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William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

General Eligibility

  •  U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  •  Minimum half-time enrollment (6 or more credit hours)

Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan

This is a non-need-based loan with interest starting to accrue upon disbursement. The student has the option to postpone payment of interest which is then capitalized (added to the principal balance).

The maximum amount of unsubsidized loans you can receive is up to $20,500 per year (depending on your financial aid eligibility).

For more information on unsubsidized student loans, please go to

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

This is a non-need-based loan with interest accruing upon disbursement. The student has the option to postpone payment of student loan in which interest is capitalized. Additionally, students will have to complete a credit check (“Apply for PLUS Loan”) to determine if the loan will be disbursed.

The maximum amount of the Graduate PLUS Loan a student can receive will vary based upon the amount of financial aid received from other sources. After financial aid is assessed, students will be awarded up to the total cost of attendance with aid from the Graduate PLUS Loan.

For more information on the Graduate PLUS Loan, please go to

Continued Eligibility

You must make satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving loans and financial aid. Please refer to the satisfactory academic progress policy for further information.

Interest and Fees

Currently, interest is fixed at 4.30% for new federal direct unsubsidized student loan disbursements. Interest rates for Graduate PLUS Loans are fixed at 5.30%. Interest rates are subject to change every July 1st of each fiscal year.

A loan origination fee of 1.059% of the principal amount is charged for each federal direct unsubsidized loan that is disbursed on or after 10/1/19 or before 10/1/20.  Loans that are disbursed on or after 10/1/20 and before 10/1/21 will be charged a fee of 1.057%.

A loan origination fee of 4.236% of the principal amount will be charged for each Graduate PLUS Loan that is disbursed after 10/1/2020.


Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time status, unless you have previously used your grace period. Standard repayment is ten years; however, students have options to stretch the loan payment terms out up to 25-30 years (if applicable).

For more information about student loan repayment, please go to

You can find a complete breakdown of the William D. Ford Federal Student Loan Program at

If you have any additional questions, please contact Dr. TJ Snowden, Director of Financial Aid, at or 202-462-2101.