Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)

The Federal Direct Student Loan is a low interest loan to help you pay for educational expenses.

The U.S. Government is the lender and sets the interest rate and fees. Loans are determined by your year of study, federal limits, financial need, and other types of aid awarded.

There are two kinds of Direct Loans:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (FDSL)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (FDUL)

Graduate students can only receive unsubsidized loans.

For the Subsidized Loan (FDSL), the government pays the interest while you are in school for at least 6 credits. There is a time limit for first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.

To be awarded the Subsidized Loan, a student must:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)
  • Be undergraduate students and demonstrate financial need

For the Unsubsidized Loan (FDUL), interest will accrue while you are in school.

The Unsubsidized Loan is available to students who:

  • Enroll at least 6 credits (5 graduate credits for graduate students)

The loan proceeds are transmitted to ISU Financial Services Office and paid directly to the student's school account. Any balance remaining will be disbursed to the student from Student Financial Services at (208) 282-3000.

Plain Language Loan Disclosure Information is available for students to

Loan Repayment and Interest

When a student leaves college or drops below half-time status (6 credits), they begin loan repayment after the one-time six month grace period. As of July 2012, interest begins accruing at the beginning of the grace period.

Under some conditions, repayment may be deferred. Call your Loan Servicer for information. To determine who your loan servicer is, see "Financial Aid Review" on the National Student Loan Data System.

Terms of Repeat Coursework apply for credit requirements.

Are there any other fees for Federal Student Loans?

A Loan Origination Fee is deducted from the gross amount of the loan you accept.

Pro-rated loans for Fall Semester Graduating Seniors

Federal regulations require student loans for undergraduates who will graduate at the end of fall semester be "pro-rated" for the fall term based on the number of credits in which the student is enrolled.

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are initially awarded based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits).

Loan amounts must be adjusted to reflect actual enrollment if enrolled less than full-time.  Ideally, students should contact the ISU Financial Aid Office prior to disbursement to request a revision to their award if attending less than full-time.  

If adjustments need to be made after disbursement, the student may incur a bill for the over-award.

Be advised:

  • You should enroll only in the classes you need to graduate.
  • Loan eligibility will be based upon the number of credits in which you enroll.
  • You must have a minimum 6 credits to be eligible for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

How much can I borrow?

Depending on your year of study, the federal government has limited the amount you can borrow.

Federal loan limits are determined by U.S. Congress and colleges have no authority to exceed these limits.

Your amount may vary depending on financial need and other types of aid awarded. Loan amounts cannot exceed the annual or aggregate maximums listed below.

Annual Maximum

The actual amount a student receives for an academic year may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown below.

Independent Student Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans

  • Freshman year
    • Up to $9,500
  • Sophomore year
    • Up to $10,500
  • Remaining years of undergraduate study
    • Up to $12,500 for remaining years of undergraduate study

Dependent Student Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans

  • Freshman year
    • Up to $5,500
  • Sophomore year
    • Up to $6,500
  • Remaining years of undergraduate study
    • Up to $7,500 for remaining years of undergraduate study

Graduate and Professional Student Unsubsidized Loans

  • Graduate/professional students are only eligible for unsubsidized student loans after July 1, 2012.
      • Up to $20,500

Direct Loan Limits include subsidized and unsubsidized amounts borrowed in the same school year (aggregate maximum).

Aggregate Maximum

  • Undergraduate Dependent Students:
      • $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
  • Undergraduate Independent Students:
      • $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
  • Graduate and Professional Students:
      • $138,500

Dependent students whose parents cannot obtain a Parent PLUS Loan may also qualify for the following annual amounts through the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program:

  • Freshman year
    • $9,500 if you are a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).
  • Sophomore year
    • $10,500 if you have completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year (no more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).
  • Remaining years of undergraduate study
    • $12,500 if your have completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year (no more than $5,500 or this amount may be in subsidized loans).

How far will these loans take you?

  • Approximately 4.5 years if a "dependent" student borrows the full annual amount available each year.
  • Approximately 5 years if an "independent" student borrows the full annual amount available each year.

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