Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Loan Limits

Direct Loan limits vary by academic level (undergraduate and graduate) and repayment begins 6 months after a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Within each "class" level, students are limited in the amount of Direct Loan loan they can borrow.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are available only to undergraduate students, are limited by the student's financial need and do not accrue interest as long as the student is enrolled at least half time (6 credits for undergraduate students).

The amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan students may receive is limited by the student's cost of attendance less any other financial aid that has been awarded.  The unsubsidized loan begins to accrue interest after the first disbursement. Direct Loan benefits are discussed during the student's required entrance counseling session and may be reviewed on the federal entrance counseling website.

Rates and Fees

For 2018-19, the interest rate for undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans is 5.045%.  For graduate students, the unsubsidized direct loan interest rate is 6.595%

A 1.069% origination fee is charged for each Direct Stafford Loan before it is disbursed to a student's account. For example, on a loan of $1,000, $989 will be disbursed to the student's account.

First Time Borrowers

Federal Direct Loan borrowers must complete both an Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note before these loans can be disbursed. You can find out if you are missing these items via SUOnline from the Financial Aid portal. 

Students must complete both documents online with the same Federal Student Aid ID and password they used to electronically sign the FAFSA. Students who have forgotten their FSA ID or password, can complete steps to retrieve or reset their information.  


When a student's financial aid file is complete and the appropriate documents have been completed, loan funds will automatically be disbursed to the student's Seattle University account each quarter, provided the student is registered at least half-time. For undergraduate students this means at least 6 credits each term. For graduate students, it means at least 3 credits each term.

Loan Servicers

After a loan has been disbursed, the Federal Department of Education will assign it to one of their loan servicers.  That loan servicer will be responsible for answering questions about the loan accounts of the students assigned to them, for processing deferments and forbearances and for sending out bills and processing loan payments. 

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that their loan servicer always has their current billing address and phone number.  Students who have more than one loan may have more than one loan servicer. 

Students are able to see who is responsible for servicing their loans by going to www.nslds.ed.gov and clicking on "Financial Aid Review" or calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Exit Counseling

Students who graduate, drop below half-time or stop attending and have borrowed from the Stafford Direct Loan Program are required to complete an Exit Counseling session. The exit process must be completed even if the student plans to return to SU or has transferred to another school. The same FSA ID and password used on the FAFS, will also used when signing in to complete exit counseling.