Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are borrowed in the student's name and can be either subsidized or unsubsidized. Principal payment is not required while the student is enrolled at a minimum half-time status. The student is given a six-month grace period after graduation (or leaving school) before repayment begins.  Due to federal regulations, graduate students are only eligible for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan.  For more information regarding federal loans, including annual interest rates, please click here to visit the U.S. Department of Education's Student Aid website.

Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

An undergraduate student must demonstrate financial need to qualify for a subsidized Federal Direct Loan. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is enrolled at a minimum of half-time status and during the six month grace period before repayment begins.

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

A student with no demonstrated financial need can borrow an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Interest accrues on an unsubsidized loan but the student has the option of paying the interest or allowing the interest to accrue while still enrolled at a minimum of half-time status.


Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be reviewed for Federal Loan eligibility. Students who meet the following conditions may qualify for a Federal Direct Loan:

  1. Must be fully admitted to the university
  2. Must enroll at least half-time
  3. Must not be in default on any federal loans
  4. Must not have borrowed the annual or lifetime maximums
  5. Must make Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students will be notified of their loan eligibility on their annual Financial Aid Award Letter. If you are a first-time borrower at RMU, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Counseling session before your loan(s) can be applied to your student account. The Financial Aid Office will notify you when it is time to complete these important steps.

Federal Direct Loan reporting and information availability

Your loan information is reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program and other Department of Education programs. This data can be viewed by guaranty agencies, lenders, and other authorized users of the data system. In addition, you may access NSLDS by clicking here to view your Title IV loan (Federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans) and grant history. NSLDS does not contain your private loan information.

Loan Fees

The loan fee for both subsidized and unsubsidized is currently 1.057% and is deducted before the loan is applied to your student account.

Loan Limits

The maximum annual and lifetime amount students can borrow through the Federal Direct Loan program is determined by a student's grade level and/or program of study.

Federal Direct Loans for Dependent Undergraduate Students

  • Total combined subsidized/unsubsidized funding
Loan Limits: Year 1 (0-23 credits)
Year 2 (24-53 credits)
Year 3 (54-126 credits)
Lifetime Limit

Federal Direct Loans for Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

  • Total combined subsidized/unsubsidized funding (Additional amounts are unsubsidized)
Loan Limits: Year 1 (0-23 credits)
Year 2 (24-53 credits)
Year 3 (54-126 credits)
Lifetime Limit
$3,500 + $6,000
$4,500 + $6,000
$5,500 + $7,000

Federal Direct Loans for Graduate Students

  • Total unsubsidized funding
Loan Limits: Annual Limit
Lifetime Limit