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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Loans are non credit-based student loans for undergraduate and graduate students. There are two basic types of Federal Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Both have a six month grace period (a period of time when a student is no longer enrolled for at least half-time and not required to make payments) and fixed interest rates, which are determined each year on July 1. For interest rates and origination fees, please refer to the Federal Interest Rates and Fees website.

Eligibility | Apply | Borrowing Limits | Resources

Subsidized Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are awarded to undergraduate students on the basis of financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. The total amount of the subsidized loan combined with other need-based aid cannot exceed the student's financial need.

The government will pay the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan:

  • while the student is enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) in degree-applicable coursework,
  • for the first six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment, and
  • during a period of deferment.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans allow undergraduate students to borrow loan funds beyond their subsidized loan amount, within the loan limits, but not to exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. Unsubsidized loans are the only loans available to graduate students. Independent students may be eligible for greater unsubsidized amounts than dependent students.

Interest begins accruing as soon the loan disburses and the student is responsible for paying the interest during all periods. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not need-based.


Students must:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current aid year.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Be fully admitted and meet the UNF Admission requirements.
  • Be classified as degree-seeking at UNF in an eligible program.
  • Enroll for at least half-time (six credit hours) at UNF in UNF classes at the time of disbursement.
  • Maintain UNF's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Complete all required application requirements and verification (if selected).
  • If in receipt of a Federal Direct Loan during the academic year at another institution, make sure the remainder of that loan is canceled before applying for a loan at UNF.
  • Complete the online Master Promissory Note if this is your first time borrowing a Federal Direct Loan.
  • Complete the online Entrance Counseling if this is your first time borrowing a Direct Loan at any school.

Students Cannot:

  • Default on any educational loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant at this or any other institution.
  • Borrow in excess of federal loan limits.

Transfer Students

Receiving financial aid disbursements from another institution within the same academic year may have an impact on your remaining aid eligibility at UNF. The amount of loans received at a previous institution may affect your eligibility to receive loans at UNF.


Every step of the loan process must be completed at least two weeks before the end of the enrollment period to ensure the necessary processing time.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current aid year. We recommend you file by UNF's priority deadline.
  2. After UNF receives the results of the FAFSA from the Federal Processor, we will automatically offer the maximum Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan based on your eligibility.
  3. Accept, reduce or decline your offered loan(s) in myWings by following these steps:
  • Choose Student on side menu.
  • Select Student Resources, and then Banner Self Service
  • Select the Financial Aid tab
  • Click Award
  • Choose Award by Aid Year

Please Note: Decisions cannot be changed online once submitted. To make changes to an award after submitting your decision (i.e., changing the amount or accepting a declined loan), you must submit a Loan Action Request Form.

If you're not ready to apply for federal student aid, but you'd like to estimate your aid, check out the Estimate Your Federal Student Aid tool. The Federal Student Aid Estimator provides an estimate of what federal student aid you may be eligible to receive.

Borrowing Limits

The total combined amounts a student may borrow in subsidized and unsubsidized loans may not exceed the annual loan limits or aggregate limits, which are specified in federal regulations.

All awards, including accepted Federal Direct Loans, are subject to change if corrections to your financial aid package are required.

Direct Subsidized Loan Limit

The FAFSA Simplification Act repeals the 150% Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA) requirements. The repeal is effective for all Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021. It is not limited to new borrowers; it is loan-specific. Therefore, for the 2021-2022 academic year, it is possible for a student that has reached the 150% Subsidized Usage Limit to regain Federal Subsidized Loan eligibility for the 2021-2022 academic year as long as the student has not reached the $23,000 total borrowing limit for Federal Subsidized Loans.

SULA still applies to Direct Subsidized Loans first disbursed before July 1, 2021, but the U.S. Department of Education will retroactively restore the subsidy and remove accrued interest on the older loans, even if those borrowers don't borrow again.

For more information, please visit the Federal Register.

Get additional information and examples of enrollment that may require the borrower to be responsible for interest.

Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Annual Limits

Loan limits are for a full academic year (fall, spring and summer). You may not receive more than half of each loan limit per term up to the annual limit at your academic level.

Year Dependent Students Independent Students
(0-29 credit hours)
$5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized) $9,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized)
(30-59 credit hours)
$6,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized) $10,500 (maximum $4,500 subsidized)
Junior and beyond²
(60+ credit hours)
$7,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized) $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)
Teacher Certification
(after Bachelor's degree)
$5,500 $12,500 (maximum $5,500 subsidized)
Graduate and Professional N/A $20,500 (unsubsidized only)


  1. Dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow PLUS Loans are eligible to apply for the Independent undergraduate loan limits.
  2. Second Bachelor candidates are treated as Undergraduate students for purposes of determining loan limits.

Aggregate Limits

The total amount that a student may borrow for their academic career is called the aggregate limit, which is specified in federal regulations.

Once the aggregate limit has been reached, students are no longer eligible to borrow Federal Direct Loans.

Per federal regulations, a student who exceeds the aggregate loan limit is ineligible to receive any additional federal student loans or federal aid, including the Federal Pell Grant, until the overage is resolved.

Student Level Dependent Students Independent Students
Undergraduate $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized) $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)
Graduate and Professional N/A $138,500
  1. The Graduate/Professional maximum includes Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

Please Note: A dependent student whose parent has been denied a PLUS loan during the current aid year may be eligible to receive additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans at the independent level with proof of PLUS loan denial from the lender. To request additional unsubsidized loan funds, complete the Loan Action Request Form.

For more information regarding Federal Direct Loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid's Loan webpage.

Resources for Loan Recipients

Disbursement of Loan

Disbursement of financial aid is the process in which financial aid awards (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) are posted to the student's account. As this process takes place, students may see changes to their anticipated aid, awards, and charges. Learn more about loan disbursements.

Loan Adjustment and Reinstatement

2022-2023 Award Year Deadlines
Loan Period Adjustment / Reinstatement Deadline
Fall 2022 12/16/2022
Spring 2023 5/3/2023
Summer 2023 8/2/2023
2023-2024 Award Year Deadlines
Loan Period Adjustment / Reinstatement Deadline
Fall 2023 12/15/2023
Spring 2024 5/3/2024
Summer 2024 8/2/2024





If you would like your loan eligibility reviewed for either an increase or reinstatement, you may submit the Loan Action Request Form by 5:00 p.m. on the deadlines listed.

Proration of Direct Loans for Graduating Seniors

Federal regulations require schools to prorate the Federal Direct Loan amount for graduating undergraduate students when their final period of enrollment is less than a full academic year.

Graduating seniors who are only attending one semester of the academic year may have their Federal Direct Loans prorated based on the number of credit hours they are enrolled.

Loan Proration Formula

Prorating limits the amount of subsidized/unsubsidized loans that a graduating senior may borrow for their final semester based on the following formula:

Credit Hours Enrolled divided by the Credit Hours in an Academic Year multiplied by Annual Direct Loan Limit

Offered loans are initially calculated based on a projected full-time cost of attendance for the fall and spring semesters.

After the Add/Drop period, Federal Direct Loans are recalculated and prorated based on the student's actual enrollment. Note that the actual loan amount may be also impacted by the student's total aggregate loan limit.

Private and Federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loan for Dependent Students) Loans may be available to supplement the student's expenses.

Exceptions: Loan proration requirements do not apply to graduate or professional certificate students.

Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling

If you have received a subsidized or unsubsidized loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, it is mandatory to complete Loan Exit Counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate (this includes submitting a graduation application)
  • Leave the University

Federal Exit Counseling is the process by which students review and acknowledge their rights and responsibilities for all of the federal student loans that they have borrowed.

Failure to complete the Loan Exit Counseling will:

  • Prevent future financial aid disbursements
  • Place a hold on the student's account
  • Prevent access to transcripts and/or diplomas
For more information about Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling, visit the Federal Student Aid website.