Granite State College: University System of New Hampshire

Federal Student Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of their education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education and offers the following types of loans:

Subsidized Loan
For students with demonstrated financial need. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. Available to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students.

Unsubsidized Loan
Loans that are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
Available to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students.

Terms and Conditions
Repayment for your Federal Direct Loans begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, stop attending, or your enrollment status is less than half-time. The standard repayment term is ten years and the interest rate may vary depending on the type of Direct Loan and the disbursement date.

See deferment for additional terms and conditions.


To apply for Direct Loans, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to assess the student's financial need for student aid. Be sure to review the Federal Direct Loan Disclosure and Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities before signing your Master Promissory Note.



Students must complete the following two requirements before any Direct Loan disbursement will be applied to his/her student account.

Once your loan is certified, the Loan Origination Center will send you a Loan Disclosure Statement indicating the amount of your loan(s), estimated disbursement dates, and other pertinent information for the student loan borrower.



Direct Loans are awarded in substantially equal disbursements based on a student's planned enrollment for the academic year. Disbursement dates shown on your Disclosure Statement and WebROCK are estimates only. The actual disbursement dates depend on when requirements are completed and the final drop date of your courses each term.


Interest Rates and Fees

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 reduced the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate students starting July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2012. This was extended by Congress until June 30, 2013. These reductions are available only to undergraduate students, not graduate students, and only for Subsidized Stafford Loans, not Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

The following rates apply to subsidized Stafford Loans. Unsubsidized rates and rates for graduate students may differ.

There is a mandatory loan fee of 1.051% deducted from every Direct Loan disbursement.

Loan disbursement date Interest Rate
7/1/2013 – 6/30/2014 6.8%
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013
7/1/2011 – 6/30/2012
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2011
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010
7/1/2008 – 6/30/2009
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2008


The federal government pays the interest on Direct Subsidized Loans while in school. Direct Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest while in school and you do have the option to pay the interest while enrolled which will reduce the overall cost of your loan.

Under the terms and conditions that you receive Federal Student Loan assistance, you may obtain deferral of the repayment of principle and interest for:


Annual Award Amounts

The maximum amount a student may borrow each year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans depends on grade level and whether the student is a dependent or independent.

  Dependent Student Independent Student
1st-year undergraduate $5,500
($3,500 subsidized max.)
($3,500 subsidized max.)
2nd year undergraduate $6,500
($4,500 subsidized max.)
($4,500 subsidized max.)
3rd and 4th year undergraduate $7,500
($5,500 subsidized max)
($5,500 subsidized max)
Post-Baccalaureate Certification
(5th year undergraduate level)
($5,500 subsidized max)
($5,500 subsidized max.)
Graduate Study Not applicable $20,500 unsubsidized

Once your loan is certified, the Loan Origination Center will send you a Loan Disclosure Statement indicating the amount of your loan(s), estimated disbursement dates, and other pertinent information for the student loan borrower.


Aggregate Loan Limits

Aggregate loan limits are defined by the government and dictate how much a student can actually borrow in student loans.

  Subsidized Loans Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit
Dependent Students $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Independent Students $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Post-Baccalaureate Students $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Graduate Students
(totals include undergraduate loans)
$65,500* $73,000 $138,500

*Subsidized Stafford Loans are no longer available to students enrolled in graduate programs as of 7/1/12.