Federal Direct Loan (Graduate)
The Federal Direct Loan for graduate and professional students is not based on financial need and is unsubsidized, meaning that interest accrues during your period of enrollment. This loan is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled at least half-time in their academic program.
How to Apply
Applicants must complete the FAFSA and formally request the loan within the Penn Loan System. Students are required to sign a Master Promissory Note and complete entrance counseling. Both requirements must be completed at www.studentaid.gov.
Loan counseling is a required online tool to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Loan borrower. You must complete this requirement before you can receive your Direct Loan. In most cases, you will only need to complete entrance counseling once during your degree.
You can complete your entrance counseling requirement at www.studentaid.gov. Select your student population and log in with your FSA ID. Penn will be notified of your completion within 3-5 business days.
Rates, Fees & Repayment
The interest rate for these loans is 4.30% for loans disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Origination fees are currently 1.062%.
Repayment is deferred until six months after the student completes their education or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Consolidation, public service loan forgiveness, and income-based repayment options are available for this loan program.
Most graduate borrowers are limited to $20,500 per year with a $138,500 aggregate loan limit over time. Dental, Medical, and Veterinary students can borrow up to $40,500 per year with a $224,000 aggregate loan limit over time.
For more information on this loan program, we recommend this FAQ from Federal Student Aid.
For information on a specific Federal Direct Loan you have borrowed, access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for federal student aid. The site displays information on loan amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, and disbursements. In order to use the NSLDS Student Access website, you will need to log in with your FSA ID and password.