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Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Program

The Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Program was created to make long-term, low-interest loans available to assist students in financing their education. This is an entitlement program. All students who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may borrow direct subsidized/unsubsidized federal loans.

The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program are administered by the Department of Education and funded by the US Department of Treasury.

Jump to: Important Facts | Eligibility RequirementsInterest Rate/Fees | Process | Processing Loan Requests


Important Facts

Eligible law students and graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year through a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Maximum annual and aggregate loans available to a student depend on the loan program. Total aggregate borrowing in the federal loan program cannot exceed $138,500 for a graduate student; this amount includes any undergraduate borrowing.

Loan amounts for undergraduate students depend on the student’s grade level, dependency status, and previous borrowing. Interest on a portion of the loan may be subsidized by the federal government dependent upon demonstration of sufficient financial need by the borrower. Amounts in excess of the student's computed financial need are unsubsidized. Undergraduate students may access $2,000 in unsubsidized loan funds. The maximum aggregate loan amount available to an independent undergraduate student is $57,500. The maximum aggregate loan amount available to a dependent undergraduate student is $31,000.00.

Federal Loan Limits Chart (pdf)

Eligibility Criteria

Interest Rate and Fees

The Federal Direct Loan Program sets interest rates on an annual basis with the rate assigned at disbursement fixed for the life of the loan. Interest rates are fixed by the Department of Education based on a rate formula that uses the “high yield of the 10-year Treasury bill rate sold at the prior to June 1plus factor (add-ins) points.” Rates are capped and cannot exceed the cap regardless of the formulas results. Interest rates are set in June for loans disbursed on or after July 1. The chart below shows the rate formulas and caps.


Loan Type Rate Formula Cap
Undergraduate Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans T-bill + 2.05% 8.25%
Graduate Unsubsidized Loans T-bill +3.60% 9.50%
PLUS Loans (Graduate and Parent) T-bill + 4.60% 10.50%

A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan has a fixed interest rate of 6.54% for loans disbursed July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 to graduate/professional students. Undergraduate students are charged a fixed interest rate of 4.99% for subsidized and unsubsidized loans disbursed between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. All Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are charged a 1.057% origination fee for loans disbursed  prior to October 1, 2023. Origination fees and interest rate formulas may change due to congressional action. For more information on the Federal Direct Loan programs interest rates and fee structure:

Application Process

  • To borrow federal loan funds, all incoming students and new borrowers must complete a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at:
  • To sign your MPN electronically, you will need your FSA User ID and password. This is the same FSA User ID and password you would have used to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Select “Complete Master Promissory Note” and then select “Subsidized/Unsubsidized.” The application process is complete once you have electronically signed the MPN with your FSA User ID.
  • When completing the Federal Direct Stafford Loan MPN you will notice that you do not need to enter a requested loan amount. The Stafford MPN is a serial note that is valid for ten years and the borrower authorizes the school to annually increase the aggregate limit. Please complete the box on Delaware Law’s Institutional Data form to provide that information.
  • If you are a returning student who has previously borrowed at Delaware Law, your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN is valid for ten years.  You may authorize the Law School to increase your aggregate loan amount each year. Please complete the box on Delaware Law’s Data form to provide that information.
  • Delaware Law code on E01803 - Widener University - Delaware Campus

Processing Loan Requests

Delaware Law’s Office of Financial Aid electronically certifies student requests for Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans. If you have not completed your Stafford Direct Loan MPN at the time we certify your eligibility, you will be contacted to complete the process. If you have a concern or want to notify us that you have completed the application, please feel free to contact us via email: [email protected].

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