Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans (FDSL)
Comparison of Federal Direct Loans
|Direct Subsidized Loan||Direct Unsubsidized Loan|
|Undergraduate students demonstrating financial need||Undergraduate and graduate students do not need to prove financial need|
|Institution determines amount that can be borrowed based on Cost of Attendance and other aid received||Institution determines amount that can be borrowed based on Cost of Attendance and expected family contribution (EFC)|
|U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you are in school at least half-time||The U.S. Department of Education does not pay the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan while you are in school at least half-time|
|You will not pay interest for six months after you graduate or during deferment||Interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan) if you do not pay while attending, during deferment, or forbearance|
Interest Rates and Fees
2022-2023 Interest Rates for Direct Loans
|Loan Type||Interest Rate|
|Undergraduate Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans||4.99%|
|Graduate Direct Unsubsidized Loans||6.54%|
|Parent and Graduate Direct PLUS Loans||7.54%|
Rates apply to loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 and before July 1, 2023.
There is a loan fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed, as shown in the chart below.
Fees by Loan Type (%)
|Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans||1.057%|
|Direct PLUS (Graduate Students/Parents)||4.228%|
Rates apply to loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2022.
Your borrowing limit will depend on your status (independent or dependent) and your class status (i.e. freshman).
Annual Limits for Loans Disbursement, July 2012 and Onward
|Annual Limits||Dependent Students||Independent Students*|
|First Year Undergraduate or|
(0-29 credit hours earned)
|Second Year Undergraduate or (30-59 credit hours earned)||6,500||10,500|
|Third year + Undergraduate (60 + credit hours earned)||7,500||12,500|
|Graduate Prerequisite, Teacher Certification or License Renewal||5,500||12,500|
|Graduate / Professional||N/A||20,500|
* Includes dependent graduate students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS Loan.
In addition to the annual borrowing limits, there is also and aggregate, or cumulative, lifetime borrowing limit.
Cumulative Borrowing Limit
Annual Cumulative Borrowing Limits ($)
|Dependent Undergraduate, Teacher Certification, License Renewal or Prerequisite||23,000||31,000|
|Independent Undergraduate, Teacher Certification, or License Renewal or Prerequisite||23,000||57,500|
|Graduate / Professional||65,500||138,500|
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Repayment
Repayment can be managed on the website of your loan servicer, which will be assigned to you by the U.S. Department of Education. While the interest rate on the loan is fixed, interest starts accruing on the loan at the time of disbursement to Tarleton State University. Payments can be deferred until after graduation, as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. Accrued interest can either be paid quarterly while you are in school or capitalized (added) to the loan when you enter repayment. You will accrue future interest based on the principle balance while in repayment. The U.S. Department of Education has a Loan Repayment Estimator you can use to help estimate your loan repayment options.
Additional Steps for First-time Borrowers
Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). Unless your school does not allow more than one loan to be made under the same MPN, you can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.
Complete Entrance Counseling
Entrance Counseling is a tool to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan and agree to the terms of the loan.
You will be notified through myGateway to complete the MPN and Entrance Counseling.
The Department of Education deducts the origination fee before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you receive will be less than the amount you will have to repay.