Federal Student Loans

Federal Student Loans

In order to apply for a federal loan, a student must submit a FAFSA (Free Application of Federal Student Aid). Based on a student’s FAFSA report, the Financial Aid Office will determine the maximum amounts and types of loans for which the student and his or her parents are eligible.

Loan funds cannot be disbursed until all necessary requirements are met. If all requirements have not been completed, loan amounts will not be applied to the student’s Fisk bill. You must notify the Financial Aid Office using the appropriate Loan Request and Adjustment form if any changes need to be made to your loans after they have been accepted in the Fisk portal.

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Student Loan Program consists of subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Repayment of Federal Direct Student Loans may be deferred while a student is attending the university on a half-time or full-time basis. The student must begin repayment of the loan six months after leaving school or dropping below half time.

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded according to demonstrated financial need. Interest is paid by the federal government as long as a student is enrolled at least half time at the university. Interest will begin accruing six months after leaving school at the same time as repayment.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is awarded regardless of a student’s demonstrated need. Interest begins accruing from the date of disbursement. By making interest payments while in school, a student can avoid capitalization of the interest. When interest is capitalized, it is added to the principal amount of the loan upon which further interest charges are based.

To view the current interest rates and fees visit the studentaid.gov.

Entrance Counseling and the completion of a Master Promissory Note is required for all students borrowing Federal Direct Loans for the first time.  Both the Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note can be completed at studentaid.gov.

*New Requirement – Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement. New and returning students must complete.

Student Loan Entrance Counseling - If you have not previously received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming.

If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan as a graduate or professional student, the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans.

Your school may have alternate entrance counseling requirements.

Click here to complete Entrance Loan Counseling studentaid.gov

Student Loan – Master Promissory Note (MPN) – The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

You may receive more than one loan under an MPN over a period of up to 10 years to pay for your or your child’s educational costs.

Click here to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) studentaid.gov

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement - The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is a StudentAid.gov tool to inform borrowers of what they owe in federal student loans or, for new borrowers, it provides important information about student loans. This tool will also assist borrowers in planning for the future.

All Federal Direct Loan borrowers will have to acknowledge prior to receiving a loan disbursement for Award Year 2021-22.

Click here to complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement studentaid.gov

Loan Limits
Dependent undergraduate students who are enrolled as regular students in eligible programs may be able to borrow per year up to:

  • $5,500 as a freshman ($3,500 of which can be in subsidized loans)
  • $6,500 as a sophomore ($4,500 of which can be in subsidized loans)
  • $7,500 as a junior or senior ($5,500 of which can be in subsidized loans)

The maximum aggregate loan amount a dependent undergraduate student may borrow is $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be in subsidized loans).

Independent undergraduate students (and dependent students whose parents have been denied access to a Federal PLUS Loan) who are enrolled as regular students in eligible programs may borrow per year up to:

  • $9,500 as a freshman ($3,500 of which can be in subsidized loans)
  • $10,500 as a sophomore ($4,500 of which can be in subsidized loans)
  • $12,500 as junior/senior ($5,500 of which can be in subsidized loans)

The maximum aggregate loan amount an independent undergraduate student may borrow is $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be in subsidized loans).

Graduate students are generally allowed to borrow up to $20,500 each academic year in unsubsidized loans, graduate students are not eligible to receive subsidized loans.

The maximum aggregate loan amount a graduate or professional student may borrow is $138,500.