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Federal Direct Loan

Eligibility (Eligibility Chart)

Eligible students filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be considered for a student William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. Upon verification of eligibility, completion of a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling (if you are a first-time borrower), the loan funds will be credited to your student Bursar account.

You must be enrolled at least half-time each term of the loan period to be eligible to receive a student William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan. Half-time is defined as six or more credit hours for undergraduate students.

Two Types

Subsidized Loans

  • This loan is available to students who demonstrate financial need.
  • For a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest: while you are in school for at least 6 credit hours, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as the grace period) and during a period of deferment (postponement of loan repayment).
  • The amount of your subsidized loan cannot exceed financial need or the annual loan limit set by the federal government, whichever is the lesser amount.

Unsubsidized Loans

  • This loan does not require students to demonstrate financial need.
  • The federal government does not pay the interest on an unsubsidized loan.
  • The amount is determined by the following equation:

Cost of Attendance
minus Federal Pell Grant, if eligible
minus Subsidized Loan, if eligible
minus any other financial aid received by the student
= Amount of unsubsidized loan (up to the annual limit)

Loan Limits

The amount you can borrow may be limited by factors such as other financial aid you may receive. The loans are for educational purposes and can never exceed the cost of your attendance less any other aid.

Loan availability criteria
Year in School Dependent Student Independent Student
First Year (0-29 credits earned) $5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second Year (30 or more credits earned) $6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Third/Fourth Year (60 or more credits earned)

$7,500 per year-No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500-No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Undergraduate Aggregate (Lifetime) Borrowing Limits $31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

NOTE: The amounts shown in the chart are the maximum for one academic year. However, the amount offered may be less depending on the other financial aid that you receive during the same academic year.


The following requirements must be completed before Federal Direct Loans disburse. Students will need their FSA ID obtained from the U.S. Department of Education. Your FSA ID is the same username and password you used to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. If you did not complete your FAFSA online, do not have a FSA ID, or have misplaced your FSA ID, visit the U.S. Department of Education's FSA ID site. The following requirements are completed on

  • Master Promissory Note

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). Federal Direct Student Loan borrowers may receive more than one loan under an MPN over a period of up to 10 years to pay for educational costs.

  • Entrance Counseling

Students who are first time Federal Direct Loan borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the borrowing responsibilities and obligations.



Once we have received notification from the Direct Loan Servicing Center that you completed the promissory note and entrance counseling session, we will update your account with these documents. It may take as long as 72 hours for us to receive notification after you have completed the documents online. The loan money will be directly applied to your student account as long as you meet the general eligibility requirements for federal financial aid and you are enrolled for at least six credit hours. Loan money will pay for tuition and fees. If you authorize the loan to pay toward books, the loan money will also allow for book charges. If there is any remaining loan money after these charges are paid, a refund will be generated and sent to BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. to be disbursed through your chosen refund preference. For more information about refunds please visit Sinclair's refund policy

Federal law requires that all Direct Loans be disbursed in at least two installments. Students receiving a loan for the entire academic year will be set up to receive a check with excess loan funds, if any, in each term. Students receiving a loan for just one term will still receive their loans in two disbursements. The second disbursement will not be made before half of the term is over. In addition, Sinclair does not disburse Direct Loan funds to new borrowers until after 30 days have elapsed from the beginning of the term.

**If you are new to Sinclair and new to student loan program, your first disbursement will not be applied to your student account until the 31st day of the term. Sinclair will provide temporary funds to help provisionally pay tuition, fees and, if authorized, books. When we receive the federal loan money, the temporary funds will be removed, and any remaining loan money will be refunded to you. If you withdraw from all of your classes before the 31st day or are enrolled in less than 6 credit hours for which you established attendance at the time the loan is scheduled to disburse, the loan disbursement will be canceled, and you will owe Sinclair for any temporary funds that were used.

Changing your loan amounts

Although your signature on the eMPN allows us to make multiple loans to you under a single promissory note, you are not required to accept the loan amount that we award you. You should notify us immediately in writing if you want to borrow a lesser amount than what was awarded. Request a Change of Award form on FA Online Forms. In addition, you may cancel all or a portion of your loan(s) after the funds have been credited to your student account by notifying the Financial Aid & Scholarships office in writing ( within 30 days after the date of the disbursement notice.

Exit Counseling

Prior to graduating or leaving college, Federal Direct Loan student borrowers are required to complete an Exit Counseling session. This Exit Counseling session has been created to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a federal student loan borrower.

Borrower's Responsibilities—Repayment

You are required to begin making payments on your Federal Direct Stafford Loans after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Plan ahead for repayment and budget wisely. You have a six month grace before you must begin repayment. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program offers loan repayment plans designed to meet the needs of almost every borrower and allows you to choose which repayment plan is best for you. Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers may choose between the standard, extended, graduated, income contingent, and income-based repayment plans.

Your loan will be originated with the Direct Loan Servicing Center (1-800-848-0979), which, in addition to information on repayment plans, provides a repayment estimator to help you determine how much you pay and how long it will take to repay your loan based on the plan chosen. Calculations are estimates and the values may not reflect the actual amount computed by the Direct Loan Servicing Center.

Approximately 7-10 business days after the first disbursement of your loan, your loan is assigned to a loan servicer who will then send you information regarding your loan. Repayment of your loan is managed by your loan servicer. To review your loans and to obtain your loan servicer contact information, you may access You will need to login using your FSA ID.

If You Already Have a Student Loan

If you already have a student loan that was made through the Direct Stafford Loan Program along with a FSA ID, you can get your most recent account information from


If you have a problem making your monthly loan payments, you may be able to postpone your payments through a deferment or forbearance request. Deferments are also an option if you are returning to school after an absence. You may also be eligible to have your Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Perkins Loan forgiven (see listing of forgiveness programs).

If you have exhausted your deferment and forbearance options, and/or want to avoid a default, you may also want to consider a loan consolidation. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine one or more of your federal education loans into a new loan that offers several advantages. For more information, see Direct Consolidation Loans.

Student Loan Code of Conduct

The guiding principles for ensuring the integrity of the student aid process and the ethical conduct of employees in regard to student loan practices are provided in Sinclair's Student Loan Code of Conduct.