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Federal Direct Student Loans (formerly Stafford Loans)

Students: Borrowing a Direct Student loan? All students must complete:

  1. An electronic Master Promissory Note, and
  2. Entrance Counseling (new borrowers only).
Both of these requirements must be completed online at StudentLoans.gov.

Note: If you are experiencing technical difficulties completing your electronic Master Promissory Note or Entrance Counseling, please ensure that you are using a supported browser.

Student loans are the major form of self-help aid available to KSC students with at least half-time enrollment in a degree seeking program (6 credits per semester for undergraduates or a Department of Education approved certificate program).

Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans disbursed after July 1, 2010 will be charged a fee of 1.0%. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The fee will be applied before any loan funds are disbursed.

The U.S. government is the lender under this Direct Loan program. All repayments will also be made back to the U.S. government through Borrower Services at the Direct Loan Servicing Center.

ALL students borrowing from the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for their Direct Loan. This Direct Loan MPN is valid for ten years.

The electonic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) must be completed before funds can be credited to your term bill generated by KSC's Student Accounts Office. This MPN can be signed with your federal PIN. To retrieve or apply for your federal PIN, visit the PIN website.

The online Entrance Counseling session assures that you understand your rights and responsibilities in using federal loans. Before DL funds are credited to your term bill generated by KSC's Student Accounts Office, this Entrance Counseling must be completed.

The Federal Direct loan awarded may be subsidized and/or unsubsidized, as described below:

A subsidized Federal Direct loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest is not charged during periods of at least half time enrollment. The interest rate for loans disbursed after July 1, 2012 will be 3.4%. Information about interest rates for loans disbursed before July 1, 2012 can be found here.

An unsubsidized Federal Direct loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest (6.8%) from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you are in school, or during other periods of non-payment, it will be capitalized. This means the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

Increased Loan Limits (Effective July 1, 2008)

Additional unsubsidized Stafford loan limits applicable to undergraduate students are increased for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008. Subsidized limits (up to base amount) are unchanged. For students enrolled as regular students in eligible programs, annual Stafford loan limits are as follows:

Dependent Students (Except Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow PLUS) Base amount Additional unsubsidized loan amount
Prior to July 1, 2008 Effective July 1, 2008
Freshmen (0-29 credits) $3,500 $0 $2,000
Sophomore (30-59 credits) $4,500 $0 $2,000
Junior or Senior (60+ credits) $5,500 $0 $2,000


Independent Undergraduate Students and Dependent Students Whose Parents Cannot Borrow a PLUS Loan Base amount Additional unsubsidized loan amount
Prior to July 1, 2008 Effective July 1, 2008
Freshmen (0-29 credits) $3,500 $4,000 $6,000
Sophomore (30-59 credits) $4,500 $4,000 $6,000
Junior or Senior (60+ credits) $5,500 $5,000 $7,000


Graduate and Professional Students Base amount Additional unsubsidized loan amount
  $8,500 Unchanged at $12,000

Aggregate Loan Limits (Effective July 1, 2008)

  • Undergraduate Dependent Students: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized).
  • Undergraduate Independent Students: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized).
  • Graduate and Professional Students: currently $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which can be subsidized).

If your class level changes during the year, you may be eligible for an increase in your Federal Direct Loan. If you wish to request an increase in your loan amount, please contact us via email or stop by our office to present the request in writing. For example, a second year student might begin the fall semester with 19 credits and have a Federal Direct Loan of $3,500. During the fall semester, the student earns 12 credits, for a total of 31 credits by the beginning of the spring semester. The spring loan award could then be increased from $1,750 to $2,250 upon request.

The Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Ombudsman helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans.

You may access your prior loan information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website. This site contains all of your federal Title IV aid history.

Return to Loans


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