Financial Aid

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.


Graduate students will be eligible to receive Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. View the current loan interest rate at Unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest while the student is in school. Interest payments while in school 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, graduate assistantships, etc.) can reduce the total amount of loans a student may receive for the academic year.

Note: When federal loans are disbursed, an origination fee is automatically deducted. Because of this, you may receive slightly less than you borrowed. To view the current fee schedule. see Federal Student Aid's loan fee chart.

Annual Loan Limits for Graduate Students

Enrollment Base Award (Unsubsidized) Additional Unsubsidized
Minimum six hours graduate-level coursework (not including prerequisites)
$8,500 $12,000
Six hours of required coursework in a post-baccalaureate certificate program $8,500 $12,000
Six hours of required coursework in a teacher licensure program $5,500 $2,000 - $7,000 depending on eligibility
Six hours of required undergraduate course work in a second baccalaureate program $3,500-$5,500 depending on hours needed $2,000 -$7,000 depending on eligibility

 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 by logging into the Federal Student Aid Portal using your FSA ID. 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

* Student enrolled in a Second Baccalaureate Degree Program must adhere to Aggregate Loan Limits for Undergraduate Students.

** 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 term.

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.