses "Parent PLUS." Parents may complete the application no earlier than July 1 of the upcoming academic year. For example, the fall 2014/spring 2015 the application became available on July 1, 2014.
Note: The parent applying for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan must pass a credit check or have a cosigner who will pass a credit check. A parent who owes an overpayment on a federal grant or is in default on a federal loan is ineligible to borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan unless satisfactory arrangements to repay the grant or loan are made.
- Complete the Master Promissory Note - The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. After signing in to studentloans.gov, click the "Complete Master Promissory Note" link and then choose "Parent PLUS." Parents may complete the MPN at any time. To sign the promissory note the parent borrower must have an FSA ID, which serves as the legal signature. The FSA ID can be obtained at Create an FSA ID now.
Federal Direct Loan Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits
Dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to:
- $5,500 for freshmen; no more than $3,500 may be subsidized
- $6,500 for sophomores; no more than $4,500 may be subsidized
- $7,500 for juniors and seniors; no more than $5,500 may be subsidized
If a dependent student's parent is not eligible to borrow a PLUS loan, the student may be considered independent for Federal Direct Loan borrowing purposes.
Independent undergraduate students may borrow up to:
- $9,500 for freshmen; no more than $3,500 may be subsidized
- $10,500 for sophomores; no more than $4,500 may be subsidized
- $12,500 for juniors and seniors; no more than $5,500 may be subsidized
Undergraduates who, in their senior year, attend for only one semester (i.e. students graduating at the end of the fall term) will have their annual loan limits prorated, based upon the number of credits hours for which the student is registered in that final term.
Graduate or Professional students may borrow up to:
- $20,500 in Unsubsidized Direct Loan.
The maximum aggregate loan limits are:
- $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized) for dependent students
- $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized) for independent students
- $138,500 for graduate and professional students
Loans, by definition, must be repaid. Before you borrow you should investigate the estimated monthly repayment. A good calculator can be found at studentaid.ed.gov.