Federal Direct Student Loans as Financial Aid

Federal Direct Loans are fixed-rate student loans funded by the US Department of Education to help students meet the cost of education. A general overview of the Direct Loan programs for graduate students is provided below. Additional information is available on the Federal Direct Loan website.

Federal Direct Loans for graduate and professional students include:

Federal Student Aid Tools & Resources

Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT): The Federal Student Aid's online, interactive loan counseling tool. This online resource provides students with the basics of financial management and information about their federal student loan debt. The tool also estimates what a student’s student loan debt is likely to be when they leave school and provides financial planning and debt management tips.

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not subsidized; therefore the borrower is responsible for interest for the entire life of the loan. Students may choose to pay interest as it accrues, or they may defer payments. Deferred interest will be added it to the loan balance at repayment. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on need; therefore students who do not qualify for need-based aid may still apply for an Unsubsidized Direct Loan to meet educational expenses. The annual loan amount is $40,500 minus the student's Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility. The annual loan amount is $20,500 for graduate students enrolled in programs other than the DVM program. The school will determine eligibility. The interest rate for loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 is 5.41%. The interest rate for new loans will be set every July 1st for the upcoming academic year. The loan origination fee for loans disbursed after July 1, 2013 will be 1.0510%, increased to 1.072 for new loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013.

Direct Graduate PLUS

The Direct Graduate PLUS loan is a federal loan with a fixed interest rate of 6.41% and a 4.204% loan origination fee. The loan origination fee for new loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 will be 4.288%. Borrowers are eligible to receive up to the cost of education minus all other aid received from all sources. The loan is not subsidized; therefore the borrower is responsible for paying loan interest from the time the loan is disbursed. Payment of interest may be deferred during enrollment. Unpaid interest will be added to the loan balance at repayment.

Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must first apply and be approved for their Stafford Loan eligibility prior to borrowing a Graduate PLUS loan. In addition to meeting the general federal aid eligibility requirements, applicants must have a satisfactory credit history to qualify for a Graduate PLUS loan. Individuals who apply and are turned down due to credit issues are eligible to obtain an endorser (co-signer) and reapply.

Federal loans can be partially or fully pre-paid without penalty.

Direct Loan Application Process

Before applying for a federal loan, students must meet general eligibility requirements. Applicants should refer to the TCSVM financial aid application and instruction packet for additional information about other forms they must complete in order for the Financial Aid Office to determine their student loan eligibility.

The Cummings School will determine loan eligibility based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and using a formula that takes into account the cost of education and other financial aid being received by the student.

After the student receives a notice of financial aid eligibility from the school, the student must take the following actions to receive a loan:

  1. Complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan MPN if also applying for a Graduate PLUS loan.
  2. First time Federal Direct Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan borrowers at the Cummings School must complete student loan entrance counseling.
  3. Return your signed Financial Aid Notification to the Financial Aid Office. Your Financial Aid Notification (provided to you by the aid office after your application has been reviewed) authorizes the aid office to certify the loans you are requesting.