Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. (These have previously been referred to as Stafford Loans or Direct Stafford Loans.)

Review the information below about who can apply, how to apply, and what to do after you receive your loans. 


Students and families looking for information about who can borrow, how much they can borrow, and current interest rates should visit the dedicated webpage about direct loans to learn more. Students will be considered for this aid based on their FAFSA submission. Federal direct loans do not require a credit check.

Loan funds are disbursed directly to your tuition student account generally in at least two installments. The loan funds are first used to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, and other school charges. Learn about how refunds work in Bills and Payments.

Visit the Loan Repayment section to learn more about repayment options for Federal Direct Loans.

If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount that you borrowed. If you don’t pay off interest, it can capitalize, meaning it is added to the principal balance of your loan. 

You can learn more about federal student loan interest rates and capitalization from

The information in your financial aid file may be disclosed to third parties as authorized under routine uses in the Privacy Act notices called "Title IV Program Files" (originally published on April 12, 2004, Federal Register, Vol 59 p. 17351) and "National Student Loan Data System" (originally published on December 20, 1994, Federal Register, Vol 59 p. 65532). Thus, this information may be disclosed to federal and state agencies, private parties such as relatives, present and former employers and creditors, and contractors of the Department of Education for purposes of administration of the student financial assistance program, for enforcement purposes, for litigation where such disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the records were collected, for use by federal, state, local, or foreign agencies in connection with employment matters or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit, for use in any employee grievance or discipline proceeding in which the Federal Government is a party, for use in connection with audits or other investigations, for research purposes, for purposes of determining where particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, and to a Member of Congress in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at your written request.