Learn about the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

Education Loans

Students who are eligible for federal student aid can generally qualify for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

The low-interest Federal Direct Subsidized Loan pays the accumulated interest while you are in school. Loan repayment of both the principal and interest begins six months after graduation, withdrawal from school, or dropping to less than half-time enrollment status.

If you are ineligible for need-based aid, you can borrow unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans. You are responsible for paying all the interest on the loan, which accrues during enrollment and continues through repayment.

The annual Federal Direct Loan limits (both subsidized and unsubsidized, combined) are:

  • $5,500 for the first year of undergraduate study;
  • $6,500 for the sophomore year;
  • $7,500 annually for subsequent undergraduate study;
  • The total undergraduate loan limit is $31,000;
  • The annual limit for graduate students is $20,500, depending on individual costs.

Are you a first-time borrower? You'll need to complete a Master Promissory Note and online loan entrance counseling. The Office of Financial Aid will provide details.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Bryant University participates in the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Program. This fixed-rate government loan allows parents who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent residents to borrow funds for their child's undergraduate educational expenses. This program is available to parents of a dependent student who will require additional financing beyond the student's Stafford Loan. Unlike the Stafford, the parent is the borrower, not the student.

Your parents are only responsible for Federal Parent PLUS Loans and private loans they may have cosigned for you. Repayment of the William D. Ford Direct Stafford Loans are entirely your responsibility.

All education loans will generally require a parent borrower or creditworthy cosigner.

A wealth of information is available on the government web site, This informative government site covers virtually all aspects of federal student loans, from application to repayment.

Although there is some variation, most education loans will not require repayment until after you graduate or are no longer enrolled in a degree program. For example, federal student loans allow for a grace period (6 months for Stafford Loans) after graduation during which payment is not required. However, although the government pays interest accrued on subsidized Stafford Loans during the grace period, interest accrues on unsubsidized Stafford Loans during that time. Most private education loans will require repayment to begin after graduation and do not offer a grace period.