Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Direct Lending for Federal Student Loans

General Direct Loan Information

There is a grace period of 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time attendance before repayment of the principal of the loan begins. Loan amounts are awarded based on grade level and cannot exceed the established cost of attendance for the school, including other aid received. Your awards may include both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Subsidized loans are awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). With a subsidized loan, the federal government pays interest on the student loan during:

  • At least half-time enrollment in school,
  • The six-month grace period after the student is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Student borrowers may qualify for this type of loan regardless of need or income. With unsubsidized loans, the student is responsible for interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You may choose to pay the interest as it accrues while you are enrolled, or you may defer the interest payments and allow them to accumulate (capitalize). You can choose to pay the interest as it accrues while you are enrolled, or you may defer the interest payments and allow them to accumulate (capitalize). If you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you will ultimately repay less. If you defer the interest, it will capitalize, which will result in an increase in student loan debt and monthly payments.

Direct Loan Eligibility

In addition to the FAFSA, the following eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for a Federal Direct Student Loan:

  • Half-time enrollment at an eligible institution, such as TSU, in an eligible degree seeking program
         - 6 hours for undergraduate students, and 5 graduate hours for graduate students
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Not be in default on an educational loan or overpayment on an educational grant
  • Not have Title IV student loans that exceed the annual or aggregate loan limits

Student Loan Limits

Eligibility for all Federal Direct Loans will be based on cost of attendance, the estimated family contribution (EFC) as determined by FAFSA, other aid received, and the loan limits set by the U.S. Department of Education. Students may never qualify for more than the cost of attendance for the college or the annual loan limit. The charts below show the maximum amounts you may borrow.

Undergraduate Student Loan Limits:

  Federal Direct Loan Dependent Undergraduate Yearly Limits

 

Freshman (0-29 hrs)

Sophomore (30-59 hrs)

Junior (60-89 hrs)

Senior (90 or more hrs)

 Maximum Subsidized

 $3,500

 $4,500

 $5,500

 $5,500

 Unsubsidized

 $2,000

 $2,000

 $2,000

 $2,000

 Total

 $5,500

 $6,500

$7,500

$7,500

 

  Federal Direct Loan Independent Undergraduate Yearly Limits

 

Freshman (0-29 hrs)

Sophomore (30-59 hrs)

Junior (60-89 hrs)

Senior (90 or more hrs)

 Maximum Subsidized

$3,500

$4,500

$5,500

$5,500

Unsubsidized

$6,000

$6,000

$7,000

$7,000

Total

$9,500

$10,500

$12,500

$12,500

 

  Federal Direct Loan Undergraduate Aggregate Limits

  Dependent Undergraduate

 $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)

  Independent Undergraduate

 $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)

 

Graduate Student Loan Limits

  Federal Direct Loan Graduate Yearly Limits

 

 Graduate Yearly Loan Maximum

  Unsubsidized

 $20,500

  Total

 $20,500

 

  Federal Direct Loan Graduate Aggregate Limits

  Graduate Aggregate (includes undergrad loans)

 $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which can be subsidized)




Exit Counseling


The federal government requires all students who stop attending school to complete an exit interview. This exit counseling will give you important information about repaying your loan. This counseling is for student who drop below half-time, withdraw, graduate from TSU or do not return to their current university (even if they plan to transfer to another school).


Parent and Graduate PLUS Loans


In order to receive a PLUS loan, parents of dependent students and graduate students must complete the PLUS loan application procedure.


Alternative (Private) Loans

Alternative Signature Loans - Once you click this link you will be taken to an external site titled "FASTChoice."  Click "Continue" to review the borrowing essentials information which is 5 screens of information related to student borrowing.  Once you have reviewed the information you will taken to our custom lender list.  Tennessee State University has electronic processing with these lenders which reduces processing time, however, we do not endorse or recommend any of these participants and the list is provided solely for your convenience.  You may choose a lender that is not on this list, however, you must provide us the certification information if you do so.  Be aware that alternative loans take longer to process than Stafford loans and do not offer the same repayment incentives and benefits.

 

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