The Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. The loans available to graduate and professional students are the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Grad PLUS Loan.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Are loans made to eligible graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.

  • Current 2014-2015 Fixed Interest Rate is 6.21%
  • Annual Loan Limit is $20,500.
  • Aggregate Loan Limit is $138,000

Direct Grad PLUS Loans

Are loans made to graduate or professional students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

  • Current 2014-2015 Fixed Interest Rate is 7.21%
  • Annual Loan Limit is up to cost of attendance minus financial aid awarded
  • Grad PLUS Loan does not have an aggregate limit

Processing your Loan(s)

Accept – in the student portal – the loan you wish to borrow and the amount. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). In most cases, once you've submitted the MPN and it's been accepted, you won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans you receive. You can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years. If you are applying for a Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate/professional student, you'll need to complete and sign a PLUS MPN that is separate from the one that you use for your Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must apply annually. You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan CST plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.

a) Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling on Log in to to check the status of your MPN and other necessary documentation.

b) Direct Grad PLUS Loan: To apply, log in to When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible to receive a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are determined to have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you document to their satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history. After you apply, within 48 hours you will receive a credit check correspondence letter approving or denying your loan.

You must provide a copy of the credit check letter to the Office of Financial Aid. The credit check is good for 90 days.