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Direct Loans

Jump to a Specific Section: Amount of Eligibility | Debt Management | Loan Consolidation | Loan Repayment/Deferment | Ombudsman-Federal Student Aid Loan Programs

The School of Education is a Direct Lending school and offers federal low-cost subsidized and unsubsidized loans to eligible students. The government will pay the interest on the subsidized portion of the loan if the student demonstrates financial need as calculated by federal methodology.

All Federal Direct Loan applications and Electronic Master Promissory Notes are processed and funds are disbursed directly by the university and the U.S. Department of Education. Students who must wait until the end of the semester for tuition reimbursement from their employers may use loans to pay tuition and fees up front, as long as all deadlines have been met. First time student loan borrowers must complete entrance counseling at; and those graduating, withdrawing, taking a leave of absence, or ceasing to be enrolled at least half time (less than 4.5 credits for graduate students or less than 6 credits for undergraduate students) must complete exit counseling at

Amount of Eligibility 

Students typically borrow only the amount of their tuition, fees, and books. Full-time independent students may borrow the full cost of attendance up to $9,500 (first-year undergraduates), $10,500 (second-year undergraduates), $12,500 (third- and fourth-year undergraduates), or $20,500 (graduate students), if they are U.S. citizens, or permanent residents. The maximum loan amounts for dependent undergraduates are $5,500 (first-year), $6,500 (second-year), and $7,500 (third and fourth year).

Debt Management

The federal government requires schools to be diligent with debt management counseling to students to keep them from borrowing more than they can reasonably pay back. We take debt management and the overall welfare of our students very seriously. We strongly suggest to our students to seek other means of financing their education to decrease their dependence upon loans. Please give careful thought before getting further into debt.

We recommend that you:

  • Take advantage of our payment plan;
  • Secure employment with a company that offers tuition reimbursement/remission;
  • Apply for external scholarships, especially those offered by your state of residency;
  • Consider paying the interest on your unsubsidized loans throughout the year to avoid capitalization of interest if possible;
  • Pay interest on all loans which are in forbearance, deferment, etc. for whatever reason, even if only a portion of the amount due is viable.

Loan Consolidation

Loan consolidation is one method of managing your student loan debt. A consolidation loan is designed to help student and parent borrowers simplify loan repayment by allowing the borrower to combine several types of federal student loans with various repayment schedules into one loan. Students with past Federal Direct Loans may consolidate their loans. You can get a Direct Consolidation Loan during your grace period, once you have entered repayment, or during periods of deferment or forbearance. You might be eligible to consolidate your loans even if you have a federal student loan in default.

However, consolidation is not for everyone. Before deciding to consolidate your student loans, and for more information and an application, contact 1-800-557-7392 or TDD 800-557-7395. You can download the application by visiting the Federal Direct Consolidation Loans Web page.

Loan Repayment/Deferment

Loan repayment information and forms, including teaching forgiveness and cancellation benefits, deferment, forbearance, and default resolution, are available on your specific loan servicer’s website.  If you are unsure of who your loan servicer is, please visit the National Student Loan Data System.
Deferment of loan repayment is available for students enrolled at least half time (6 credits each semester for undergraduates; 4.5 credits for graduate students).
Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, January Intersession will be part of Spring term for enrollment and consideration of deferments and financial aid.

Fall is considered a separate semester for enrollment reporting purposes.  January Intersession enrollment will be combined with spring (including May session) for the purposes of enrollment reporting and determining loan deferment and summer is a separate semester for enrollment reporting as well.  Students who only need one course to graduate and will enroll less than half time will go into their grace period as of the date they cease attending half time.

Students may request that the Registrar's Office complete a deferment request form.  The student must obtain the form from their loan servicer.

Deferment is also available for several other reasons, such as for service as a volunteer under the Peace Corps Act or the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.

Ombudsman, Federal Student Aid Loan Programs

The FSA Ombudsman works with student loan borrowers to informally resolve loan disputes and problems that cannot be resolved by the schools or lenders. This office facilitates and provides creative options/alternatives for borrowers needing assistance with many types of student loans.

Contact information for the Ombudsman:

Address: U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman
830 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20202-5144
Phone: 877-557-2575 (toll free) or 202-377-3800
Fax: 202-275-0549

Contact Us

Financial Aid Office
Columbia Center
Suite 110
P: (410) 516-9808
F: (410) 516-9799