Richmond Home

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are available to eligible students enrolled in an eligible degree program on at least a half-time basis (six credit hours per term).

All degree and certificate programs at the School of Professional and Continuing Studies are eligible except for the Certificate in Information Security and the leadership certificate programs.

Students interested in applying for a Federal Direct Loan must:

To accept or decline your offered loans:

1) First-time borrowers only, complete the Authorization to apply Title IV funds by:

  • Accepting the Authorization of Title IV funds in  BannerWeb. To complete your Authorization electronically, follow the instructions here.
  • If you are a Prospective Undergraduate or a Prospective Law student you may also complete your Authorization by signing the Award Acceptance form that was provided with your award letter and returning it to our office. It can be returned to us via email at, by fax at (804)484-1650, or by mail.

2) Accept or decline all or a portion of your Federal Direct Loans via BannerWeb. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

3) First time borrowers only – complete entrance counseling and sign your Master Promissory Note electronically at

In order to ensure your loans are processed and applied to your account by the first day of class, complete the above loan requirements at least six weeks prior to the first day of classes. If any of the above requirements are completed after that date, aid will be processed but it may not be available by the first day of class.

There are two categories of Federal Direct Loans:

Direct Subsidized Loans are made to students who demonstrate eligibility for need-based financial aid. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on the Subsidized Loan while the student is enrolled, and payments need not be made until six months after graduation, withdrawal from school, or reduction to less than half-time status.

Beginning July 1, 2013, a new borrower may receive Federal Direct Subsidized loans for up to 150 percent of the published length of the borrower’s educational program. Should a borrower exceed this period, he or she is no longer eligible for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. The borrower also becomes responsible for accruing interest during all periods as of the date the borrower exceeds the 150 percent limit. Additional information is provided by the Department of Education.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to those students who do not demonstrate eligibility for need-based aid. Interest does accrue on the Unsubsidized Loan during the student’s enrollment. Repayment of principal plus accrued interest begins six months after graduation, withdrawal from school, or reduction to less than half-time status. (Accrued interest may be paid during enrollment, if the student wishes to do so.)

Annual loan limits vary by the student's year in school. The actual loan amount may be reduced by the expected family contribution and/or other aid. Undergraduates may borrow up to the following amounts from the Direct Loan program:

  • Freshmen: $5,500 (no more than $3,500 as a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan)
  • Sophomores: $6,500 (no more than $4,500 as a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan)
  • Juniors and seniors: $7,500 (no more than $5,500 as a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan)

The loan may be subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of the two.

Independent undergraduates may also borrow amounts, in addition to the annual loan limits listed above, from the Direct Unsubsidized Loan:

  • Freshmen and sophomores: $4,000
  • Juniors and seniors: $5,000

Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 in Direct Unsubsidized Loan only.

Interest rates are set by the federal government every July 1st for the following year. The interest rate for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019, is 5.05%. A 1.062% origination fee is deducted from the amount borrowed.

The interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019, is 6.60%. A 1.062% origination fee is deducted from the amount borrowed.

The Standard Repayment Plan allows for a repayment period of 10 years. Alternative repayment plans allowing for a longer repayment period are available.

Upon receipt of the appropriate application materials, the Office of Financial Aid will determine your eligibility and originate your loan. If you have previously borrowed a Direct Loan and signed a Master Promissory Note, then you will not need to sign another Note. New borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note. First time borrowers must also complete Loan Entrance Counseling. Both may be completed at

For academic year loans, two equal disbursements are made—one at the beginning of each semester—through a direct credit to your account with the University of Richmond. For summer session and single term loans, one disbursement is made at the beginning of the term.

What's the difference?

The federal government pays interest that accrues on a Direct Subsidized loan while the student is enrolled. A student must qualify for need-based aid in order to qualify for the government's subsidized loan program.

Any student can borrow through the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program, but will eventually have to pay back any accrued interest.

Both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans offer better terms than PLUS and private loans.

Contact Us

(804) 289-8438
Fax: (804) 484-1650
Queally Center, Suite 214
142 UR Drive
University of Richmond, VA 23173

Open weekdays, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m

Staff listing