Federal Direct Loans
To apply for your Direct Loan and all other forms of financial aid, visit www.bc.edu/financialaid.
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department), though the entity you deal with once you go into repayment, your loan servicer, can be a private business.
With Direct Loans, you:
- Borrow directly from the Federal government and have a single contact — your loan servicer — for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
- Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your servicer's web site.
- Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower.
- Can switch repayment plans if your needs change.
The Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans:
PLEASE NOTE: Effective for loans made for periods of enrollment beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized Federal Direct Loans.
Eligibility for a subsidized Direct Loan is based on your demonstrated financial need as determined by Federal regulation. No interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time, during the grace period*, and during deferment periods. Repayment begins six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
*For new Direct Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2014, interest will accrue during the grace period.
The fixed interest rate for undergraduate borrowers is as follows:
- If first disbursed on or after July 1, 2010 and prior to July 1, 2011—4.5%
- If first disbursed on or after July 1, 2011, and prior to July 1, 2012—3.4%
- If first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012—3.4%
Eligibility is not based on demonstrated need. Interest is charged during all periods, even while in school, in grace, or in deferment. The interest rate is 6.8% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, for both undergraduate and graduate students. Repayment of the principal begins six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time, though interest payments begins 30 days after the first disbursement.
Direct Annual Loan Limits
Effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008:
|Grade Level||Subsidized Federal
|Freshman||$3,500||Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $6,000
|Dependent = $5,500
Independent = $9,500
|Sophomore||$4,500||Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $6,000
|Dependent = $5,500
Independent = $10,500
|Junior/Senior||$5,500||Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $7,000
|Dependent = $7,500
Independent = $12,500
|Aggregate Loan Limits||$23,000||Dependent = $31,000
Independent = $57,500
|Graduate and Professional||$8,500||$12,000||$20,500|
|Aggregate Loan Limits||$65,500||Total Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional = $138,500|
Except for parent Direct PLUS Loan borrowers, if you haven't previously received a loan, you must complete Entrance Counseling before your school can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you understand your responsibilities regarding your loan. You can complete this counseling online.
The Master Promissory Note
To take out a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). You can complete the MPN online at the StudentLoans.gov web site. The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education–issued PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN website.
In most cases, once you've submitted the MPN and it's been accepted, you won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans you receive.
You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.
Resources for Students/Borrowers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Direct.ed.gov — The U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan homepage
- StudentLoans.gov — The U.S. Department of Education's portal for Direct Loan borrowers
- Locate/Repay your Federal Student Loan — Student Access to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
- The Department of Education's Direct Loan Applicant Services hotline: 800-557-7394