Federal Direct Loan

Both undergraduates and graduate students may receive Federal Direct Loans.

First-time loan borrowers of a Federal Direct Loan must complete a Master Promissory Note (eMPN) and Entrance Counseling at StudentLoans.gov.

Undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 semester credits at the time of disbursement to be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan. Students enrolled in less than 6 credits are considered less than half-time and may apply for an Alternative Loan to cover the cost of education.

The chart below details the maximum loan amounts for which you may be eligible per academic year. You will automatically be offered the maximum allowable loan limit per year, and it is your responsibility to accept the loan amount that best meets your financial needs.

There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. The subsidized loan is interest free while the student is in school and is awarded based on financial need. Interest accrues on the unsubsidized loan while the student is enrolled in school and the borrower may opt to pay it as it accrues, or allow it to accrue and capitalize. The unsubsidized loan is a non-need based loan program.

NOTE: You must accept a full Federal Subsidized Loan offer before becoming eligible for a Federal Unsubsidized Loan.

Annual Federal Direct Loan Limits
Base Loan Eligibility*
Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Undergraduate Dependent Students
0-29 credits earned (Freshman)
$3,500
$2,000
30-59 credits earned (Sophomore)
$4,500
$2,000
60-89 credits earned (Junior)
$5,500
$2,000
90+ credits earned (Senior)
$5,500
$2,000
Teacher Certification or Second Bachelor's Degree
$5,500
$2,000
Undergraduate Independent Students and Dependent Students Denied PLUS
0-29 credits earned (Freshman)
$3,500
$6,000
30-59 credits earned (Sophomore)
$4,500
$6,000
60-89 credits earned (Junior)
$5,500
$7,000
90+ credits earned (Senior)
$5,500
$7,000
Teacher Certification or Second Bachelor's Degree
$5,500
$7,000
Graduate or Professional Students
$20,500 (ALL unsubsidized)
Total Borrowing Allowed (sum of all years)
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 ($23,000 max subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate or Dependent Undergraduate Denied PLUS $57,500 ($23,000 max subsidized)
Graduate/Professional $138,500 ($65,000 max subsidized) (includes borrowing as an undergraduate)
* Base Loan Eligibility may be either subsidized or unsubsidized as determined by student's need on the FAFSA

Loan eligibility may decrease if you receive other financial aid that covers a portion of educational costs. Federal regulations will not allow total aid to exceed the cost of attendance. If you are a graduate student, be aware that a graduate assistantship tuition waiver might reduce your loan eligibility.

Already a current student at Ship and need information about your financial aid package? Check your financial aid status on your myShip portal. And be sure to check out the helpful links below about paying for college.