SMU knows you may need financial assistance to complete your education. You and your parents must make informed decisions about borrowing money.

This guide will provide information about the Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Parent PLUS and the Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS loan programs along with additional information for borrowing from a private or alternative educational loan source and post graduation consolidation. Loan details and applications are included.

Federal Direct Loans are funds borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education.* The funds must be repaid, with interest, after you are no longer a student. Most federal loans are awarded to students based on completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your financial need and grade level determine the types and amounts of loans you receive. The only federal loan that is not awarded when you apply for aid is the Federal Direct PLUS Loan; a separate application is needed to apply for this loan (see right for links to more information about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan programs). All federal loans are need-based, except the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS Loans.

SMU encourages students to maximize your borrowing by using all federal loan options before borrowing from private/alternative loan sources.