Direct Loans

Understanding
Direct Stafford loans are federal loans for undergraduate and graduate students. There are two types of Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Students at UNI borrow their Stafford loans directly from the federal government through Direct Loans.

  • Subsidized Stafford loans provide fixed low interest rates (4.5% for undergraduate students beginning 7/1/2010, 6.8% for graduate students) and are available to students who demonstrate financial need based on income and other information provided on the FAFSA. A credit check is not required to receive these loans. An origination fee is withheld from the loan. The federal government pays the interest on these loans until six months after the student is no longer enrolled in school at least half time.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford loans provide fixed low interest rates (6.8%) and are available to all students regardless of financial need (although the FAFSA still must be filed). A credit check is not required to receive these loans. An origination fee is withheld from the loan. The student is responsible for the interest, which may be paid while the student is in school or accrued and then added to the principal balance when the student enters repayment, which occurs six months after the student is no longer enrolled in school at least half time.

A student may qualify to borrow both subsidized and unsubsidized loans based upon his/her demonstrated financial need and the maximum loan limit per grade level.
The chart below indicates the maximum annual combined subsidized and unsubsidized loan amounts for the Fall 2010, Spring 2011 and Summer 2011 award year.

Grade Level

Dependent Undergraduates

Independent Undergraduates

Graduate and Professional Students

Freshmen
(0-29 hours)

$5,500

$9,500

$20,500 - no more than $8,500 in subsidized loans

No more than $3,500 in subsidized loans

Sophomore
(30-59 hours)

$6,500

$10,500

No more than $4,500 in subsidized loans

Junior & Senior
(60+ hours)

$7,500

$12,500

No more than $5,500 in subsidized loans

2nd BA & Teacher certification

NA

$12,500 - no more than $5,500 in subsidized loans

Total amount you can borrow

$31,000

$57,500

No more than $23,000 in subsidized loans

$138,500 - no more than $65,500 in subsidized loans

The loan amounts listed above cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. Loan proceeds exceeding University charges are disbursed to the student as a refund by direct deposit to the student’s designated bank account.
Mid-year graduating students (December) may only borrow a portion of their annual loan limit.
 
Accepting
To accept Direct Loans, the borrower must complete the online award notification, promissory note, and entrance counseling.
All loans must be accepted, reduced, or declined on the student’s online Award Notification, found under the My Personal Records tab of MyUNIverse.
Students should complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at www.studentloans.gov (using their FAFSA PIN), or they may request a paper MPN from the UNI Office of Student Financial Aid if unable to complete the MPN online.
The MPN covers both the Direct subsidized loan and the Direct unsubsidized loan. The MPN does not show a specific loan amount because it also serves as the promissory note for future Direct Loans at UNI (valid for up to 10 years). The amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans a student is eligible to receive is included on the Award Notification. By completing the MPN, students are agreeing to repay to the US Department of Education all loans made to them under the terms of the MPN. Direct Loan funds cannot be disbursed until the MPN is submitted and approved by the Department of Education. Processing of the loan(s) usually takes one week if the MPN is completed electronically, and up to three weeks if a paper MPN is completed.
If students are borrowing Direct Loans at UNI for the first time, they must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling before they are eligible to receive their loan proceeds. Students may complete the Loan Entrance Counseling on the web at www.studentloans.gov or attend a Loan Entrance Counseling Session held during Summer Orientation.