Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans

Federal student loans are made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools, like UW-Madison. If you are borrowing Federal Direct Loans for the first time, you must complete both Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note online at www.studentloans.gov.

  • Based on financial need as determined by our office
  • The federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status
  • We encourage all students to borrow this loan before borrowing PLUS or private student loans
  • Offered up to 150% of the length of your program (ex. 6 years total for a 4-year undergraduate program)
  • ONLY available to undergraduates
  • NOT based on financial need
  • Interest begins accruing when the funds are disbursed and will accrue through the life of the loan
  • Payment of interest while you’re in school is not required but it will reduce your total repayment amount
  • We encourage all students to borrow this loan before borrowing PLUS or private student loans
  • Available to undergraduates, graduate, and professional students

Interest Rates

Grade Level
Loan Type
2017-18 Rate

First disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018

2018-19 Rate

First disbursed between 7/1/2018 and 6/30/2019

Undergraduates Sub/Unsub

4.45%

5.045%

Grads/Professionals Unsub

6%

6.595%

Origination Fee

Loan Type
2018 Fee

First disbursed between 10/1/17 and 9/30/18*

2019 Fee

First disbursed between 10/1/18 and 9/30/19*

Sub/Unsub

1.066%

1.066%

*Due to Sequestration – origination fees will continue to adjust for all federal direct loans on October 1 each year.

Annual Federal Loan Limits

 Grade Level Subsidized Annual Maximum Eligibility Unsubsidized Annual Minimum Eligibility Combined Annual Maximum Eligibility
Freshman (Dependent) $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore (Dependent) $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior & Senior (Dependent) $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Freshman (Independent) $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore (Independent) $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior & Senior (Independent) $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Graduate N/A $20,500 $20,500
Medical Year 1 N/A $43,833 $43,833
Medical Year 2, 3, 4 N/A $47,167 $47,167
Veterinary Year 1, 2, 3 N/A $40,500 $40,500
Veterinary Year 4 N/A $47,167 $47,167
Doctorate of Pharmacy N/A $33,000 $33,000
Master of Public Health N/A $33,000 $33,000

 

Lifetime Aggregate Federal Loan Limits

Grade Level Subsidized Lifetime Maximum Eligibility Unsubsidized Lifetime Minimum Eligibility Combined Lifetime Maximum Eligibility
Freshman (Dependent) $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Sophomore (Dependent)
Junior & Senior (Dependent)
Freshman (Independent) $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Sophomore (Independent)
Junior & Senior (Independent)
Graduate $65,000 $73,000 $138,500
Medical Year 1 $65,500 $158,500 $224,000
Medical Year 2, 3, 4
Veterinary Year 1, 2, 3
Veterinary Year 4
Doctorate of Pharmacy
Master of Public Health

Repayment begins after your grace period, six months after you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

During your grace period your loan servicer will contact you with your total loan amount, accrued interest and first payment date. They will help you choose a monthly payment plan, set up auto-debit, or get a deferment if needed.

Everything you could want to know about repaying your federal student loan(s) can be found online – Federal Student Aid website.