Federal Direct Student Loans

One of the most common types of student loans that is awarded to students are the Federal Direct Loans. There are two types of Federal Direct Loans; Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Students may accept the amount of Federal Direct Student Loans that they have decided to borrow by logging into MyBLUE. Students do not have to accept the full amount of the loans, and may enter any partial amount that is decided to be borrowed. A borrower may also contact the Office of Financial Aid to reduce the amount of loan that has been accepted.

For more information on other types of financial aid click here.

For more information on Loan Servicers click here.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

In short, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need.

Overview of Federal Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan:
    • While you’re in school at least half-time,
    • For the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and
    • During a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Overview of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Note: Interest payments to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan do not have to be made while in school. However, the Office of Financial Aid does encourage these borrowers to begin making the interest payments in order to minimize the total debt owed when finishing school. Making the interest payments keeps the loan debt from inflating beyond the original principle amount borrowed.

Interest Rates

Current Rates: Interest Rates for Federal Direct Loans borrowed July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018:
  • Federal Direct Loan Rates {All Lenders}
    Subsidized Undergraduate Loans: 4.45% fixed
    Unsubsidized Undergraduate Loans: 4.45% fixed

For prior year loan interest rates click here.

Aggregate Amounts per Grade Level

Aggregate Limits per grade level

Federal Direct
Subsidized Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans



FR (0-27 credits)





SO (28-57 credits)





JR (58-88 credits)





SR (89+ credits)







$ 0.00



*If a student is classified as an independent student as determined by the FAFSA or if the Parent PLUS Loan was denied, he or she would receive the specified additional amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility depending on grade level.

**This total amount does not include the extra amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan a student may qualify for if independent or if the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan was denied. To get the total amount for these students, add the number in the independent column for their grade level to the total in their grade level.

Counseling Requirements

Entrance Loan Counseling

Students who are borrowing a Federal Direct Loan for the first time are required to complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before the loan can be dispersed out to his or her account. You may access the entrance loan counseling session on the Department of Education's StudentLoans.gov website. Once you complete this online session, the Financial Aid office is notified. If you want to check to see if your confirmation has been received in our office, please review your MyBLUE To Do List. Once this requirement has been met, it will be removed from your checklist. For more information on Entrance Loan Counseling click here.

Exit Loan Counseling

If you have borrowed student loans to help pay for your education and you either apply for graduation from UNK, withdraw from classes, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will be notified of opportunities to attend an Exit Loan Counseling session. Exit Loan Counseling is required for students graduating from UNK. If you will be graduating from UNK and have not yet completed the Exit Loan Counseling session, you will see a reminder on your “To Do List” on MyBLUE. Once you have completed a group counseling session or an online counseling session, the reminder will be removed from your “To Do List.” The purpose of Exit Loan Counseling is to help you become well prepared and knowledgeable regarding the repayment of the student loans you have borrowed.  For more information on Exit Loan Counseling click here.

National Student Loans Data System for Students (NSLDS)

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guarantee agencies, the Federal Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.