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Direct Federal Loans

Detailed terms for Federal Direct Loans


  • full or half-time graduate students
  • U.S. citizen/national or an eligible non-citizen

Annual Limits/Aggregate Limits

Graduate level – $33000 Direct Unsubsidized per academic year. The overall aggregate maximum is $224,000 (including undergraduate loans). Note: the Direct Subsidized loan has an overall aggregate of $65,500.

The total amount graduate students may borrow under the Federal Stafford Loan program is $33,000/9 months or $44,000/12 months (all monies will be unsubsidized).

Interest Rate

Federal student loan rates are linked to the Federal 10-year Treasury rate, plus a small margin. The interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan. The rates for new loans will change annually, based on the current market.

The law continues to authorize the Department of Education to offer interest rate reductions to Direct Loan borrowers who agree to have electronic payments automatically debited from a bank account.

Loan Fees

The government charges an origination fee percentage of the loan amount. This fee is subject to change by the government. In the past few years, it has ranged from 1.059 to 1.069.

Loan Repayment

Repayment begins six months (grace period) after the month in which you cease attending school at least half time. The standard repayment period is 10 years and an extended plan up to 25 years are available to students. During repayment, a variety of plans will be available to assist borrowers in meeting repayment obligations, including: Income-Driven Repayment (IDR), graduated repayment, and standard plan.