Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loan is a student loan program provided by the US Department of Education and administered by Iowa State University.

How to Apply

  • Step 1 of 3: Complete the FAFSA
  • Step 2 of 3: Complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note
    • Once signed in, select “Complete Counseling” then select “Start” under the “Entrance Counseling” header and follow the instructions by selecting the counseling specific to the borrower’s degree classification (undergraduate or graduate student) at the bottom of the page
    • Once counseling is completed, select “Complete MPN” from the menu on the left side of the page. Select “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” and follow instructions
  • Step 3 of 3: Accept the loans you wish to borrow via AccessPlus

Direct Subsidized Loan

  • A need-based loan funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by Iowa State University
  • Eligibility is determined by filing the FAFSA. New borrowers as of July 1, 2013 (borrowers who do not have an outstanding Direct Loan balance as of this date are considered “new”) can only receive Subsidized loans for 150% of their published program length. For example, if a program’s published length is 4 years, a student would be eligible for subsidized loans for 6 years.
  • The interest is paid by the federal government while the student remains enrolled at least half-time (see interest rates and origination fees)
  • First time borrowers need to complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • All borrowers must accept the funds they wish to borrow on a semester basis via AccessPlus

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • A loan funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by Iowa State University
  • FAFSA must be filed to qualify
  • Interest is not paid by the federal government while the student is enrolled. The responsibility for interest payments falls on the student. (see interest rates and origination fees)
  • Interest will begin to accrue the date the loan is disbursed and can be:
    • Paid while the student is in school OR
    • Added to the principal balance when the loan enters repayment (Capitalized)
  • First time borrowers need to complete Entrance Counseling  and a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • All borrowers must accept the funds they wish to borrow on a semester basis via AccessPlus

Annual Borrowing Limits

 Annual Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Base AmountAdditional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Dependant Freshman$3,500$2,000
Dependant Sophomore$4,500$2,000
Dependant Junior$5,500$2,000
Dependant Senior$5,500$2,000
 Annual Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Base Amount*Additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Independant Freshman$3,500$6,000
Independant Sophomore$4,500$6,000
Independant Junior$5,500$7,000
Independant Senior$5,500$7,000

* The annual aggregate is the base amount plus the additional unsubsidized amount.

 Annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Undeclared Graduate Student$12,500*
Graduate Student$20,500
Veterinary Medicine Student$40,500

* An undeclared graduate student can receive $12,500 over the course of 12 months.

 Maximum Federal Direct Subsidized Loan AmountMaximum Federal Direct Loan Amount (Sub and Unsub combined)
Dependent Undergraduate Student$23,000$31,000
Independent Undergraduate Student$23,000$57,500
Graduate or Professional Student$65,500$138,500
Health Professions Student (Veterinary Medicine)$65,500$224,000