Financial Aid > Financial Aid Info for Students > Education Loans > Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans

Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a community college, technical school, trade or career school, or a four-year college or university. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) at participating schools.

Direct Stafford Loans include the following types of loans:

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with financial need. Your school will review the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine the amount you can borrow. You are not charged interest while you’re in school at least half-time. Only undergraduate students are eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

You are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Like subsidized loans, your school will determine the amount you can borrow. Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the time it’s first paid out. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount.

Additional loan types provided under the Direct Loan Program include Direct PLUS Loans (for parents and graduate and professional degree students) and Direct Consolidation Loans (to combine federal education loan debts into a single loan).

Note: Before July 1, 2010, Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans were also made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, no further loans will be made under the FFEL Program as of July 1, 2010. All new Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans come directly from the Department under the Direct Loan Program.


  1. We will not certify a Direct loan until students have academic transcripts from all previously attended institutions on file.  We cannot tell if a student made satisfactory academic progress at their previous institution without this information.
  2. We will not certify Direct loans for transfer students who did not maintain satisfactory academic progress at their previous institution until they complete a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 at this institution.  All students will be required to have grade and attendance verification completed before we will disburse a loan.  They must have at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and have demonstrated satisfactory attendance.
  3. We will not certify Direct loans for students who have aggregate federal loan indebtedness in excess of $30,500 (2 semesters of freshman level loans, and 4 semesters of sophomore level loans.)  According to federal regulations, we may only allow a student three years to complete a two year program.  We often have transfer students who have Direct loan indebtedness in the tens of thousands of dollars and very little demonstrated progress towards a degree or certificate.
  4. We may cancel and return Direct loans for students who change their enrollment status prior to the disbursement of their loans.   
  5. We will cancel Direct loans for students who receive any combination of all “I”, “W”, or “F” grades.  These students will lose their financial aid eligibility until they complete a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.  History has shown us that these students often repeat their unsuccessful behavior during their second semester. 
  6. We will disburse loans only after the borrower’s enrollment, attendance, and academic progress are verified after mid-term grades have been processed.  Mid-term grades must meet or exceed 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.  A loan will not be disbursed under any circumstances if mid-term grades are all “I”, “W” or “F”
  7. Exceptions to the above policies may be considered on a case by case basis. Written documentation will be required.

Due Process:

Students will have a right to due process and be allowed to appeal any decision of the administration by submitting matters of extenuation and mitigation in writing to the Director of Financial Aid.