Loans

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (also called Stafford Loans) are part of the Federal Direct Loan Program, which are offered through the U.S. Department of Education. Loans are types of financial aid that will need to be repaid, with interest, after you graduate or leave college. Most student loans are Direct Loans.

You are considered for these when applying for financial aid and completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You will be required to complete Direct Loan Program requirements in order to receive any Direct Loan funds.

If you are an eligible undergraduate awarded Direct Loans or a graduate or professional student awarded an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, it will appear on your financial aid award.

If you are not eligible for Direct Loans or need additional resources to cover college costs, you may want to apply separately for a supplemental loan through the federal government or a private lender.

Differences between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are offered to undergraduate students with financial need. They have a low fixed interest rate and do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Students do not make payments until six months after graduating or drop below half-time. Direct Subsidized Loans are available only to undergraduate borrowers.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students with or without financial need. These loans accrue interest while the student is in school and during deferments and grace periods. Students may defer interest payments until after they graduate, but doing so will result in a higher loan payment of the life of the loan.

Interest rates on these loans change each June with changes becoming effective on July 1 of each year. Loan origination fees are adjusted each fall due to federal sequestration legislation.

Eligibility, Loan Terms, and Requirements

Direct Subsidized Loan

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Need-based
  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at least half-time
  • Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Students borrowing after June 30, 2013 have time limits on how long they can receive loans

Loan Terms:

  • 3.76% fixed interest rate (effective July 1, 2016. Rates change each July 1.)
  • .069% for loans originated October 1, 2016. (Fees change each fall.)
  • Repayment deferred and no interest while enrolled at least half-time>
  • Can be consolidated with other federal loans

Additional information/requirements:

  • First-time Direct Loan borrowers must complete an online Direct Loan Master Promissory Note before receiving their loan funds.
  • First-time borrowers at Gallaudet University must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
  • Exit Counseling required when student graduates or drops below half-time.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Non-need-based
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program
  • Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

Loan Terms:

  • 3.76% fixed interest rate for undergraduates (effective July 1, 2016. Rates change each July 1.)
  • 5.31% fixed interest rate for graduate students (effective July 1, 2016. Rates change each July 1.)
  • 1.069% for loans originated October 1, 2016. Fees change each fall.)
  • Interest accrues immediately; paid periodically or capitalized
  • Principal repayment deferred while enrolled at least half-time
  • Can be consolidated with other federal loans

Additional information/requirements:

Limited deferment provisions; see "Be a Responsible Borrower: Plan Ahead and Graduate with Less Debt" and "Repaying Your Loans" on the U.S. Department of Education website.

  • First-time Direct Loan borrowers must complete an online Direct Loan Master Promissory Note before receiving their loan funds.
  • First-time borrowers at Gallaudet University must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
  • Exit Counseling required when student graduates or drops below half-time.

Completing Your Loan Requirements

To receive your Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete two Direct Loan Program requirements. You must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete entrance counseling online at studentloans.gov.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) authorizes the university to credit the loan funds to your Gallaudet student account for multiple years. MPNs are generally good for 10 years, so most students do not need to complete them more than once during their time at Gallaudet University, unless you have been out of school for one year or more.

If you sign a MPN and do not want loans in future years, you must decline the loan the following year or it will be disbursed to you.

The borrower completes the MPN. Parents complete an MPN for a Direct PLUS Loan, graduate/professional students complete an MPN for Direct Grad PLUS Loans, and students complete an MPN for a Direct Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) or Perkins Loan.

Before completing the MPN, collect this information:

  • A U.S. Department of Education FSA ID to complete the promissory note on the web. If you do not already have an FSA ID, apply for one immediately. It takes up to 3 business days to receive your FSA ID by email and 7-10 business days to receive it by regular mail. If you already have an FSA ID, but you cannot locate it, visit https://fsaid.ed.gov (Your FSA ID is NOT the same as the DRN number shown on your Student Aid Report.)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your permanent address and telephone number
  • Your driver's license number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for two references

Complete your Direct Loan MPN online at StudentLoans.gov. Sign in under Manage My Direct Loan. (If you are a new borrower, follow the instructions for applying for an FSA ID.) After signing in, select Complete the Master Promissory Note. Select the correct type of loan note.

*Be sure to select the correct name and address for Gallaudet University:

Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Entrance Counseling

If you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower at Gallaudet University, you must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling on the U.S. Department of Education's StudentLoans.gov website under the "Complete Counseling" link. This interactive counseling session and quiz helps students develop budgets for managing educational expenses and also understand their loan responsibilities. You must complete the counseling before your loan funds can be disbursed to you. (NOTE: Entrance Counseling is not the same as the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool on the same site. Taking a demo counseling session will not fulfill your requirement.)

Exit Counseling

This is required for Direct Loan student borrowers who are graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment. This counseling session helps borrowers understand their rights and responsibilities in repayment and helps them choose a repayment plan. You must use your Department of Education FSA ID to access this counseling session. To complete the Exit Counseling session, go to the StudentLoans.gov website. Click the "Complete Counseling" link and follow the link to "Exit Counseling" to begin. (NOTE: Exit Counseling is not the same as the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool on the same site. Taking a demo counseling session will not fulfill your requirement.)

Receiving Your Loan Funds

To receive your loan funds, you must have signed all of your loan documents and be enrolled at least half-time.

If you want to reduce or decline a loan AFTER you have already received the funds, contact the Financial Aid Office right away. (Students must personally decline or reduce their awards; parents cannot do this for a student.) Parents of dependent students who have a federal PLUS Loan may send an email or letter to our office asking to have the loan reduced or canceled.

Sample Repayment Schedule - 5% Interest

Total Amount BorrowedNumber of Monthly PaymentsAmount of Monthly PaymentsAmount of Final PaymentTotal Interest PaidTotal Amount Repaid
$500 17 $10.00 $9.32 $19.32 $519.32
$1,000< 35 $30.00 $28.85 $78.85 $1,078.85
$1,500 56 $30.00 $5.50 $185.50 $1,685.50<
$2,500 102 $30.00 $17.34 $577.34 $3,077.34
$4,000< 119 $42.50 $30.97 $1,088.47 $5,088.47
$6,000 119 $63.75 $46.66 $1,632.91 7,632.90
$12,000 119 $128.00 $16.01 $3,248.01 $15,248.01

Sample Repayment Schedule - 8% Interest

Total Amount BorrowedNumber of Monthly PaymentsAmount of Monthly PaymentsTotal Interest PaidTotal Amount Repaid
$1,000 18 $59.14 $64.52 $1,064.52
$2,000 36 $62.67 $256.22 $2,256.22
$3,000 72 $52.60 $787.18 $3,787.18
$4,000 108 $52.08 $1,624.08 $5,624.08
$6,000 120 $72.80 $2,735.59 $8,735.59
$7,000 120 $84.93 $3,191.52 $10,191.52
$9,000 120 $109.19 $4,103.38 $13,103.38
$10,000 120 $121.33 $4,559.31 $14,559.31

Private Loan Programs: Students are required to complete the Application Instructions for Financial Aid before applying for a private loan. Only students who do not qualify for Federal Stafford or PLUS loans (or who have reached annual maximum limits) should consider applying for a Private Student Loan. Gallaudet will not certify a private student loan for special students and if a student has not submitted both the IFAA and FAFSA for the requested loan period. Private loans are not subsidized. All applications for alternative loans must be submitted by the end of November for Fall semester and the end of April for Spring. Qualifications and guidelines will vary among alternative loan providers. For more information regarding private student loans, please contact your personal banking institution.

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Receiving gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan services
  • Contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
  • Directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications
  • Offers of funds for private loans
  • Call center or financial aid office staffing assistance
  • Advisory board compensation

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