Federal Direct Loans
There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:
- Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans – These are need-based loans. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on the loan while you are enrolled in at least 6 credits and you won’t be charged any interest during your six-month grace period. Graduate students are not eligible for subsidized loan funds.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans – These are non-need based loans, and are available regardless of financial need; interest begins to accrue as soon as you receive your loan. Students may choose to pay the interest that accumulates or have it capitalized – meaning, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. Paying the interest as it accumulates will reduce the amount of interest that must be repaid.
Beginning July 1, 2016, the interest rate is 3.76% for subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students. The interest rate is 5.31% for unsubsidized loans for graduate/professional students. Loans with a first disbursement on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 1, 2016 will have a loan origination fee of 1.068%, You will pay back 100% of what you borrow (plus interest); however, only 98.932% of the gross loan will be disbursed to the account.
Repayment of both types of loans begins six months after graduation or if you fall below 6 credits.
A federal loan servicer will be assigned by the Department of Education, and will
communicate directly with students via email or regular mail. Many servicers will
give you the option to choose how you prefer to be contacted. Contact your loan servicer for details.
NOTE: Work with your servicer to select a repayment plan. A borrower may prepay all or any part of the unpaid balance on the loans at any time without penalty. For more about student loan repayment, click here.
NOTE: CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012
Temporarily eliminates the interest subsidy on Direct Subsidized Loans during the six month grace period:
- Applies to new Direct Stafford Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014.
- Accrued grace period interest not paid will be capitalized.
- Borrower could have some loans with interest subsidy and some without when in grace
How to Apply
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the standard application used to apply for any type of financial aid including loans. Once we receive your FAFSA we will send you a financial aid offer letter which will describe your aid eligibility. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits, and complete all loan requirements within the enrollment period to receive federal loan funds.
Accepting your loans
Once you have received and reviewed your award offer you must accept or decline your loan(s) via BU BRAIN Self Service, Financial Aid tab. Select "Award" and appropriate aid year. Go to "Award Overview" to VIEW and/or PRINT your award offer.
Undergraduate Student Annual Loan Limit
Undergraduate student loan limits range from $5,500 to $12,500 per year depending on certain factors, including the student's year in college and other aid received.
|Dependent Students||Maximum Eligibility|
|Freshman||$5,500||If eligible, up to $3,500 may be subsidized.|
|Sophomore||$6,500||If eligible, up to $4,500 may be subsidized.|
|Junior or Senior||$7,500||If eligible, up to $5,500 may be subsidized.|
|Independent Students||Maximum Eligibility|
|Freshman||$9,500||If eligible, up to $3,500 may be subsidized.|
|Sophomore||$10,500||If eligible, up to $4,500 may be subsidized.|
|Junior or Senior||$12,500||If eligible, up to $5,500 may be subsidized.|
Graduate Student Annual Loan Limit
Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loan (if eligible) each aid year. If needed, graduate students can also apply for additional funding under the Graduate PLUS Loan program. Credit approval is required. Click here for more information about aid for Graduate students.
Total Aggregate Loan Limit
An aggregate loan limit is the total amount of money a student is allowed to borrow during his/her undergraduate or graduate education.
Dependent Undergraduate Student: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate Student: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Graduate Student: $138,500 (includes undergraduate and graduate borrowing)