Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

The Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a need-based loan. Students borrowing the Subsidized Loan do not pay interest on the loan while they are enrolled at least half-time.

Description Eligibility/Requirements Terms
  • Federally funded
  • 3.86% fixed interest rate
  • Existing Direct Loans can be consolidated
  • Find additional information as well as a borrowing maximums chart on the Department of Education's website.
  • Effective for loans made for payment periods that begin on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized loans. However, if you are a graduate or professional student, you may still qualify for up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loans each year.
  • Need-based
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program
  • Students accepting Direct Loan funds for the first time must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note before receiving their loan funds. Click here for information.
  • First-time SMU borrowers must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is not a need-based loan. Students borrowing the Unsubsidized Loan must pay interest while they are enrolled in school. This Unsubsidized Loan does allow you to defer the interest payments until you graduate; however, this will result in a higher loan payment over the life of the loan, so you will pay more in the long run.

Description Eligibility/Requirements Terms
  • Federally funded
  • 3.86% fixed interest rate
  • Existing Direct Loans can be consolidated
  • Find additional information as well as a borrowing maximums chart on the Department of Education's website
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program
  • Students accepting Direct Loan funds for the first time must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note before receiving their loan funds. Click here for information.
  • First-time SMU borrowers must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
  • Interest begins accruing immediately; may be paid periodically or capitalized (see promissory note)
  • Repayment of principal is deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time
  • Limited deferment provisions; see Repaying Your Student Loans and the Dept. of Education website (information specifically for teachers)
  • 1.0% origination fee. Because of this fee, the actual Direct Loan amount applied to your University account will be lower than that listed on your award notice.

Apply for the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans

Once you have filed the FAFSA and received your SMU Award Notification Letter/Email, follow the steps below to complete your loan application.

  1. Log into your my.SMU student account to accept your loan. You may accept, reduce, or decline your loan. *** If there is no loan award offered, please notify the Office of Financial Aid via e-mail at enrol_serv@smu.edu or contact your Financial Aid advisor to submit your request. ***
  2. If you are a first-time SMU borrower: Complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Tutorial and Quiz and submit the results to SMU (school code 003613)
  3. If you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower: Sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN). All students are required to use their PIN issued by the Department of Education. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN site.