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Federal Direct Loans

How to apply for a Federal Direct Loan

Federal Direct Loans are the US Department of Education’s primary source of self-help aid. A subsidized Federal Direct Loan is awarded to undergraduates on the basis of need, as determined by the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). No interest is charged for subsidized loans prior to repayment. Eligibility for an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not based on need. Any student enrolled in an approved degree or certificate program can obtain an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan by simply completing the FAFSA application. Interest on unsubsidized loans is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.

Five Steps to Receive a Federal Direct Loan:

1) File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Your award letter will outline the loan amount you are entitled to receive. Students may borrow up to $3,500 for freshman year, $4,500 for sophomore year, and $5,500 for junior and senior years. Undergraduates who qualify for the subsidized Direct Loan may be eligible for up to $2,000 of additional unsubsidized Direct Loan. If eligible, the unsubsidized loan will be included in the financial aid award, and students who choose to borrow the additional $2,000 should accept that fund when they accept their other aid on the WIN self-service system.

Important note to newly-admitted students: Students who have received notification of eligibility for only the unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan should accept and specify the amount of unsubsidized Direct Loan (up to $5,500) that they wish to borrow for the academic year.

2) If you are a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower at Wake Forest University, visit StudentLoans.gov to complete an entrance loan counseling session. Your loan cannot be processed until you have completed entrance loan counseling.

3) All students who are borrowing a Federal Direct Loan from the U.S. Department of Education for the first time must sign a new master promissory note. (This includes students who have previously signed a promissory note with any lender other than the U.S. Department of Education.) This promissory note remains in effect throughout the student’s undergraduate years. To sign a promissory note with the U.S. Department of Education, visit StudentLoans.gov

4) Receive notification from Wake Forest that the loan has been credited to your account.

5) Complete an exit loan counseling session prior to leaving Wake Forest (withdrawal, transfer, graduation, or dropping below half-time attendance.)

Online exit loan counseling is required of all borrowers of Federal Direct Loans, and is available at StudentLoans.gov

The Finaiad.org Loan Repayment Calculator may be helpful in determining what your loan payments will be.