For more information on the Federal Loan programs, see Federal Student Loan Details

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

A Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded on the basis of the student’s financial need and other specific eligibility requirements. The federal government does not charge interest on these loans while borrowers are enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Direct Loan borrowers taking their first subsidized loan on or after July 1, 2013 may receive subsidized loans only for a maximum of 150% of the length of their academic program. For example, students will be limited to receiving subsidized loans up to 6 years in a 4 year program. Students reaching this limitation may still receive unsubsidized loans if eligible. For more information, see Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility

Graduate/law students are not eligible for Federal Subsidized Loans.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on the student’s financial need, but students must also meet specific eligibility requirements. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal).

A separate application is required for the following loans:

Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate/Professional Student Borrowers (Grad PLUS)

The Federal Grad PLUS Loan is not based on financial need and is limited to graduate and professional level students attending at least half-time. The annual limit is equal to the student’s cost of attendance, as defined by The University of Alabama, minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. Applicants are required to pass a credit check. PLUS loans carry a fixed interest rate and an origination fee. We must receive the results of your completed FAFSA before we can process your Federal PLUS Application. Apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS loan here. Certain borrowers may also be required to complete federal PLUS loan counseling. Direct Loans will notify you if you need to complete the counseling requirement.

  • The Summer 2021 Grad PLUS Loan application will be open March 22, 2021.
  • The 2021-2022 Grad PLUS Loan application is tentatively scheduled to be open May 3, 2021

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The PLUS is not based on financial need and is limited to a parent borrower for a dependent student attending at least half-time. A parent is currently defined as a person’s natural or adoptive mother or father, or the step-parent married to the custodial parent. The annual limit is equal to the student’s cost of attendance, as defined by The University of Alabama, minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. Parents are required to pass a credit check. PLUS loans carry a fixed interest rate and an origination fee. We must receive the results of your completed FAFSA before we can process your Federal PLUS Application. Apply for a Federal Parent PLUS loan here. Certain borrowers may also be required to complete federal PLUS loan counseling. Direct Loans will notify you if you need to complete the counseling requirement.

  • The 2020 Summer term PLUS Loan application will be open March 22, 2021.
  • The 2021-2022 PLUS Loan application is tentatively scheduled to be open May 3, 2021

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are private (non-federal) loans. Unlike the previously mentioned loans, you are not considered for these loans when you complete the FAFSA. The terms vary widely as do the eligibility criteria.

You (and your co-borrower, if applicable) should carefully research the options and apply for the alternative loan that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that usually your best option is to pursue federal loans. Be sure you have applied for all of the federal loans you are eligible for before you consider private loans. If you do wish to take out a private educational loan, you need to provide any documentation requested by the sponsor of the loan and follow the application procedure that is specific to that loan.