Quad Cities Campus

Federal Direct Loans for Graduate Students

These fixed-rate, federally guaranteed loans are processed through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Loans will be issued in the student’s name, and the student will be responsible for repayment.


To be eligible, students must be admitted into a graduate degree program and be enrolled in a minimum six credit hours of degree-level coursework.


As of July 1, 2012, graduate students will be eligible to receive Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans - these loans have a 6.8% fixed interest rate that begins to accrue while the student is in school. In-school interest payments are optional, but are recommended to help reduce a student’s overall debt burden.

Federal student loans will automatically be processed and listed on award letters, and students may contact our office or use STARS to cancel/reduce loan amounts. Receiving other forms of aid (scholarships, assistantships, etc.) can reduce the total amount of loans a student may receive for the academic year.

Prior to disbursement, a federal origination fee of 1% is deducted proportionately from each loan payment forwarded to the school by the DL Loan Origination Center (i.e. for every $100 borrowed, the student receives $99).

Annual Loan Limits for Graduate Students

Enrollment Base Award (Unsubsidized) Additional Unsubsidized
Minimum six hours graduate-level courses or required post-baccalaureate certificate program courses $8,500 $12,000
Six hours prerequisite undergraduate courses (alone/combined with less than six hours of graduate courses) $5,500 $7,000
Six hours of required coursework in a teacher certification program $5,500 $7,000
Six hours of required undergraduate course work in a second baccalaureate program $3,500-$5,500 depending on hours needed $2,000

 Aggregate Loan Limits for Graduate Students

Aggregate loan limits cap the total amount of Federal Direct Loans a student can accumulate - keep track of your outstanding federal student loans online. Once a student reaches aggregate loan limits, they are no longer eligible to receive federal student loans, and may instead consider a Federal Grad PLUS Loan or a private student loan.

  Maximum for Subsidized Combined Maximum (Sub + Unsub)
Graduate $65,500* $138,500

* Starting July 1, 2012, graduate students will no longer be eligible to receive subsidized loans – however, annual and aggregate loan limits will not change.


To be considered for Federal Direct Loans, a student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Additional Requirements

First time federal student loan borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note in order to receive their loan funds.

Funds  must be requested while the student is actively enrolled,  giving a minimum one week notice to allow for processing. Federal student loans  cannot be requested to pay a past due balance  after enrollment has ended for that school year.

Repayment Information

Federal Direct Loans are deferred (repayment is delayed) until the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. Once deferment ends, the student will have a six-month grace period before repayment begins.

Students who may have difficulty repaying their loans should always communicate with their loan servicer and review options for postponing repayment. There are also a variety of repayment plan options for eligible students.

Students may also consider consolidation of their federal loans through the Direct Loan Consolidation programs.