Federal Direct Loans are low-interest student loans available from the Federal Government through the U.S. Department of Education.

Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling
All borrowers in the Federal Direct Loan Program must complete entrance counseling and sign a MPN.


Directions on Applying for a Subsidized Loan through PantherWeb

  1. Log into Pantherweb with your secure ID and password
  2. Click on “Financial Aid”
  3. Select “Sub Loan Request” from drop down box
  4. Select the "Financial Aid Year" using the drop down menu
  5. Click on “Continue”
  6. Follow on screen directions and questions on next page

Please note: This applies to students who have not been previously awarded any type of aid for the award year and qualify for a subsidized loan. If you do not qualify, you will receive a message.


Types of Federal Direct Loans

  • Federal Direct Subsidized:  for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations.  No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.

  • Federal Direct Plus:  federal direct unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Students who are not eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan may apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. However, it is critical that you understand that the federal government does NOT pay the interest on behalf of the student.  The borrower is fully responsible for all the accrued interest, which capitalizes from the time the loan is disbursed. In order to apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, please contact your local Financial Aid office for an application, and counseling by an advisor.


Loan Limits

The maximum amount you can borrow each year in Federal Direct Subsidized Loans depends on your grade level and on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student. The following table shows the maximum amount of money you may borrow each academic year in Direct Subsidized Loans:

Dependent student

1st year undergraduate - $5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)

2nd year undergraduate - $6,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)

**3rd and 4th year undergraduate - $7,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)

Independent student

1st year undergraduate - $9,500 ($3,500)3

2nd year undergraduate - $10,500 ($4,500)

**3rd and 4th year undergraduate - $12,500 ($5,500) 

These limits also apply to dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan.
The numbers in parentheses represent the maximum amount that may be subsidized.
** Bachelor's program students only.

The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive for an academic year is determined by the school and may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown in the chart above.

Below are the aggregate (total) limits for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

  • $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

These aggregate limits include Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and any subsidized Federal Direct Loans received through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.


Interest Rates for Federal Direct Loans for 2016-17

Subsidized: 3.76%

Unsubsidized: 3.76%

PLUS: 6.31%

Disbursement of Federal Direct Loans

  • All disbursements will occur around 30 days from the start of classes for the term.
  • The federal government deducts a 1.069% origination fee from each federal direct loan disbursement. For Federal Direct PLUS loans the origination fee is 4.276%.


Helpful Reminders

  • Award amounts may change if you receive additional financial assistance.
  • Must be degree seeking or in a federally approved PSAV Program.
  • Must meet the financial aid standards of academic progress (SAP).
  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of six compliant credit hours or 225 compliant clock hours.
  • Within certain time frames, you may reduce or cancel all or part of your loans using the Loan Adjustment Form. Your promissory note will explain the procedures and time frames for canceling your loan.


Loan Websites

Please utilize the listed websites to obtain the information you need in order to keep your loans in satisfactory repayment status.

www.direct.ed.gov  1-800-433-3243

www.nslds.ed.gov  1-800-433-3243  or  1-800-999-8219

www.fldoe.org  1-800-366-3475  or  1-850-245-0505

www.ed.gov  1-800-621-3115  or  1-800-872-5327

It is important that you periodically monitor the status of your student loans. Always know your balance and due date. Also, maintain contact with your lender even if you are having difficulty repaying. DO NOT DEFAULT!

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