Federal Direct Loans

Barry University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Direct Loans provide students with a low-interest way to borrow money to pay for their higher education. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for Direct Loans rather than a bank or other financial institution. Direct Loans are:

  • Simple: You borrow directly from the federal government, who will assign your loans to a loan servicer. Typically all of your loans will be assigned to the same servicer, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
  • Convenient: You will have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Flexible: You can choose from a variety of repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans as your needs change.

Loans are awarded after your eligibility for grants, scholarship, and Federal Work-Study (FWS) are determined. Your financial aid package may include loans that are need based (subsidized) and/or non-need based (unsubsidized). Federal loans are offered for the maximum amount you are eligible to receive based on your dependency status and grade level. You may borrow less than the awarded amount, or not at all. Repayment typically begins 6 months after you graduate or drop below ½-time enrollment, whichever happens first.

Federal Student Loan Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan, students must:

  • Have a valid FAFSA on file
  • Complete verification (if selected)
  • Be degree-seeking
  • Be enrolled at least ½-time (minimum 6 credit hours) each semester
  • Be meeting minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards

Types Of Direct Loans

FATV Video: Types of Federal Student Loans

Subsidized: Available to undergraduate students with financial need. The Department of Education pays the interest during periods of at least half-time enrollment, as well as grace and deferment periods. The interest rate is variable, which changes each July 1st. There is also an origination fee deducted by the Department of Education.

Please note that first-time borrowers after July 1, 2013 may not receive subsidized loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program of study.

Unsubsidized: Not based on financial need, and interest is charged during all periods – including the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. The interest rate is variable https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates#rates, and changes each July 1st. There is also an origination fee deducted by the Department of Education. Students can opt to let interest accrue, or make quarterly interest payments to their servicer.

Parent PLUS: Available to eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for educational expenses.Interest is charged during all periods. There is also an origination fee. The maximum award is limited to the cost of attendance minus all other aid received. Repayment begins immediately after the last disbursement is received, or you may contact the loan servicer to request a deferment. A credit check is required to qualify.

FATV Playlist: Parent PLUS Loan - Overview

What Amounts Can You Borrow?

Annual Maximum Loan Limit

Grade Level



First-year (0-29 credits)

$5,500 (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

$9,500 (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

Second-year (30-59 credits)

$6,500 (no more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

$10,500 (no more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

Third-year and beyond (60+ credits)

$7,500 (no more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

$12,500 (no more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

Aggregate Maximum Loan Limit



Dependent Students

$31,000 (no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

Independent Students

$57,500 (no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

How To Apply For A Federal Direct Subsidized And Unsubsidized Loans

Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.gov/. Loans will be included in your financial aid package, if you are eligible.

Step 2: Complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is your promise to repay your loans and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans.

FATV Video: How do I complete the Master Promissory Note for the Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan?

Step 3: Complete Loan Entrance Counseling. Entrance counseling takes about 30 minutes to complete and will familiarize you with your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

FATV Video: Loan Entrance Counseling

Your Direct Loans cannot be disbursed unless you have completed all three steps above. If you have difficulty completing the MPN or counseling, please contact the U.S. Department of Education Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394.

Other Ways To Finance Your Education

FATV Playlist: What is a Private Loan?

Alternative Loans: If you have utilized all other forms of financial aid and still require additional funding for your educational costs, there are banks and other lending organizations that offer education loans. These loans require a credit check, and in some instances, you may need a cosigner. Loan terms will vary from lender to lender, so research multiple lenders, and review each loan's terms and conditions carefully before applying to ensure that you find the one that best meets your needs.

Federal Direct Loans typically offer lower borrowing costs and more favorable benefits tailored to undergraduate students and their families. Alternative loans should be considered after all federal loan eligibility is exhausted.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

FATV Video: Accessing Your Loan Borrower Information

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central record for student aid. It contains information from schools and guaranty agencies about the Direct Loan program as well as other federal aid programs. The NSLDS database provides students with a centralized view of their federal student loans and grants throughout the entire aid cycle from aid approval to disbursement to repayment (if applicable).

To view your NSLDS history, log into the Federal Student Aid website

Loan Exit Counseling

If you borrow a federal student loan, you must complete Exit Counseling each time you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or otherwise leave school. Exit Counseling provides you with important information to prepare you to repay your loans. Students who are required to complete counseling will receive an email notification from the Financial Aid Office.

To complete Exit Counseling, log into https://studentaid.gov/. The counseling will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. If you have any questions as you complete the process, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

FATV Video: Loan Exit Counseling