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Federal Student Loans

Student loans are funds provided to a student for educational expenses and are considered self-help financial aid because you must repay the money loaned to you. Loans are the last type of aid for which you are considered, after gift aid and Federal Work-Study. Federal student loan programs offer favorable terms reserved for students. Interest rates are lower than typical consumer rates.

Monitoring Your Loan Limits and Debt

It is your responsibility to monitor your Direct Stafford Federal aggregate and annual loan limits. If you reach your total undergraduate aggregate limit, total Federal Stafford aggregate loan limits or your annual loan limit, you will not be eligible to receive any additional Federal Stafford loans, see Federal Stafford Loan limit amounts. If the Financial Aid and Scholarship Services Office determines at any time you have exceeded your annual or aggregate loan limits, your awards could be reduced or cancelled after you have received the funds, see examples of students owing loan funds back to ASU.

Examples of Students Owing Loan Funds Back to ASU

Annual limit example

Mary is a dependent freshman. She attended Chicago Tech College in the fall semester and received $1,750 subsidized and $0 unsubsidized loans. She transfers to ASU for the spring semester. As a dependent freshman, Mary is eligible to receive a total of $3,500 subsidized and $2,000 unsubsidized loans for the academic year. ASU awarded Mary $3,500 subsidized and $2000 unsubsidized loan for the spring. Chicago Tech College reported the loans she received for the fall semester to the federal government after ASU disbursed loan funds for the spring semester. Since Mary already received $1,750 subsidized loan funds at Chicago Tech College in the fall, ASU had to reduce the $3,500 subsidized loan to $1,750 to keep within her annual loan limits. Mary would be billed for the overpayment of annual loan limits and owe the money to ASU immediately.

Aggregate limit example:

Jim has taken out Federal Stafford loans in prior years. When he logged into NSLDS, it showed he has previously borrowed a total of $22,000 in subsidized loans and $10,000 in unsubsidized loans. As an independent undergraduate student, he is eligible to receive a total of $23,000 subsidized loans and $34,500 in unsubsidized loans. For the upcoming aid year, Jim as a senior, is eligible to receive $1,000 subsidized and up to $11,500 unsubsidized loans. If later, ASU receives information that a prior college reported that Jim received additional subsidized loan funds, Jim’s subsidized loan at ASU would need to be reduced to bring the subsidized aggregate back within $23,000 total aggregate amount allowed for an independent undergraduate student. Jim would be billed for the overpayment of aggregate loan limits and owe the money to ASU immediately.

To monitor your annual and aggregate Direct Stafford Federal loan amounts, please go to: www.nslds.ed.gov. There you will find a list of all the loans you have borrowed and which servicer is maintaining your loan.

Before borrowing, remember that loans must be repaid. Use a loan payment calculator to investigate how much your monthly payment may be before you decide to borrow loans. Use the U.S. Department of Education Financial Awareness Counseling tool at any time to assist you with financial management basics, including information about your current loan debt and estimates of your student loan debt levels after graduation.

Types of Federal Student Loans

ASU students are eligible for the federal student loans listed below. The information on this page is periodically reviewed and updated to reflect current federal rates and requirements and is subject to change without prior notice. Please visit Federal Student Aid on the Web for up-to-date information and a comprehensive list of federal student loan information.

  Direct Subsidized Stafford Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Perkins
Who may receive this loan? Undergraduate students with financial need All students Undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need
What is the current interest rate? 4.29% (undergraduates) 4.29% (undergraduates)
5.84% (graduates)
5.0%
How much can I get? Depends on your grade level and dependency status Depends on your grade level and dependency status Depends on your grade level
How many credits do I have to be enrolled to receive this loan? You must be enrolled at least half-time* You must be enrolled at least half-time* You must be enrolled at least half-time*
When does the government pay my interest?
  • While you are enrolled at least half-time*
  • In some cases, for six months after you graduate or drop below half-time* enrollment
  • Deferment periods
You pay all interest charged over the course of your loan term
  • While you are enrolled at least half-time*
  • For nine months after you graduate or drop below half-time* enrollment
  • Deferment periods
Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan? Yes, there is a 1.073% loan origination fee on all disbursements Yes, there is a 1.073% loan origination fee on all disbursements No, there are no other charges
When do I begin repayment? Six months after you graduate or drop below half-time* enrollment Six months after you graduate or drop below half-time* enrollment Nine months after you graduate or drop below half-time* enrollment
Can my loan be canceled, forgiven or discharged? Under certain conditions, you may have all or part of your loan canceled, discharged, or forgiven Under certain conditions, you may have all or part of your loan canceled, discharged, or forgiven Under certain conditions, you may have all or part of your loan canceled, discharged, or forgiven

* Half-time enrollment is six credits for undergraduate students and five credits for graduate students. Equivalency letters cannot be used to substantiate full-time, three-quarter time or half-time enrollment for federal student loans.
† If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance. If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014, it will be eligible for the interest subsidy during your grace period.

Graduate PLUS Loan

Federal Direct PLUS loans are also available for graduate students. Graduate PLUS Loan Info