Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education to students who are enrolled at least half time and pursing a degree.

Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized

You can be eligible for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, depending on your financial need as determined after you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Subsidized Loans are for students who demonstrate need. The federal government pays the interest while you’re enrolled at least half time, pursuing a degree or certificate.
  • Unsubsidized Loans are not based on need. You are responsible for interest that accrues. You can choose to pay the interest while you’re in school, or have accrued interest added to your loan when you enter repayment.

Interest Rates

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Rates vary depending on when the loan is disbursed, and whether a loan is Subsidized or Unsubsidized.

Loans First Disbursed Subsidized Unsubsidized
July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014
3.86% 3.86%
July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 3.4% 6.8%
July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 3.4% 6.8%
July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 4.5% 6.8%

Loan Fees

The fee for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans is 1.051% after 7/1/2013.

Amount

The maximum amount you can borrow depends on your status and the number of credits you have earned.

Credits Earned
Dependent Students Independent Students
0-29 credits
(freshman level)
$5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be Subsidized $9,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be Subsidized
30-59 credits
(sophomore level)
$6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be Subsidized $10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be Subsidized
60+ credits
(junior and senior level)
$7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be Subsidized $12,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be Subsidized
Maximum Total When You Graduate $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

Maximum eligibility period to receive Direct Subsidized Loans

If you are a first-time borrower after July 1, 2013, there is now a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. You may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. For more information, please read the Federal Student Aid announcement published by the U.S. Department of Education.

How to Apply

  1. Follow the steps to apply for financial aid.
  2. Bethel will send you a financial aid award notifying you of loan eligibility.
  3. If you're eligible, make sure you process your loan at least 1 month before you start classes.

More About Direct Loans

For more on Direct Loans, check out information from the U.S. Department of Education:

Apply for Aid

Process Your Loan

Eligible to borrow subsidized or unsubsidized loans? Make sure you process your loan at least 1 month before you start classes.