How is my loan eligibility determined?
To determine eligibility for federal student loans, you must first apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will use the same PIN to complete your FAFSA and your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Visit http://www.pin.ed.gov to apply for a PIN or to ask questions about a previously assigned PIN.
Direct Subsidized Loans
To qualify for a Direct Subsidized Loan, you must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The results, your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), reveal how much you and your family should contribute toward your education costs. Your cost of attendance minus your expected family contribution establishes your financial need.
Direct Subsidized Loans are interest free while you are attending school.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Financial need is not required to qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, but the cost of your education must exceed any other financial aid you have been awarded.
With a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you are responsible for interest payments even while you are in school. You can either make interest payments or postpone them. If you postpone interest payments, interest will be added to your principal balance. This is known as capitalization. Capitalization increases the total amount you will repay. You will save money by making your interest payments.