The Federal Direct Loan Program enables students, who are U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents, enrolled at least half-time (two units) to borrow directly from the federal government rather than from a bank. Loans made through this program include the Direct Subsidized  and the Direct Unsubsidized Loans. More information concerning federal eligibility may be found at:

Direct Subsidized Loans: The student must demonstrate federal financial need. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues during certain periods.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Financial need is not a requirement.  The student is responsible for paying the interest that accrues.

Eligibility for the Subsidized Loan is determined by the information provided on the FAFSA. The College administers all necessary paperwork for the government so the student does not have to submit a separate loan application.

Interest Rate: Due to the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 interest rates on new Federal Direct Loans are established by the Department of Education each spring. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. For new loans made on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 the interest rates are:

 * Federal Direct Loans for Undergraduate Students: 4.45%

 * Federal Direct PLUS loans (Parents) 7%

Interest rates for each upcoming academic year may be found after July 1 at

Fees: A loan origination fee of 1.066% will be deducted from the gross amount on all Federal Direct Loans first disbursed between October 1, 2017 and October 1, 2018. The Department of Education will notify borrowers of fee changes and will provide additional information.

Loan Limits and Terms: Federal Direct Loan Limits

Dependent Undergraduates (Except students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS Loan)

  Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Maximum Bryn Mawr College Units
1st-year undergraduate $3,500 $2,000 $5,500 1-7
2nd-year undergraduate $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 8-15
3rd/4th-year undergraduate $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 16+

Independent Undergraduates and Dependent Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow PLUS Loans

  Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Maximum Bryn Mawr College Units
1st-year undergraduate $3,500 $4,000 + 2,000 $9,500 1-7
2nd-year undergraduate $4,500 $4,000 + 2,000 $10,500 8-15
3rd/4th-year undergraduate $5,500 $5,000 + 2,000 $12,500 16+

Federal Direct Loan Aggregate Loan Limits

Academic Level Aggregate Loan Limits
Subsidized Borrowing
Aggregate Combined Loan Limit
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Borrowing
Dependent Undergraduate $23,000 $31,000
Independent Undergraduate $23,000 $57,500

“New” Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility:

First-time borrowers or students without prior loan balances who received a loan on or after July 1, 2017 are subject to a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) they can receive a Direct Subsidized Loan.  A student cannot receive more than 150 percent of her “maximum eligibility period.” The maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of the student’s current program.

For example, for a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years).

More information on Loan Lifetime limits can be found at under “Is there a time limit on how long I can receive loans?

Links to Policies and Information regarding Federal Direct Loans: