The US Government provides families access to federal student loansALL students borrowing from the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete online Entrance Counseling for their Direct Loan. Federal loan funds will not be credited to the PSU bill until these items are completed.

Federal Direct Student LoansFederal Direct PLUS LoansStudent Alternative LoansContinuing Education LoansNational Student Loan Data System
The US Government provides students access to federal student loansALL students borrowing from the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete online Entrance Counseling for their Direct Loan.  Federal loan funds will not be credited to the PSU bill until these items are completed.

The Federal Direct loan(s) awarded to you may be subsidized and/or unsubsidized, as described below:

SUBSIDIZED Federal Direct loan is awarded on the basis of financial need.  Interest will begin accruing at the end of your grace period. Your grace period is 6 months after you graduate, withdraw from school, or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

An UNSUBSIDIZED Federal Direct loan is a non-need based loan. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you’re in school, or during other periods of non-payment, it will be capitalized. This means the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan at the time of repayment.

All Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans disbursed have a fee charged. For information on current interest rates and fees, please visit

Please note the following eligibility requirements must be met in order to be awarded Federal Direct Loans:

(1)  Students must be matriculated (enrolled in a degree-seeking program) and enrolled at least half-time (6 credits or more per semester).
(2)  Students cannot be in default on any Federal Loans.
(3)  Federal Direct annual and aggregate loan limits apply.

  • Dependent undergraduate students are eligible for up to $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized).
  • Independent undergraduate students and dependent students whose parents are ineligible for a Federal PLUS Loan are eligible for up to $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized).
  • Graduate Students are eligible for a maximum aggregate loan limit of  $138,500. The graduate debt limit ALSO includes federal student loans received for undergraduate study.

(4) Students are awarded yearly federal loan limits based upon number of credits earned as outlined below:

The Federal Direct PLUS loan is an optional federal loan for parent(s) who wish to access additional resources beyond what a student is eligible to receive.

  • The PLUS loan is solely in the name of a Parent(s), not the student, and is not transferable.
  • Approval or denial for the PLUS loan is based on the parents’ credit history.
  • There is an origination fee applied to the amount requested for a PLUS loan, this impacts the actual amount paid on the student’s bill. Fees and rates are fixed for an individual loan, however, they can change each academic year based on federal mandate. For the most current origination fee and interest rate on the PLUS loan please visit
  • Only a parent can apply for a PLUS loan.
    • A parent is defined as the student’s biological or adoptive mother or father, regardless of whether they are the “custodial” parent on the FAFSA.
    • A step-parent is eligible to borrow a PLUS loan IF he or she is reported on the FAFSA along with the custodial parent.
    • A legal guardian is not considered a parent for federal student aid purposes.
    • More than one parent can apply for a PLUS loan for a dependent student as long as the total financial aid package does not exceed the Cost of Attendance.
  • The maximum amount that a parent can borrow in the PLUS loan is the Cost of Attendance minus any financial aid received by the student.
  • If your student intends to either reduce or decline the Federal Work Study award to increase the parent’s eligibility for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, please submit a request at least a day prior to applying for the loan.
How to Apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan
What Happens After the Parent Applies
After exhausting available federal and family resources, some students may need to apply for an alternative student loan to pay for educational expenses. Alternative loans are loans through a private lending institution and terms and conditions for each lender may vary widely.

Some things to consider when applying for an Alternative Loan
Recommendations to assist you with applying for an Alternative Loan
Important Questions to Ask When Applying for an Alternative Loan
Private Alternative Loan Lender List
A Continuing Education Loan (if needed) may be borrowed if a student is not matriculated (that is, admitted into a degree program) or is not eligible for Federal loan programs. These loans should only be applied for as a last resort.

For non-degree College of Graduate Studies students (any term), Continuing Education undergraduate students, and matriculated undergraduate students attending Winterim or Summer terms, payment for classes is due at the time of registration. We strongly recommend that you apply early for your loan to ensure that it’s in place by the billing or registration due dates.

Please note: PSU does not enter into Consortium Agreements with other institutions for purposes of accessing federal financial aid programs

Although the lending institution of choice is completely up to you, we strongly recommend that you consider the following when making your decision:

  • Continuing Education loans are private loans through a lending institution and not part of federally funded programs.
  • Continuing Education loans are more expensive than federal student loans and should only be used when all other options have been exhausted.
  • Be sure you have applied for all available assistance before pursuing a Continuing Education Loan.
  • Continuing Education loans are in the student’s name, and a cosigner may be required. Once a complete application has been received, the lender will perform a credit check and will let you know if your application has been approved.

Please contact the following for more information on Continuing Education Loans:

Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan or 877-279-7172

or 1-603-227-5423

What is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)?

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for Federal student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs and provides a centralized, integrated view of all Title IV loans and grants. You may access all of your current and prior Federal grant and loan information on the NSLDS website. Parents may access NSLDS for information on the Federal Direct PLUS loans.

Please note: Information on a pending loan will not be available until approximately 2 weeks after the loan has disbursed to the school.

There are currently several different servicing agencies that your Federal loans may be serviced through.  To verify who is currently servicing your loans, please visit and choose “Financial Aid Review.”  Log in using he same FSA ID that was used on your FAFSA. Click on the number in the first column under “Loans” for details regarding your loan.

If you have more than one loan you will have to click on each number associated with each loan.  This will show the loan, the school you received the loan through, the disbursement amounts and dates, and it will also display the servicer agency information.  Sometimes a loan can be transferred to a different servicer.  Therefore, you will want to view the “Current Servicer” listed to find out who is currently servicing your loans.  For any repayment inquiries regarding your loan, please contact the number listed under your current servicer.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans. Please do not hesitate to contact them  should you feel they can be of assistance.

Phone: 1-877-557-2575
Fax: 1-606-396-4821
Mailing Address:
FSA Ombudsman Group,
P.O. Box 1843,
Monticello, KY 42633