Skip to main content
Close Search

Federal Loans

To qualify for any of the following federal loans, students must first complete the FAFSA for the academic year.

Federal Direct Loans

For the 2018-2019 school year, the interest rate on Direct Loans obtained by undergraduates is fixed at 5.045 percent when disbursed after July 1, 2016. If your Direct Loans are disbursed prior to July 1, 2016 the interest rate is 4.45 percent. Direct Loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2017 have a 1.066 percent origination fee. Loans with a first disbursement date on or after October 1, 2018 have an origination fee which has yet to be set. Repayment on Direct Loans begins six months after the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates.

New Direct Loan borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Students with no prior federal student loans must also complete Entrance Counseling before their loan funds can be disbursed.

Visit Federal Student Aid for more information about Federal Direct Loans. Additional Direct Loan terms and conditions can be found on the MPN.

Direct Subsidized Loans are awarded to undergraduate students with unmet financial need as determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (calculated by FAFSA) from the cost of education. The federal government pays the interest on Direct Subsidized Loans while the student is attending school at least half-time and during authorized deferment periods.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest from the day the funds are disbursed. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate for undergraduate students is 5.045 percent. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate for graduate students is 6.595 percent. Students may choose to pay the interest while they are in school or to have the interest added to the principal balance. The government does not pay the interest on Direct Unsubsidized Loans at any time.

Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan Program has been discontinued as of September 30th, 2017. Any Perkins Loans which were not disbursed on or before September 30th, 2017 have been cancelled and no additional Perkins Loans will be awarded.

The interest rate on the Perkins Loan is fixed at 5.0 percent. Interest does not accrue until the loan enters repayment which is 9 months after a student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates.

Repayment of the Perkins Loan must be arranged through the SDSU Office of Loan Collections.

Nursing Loans

Students who have been accepted into the nursing program could be eligible for Nursing Loans. Pre-nursing students are not eligible for Nursing Loans. These loans are subsidized therefore they do not accrue interest until they go into repayment which is 9 months after the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates. Once the loans go into repayment they accrue interest at 5.0 percent. 

Pharmacy Loans

Pharmacy Loans are for professional students of pharmacy and are awarded based on financial need. To be considered for a Pharmacy Loan, a student, regardless of age and grade level, must include parental information on the FAFSA. Repayment begins 12 months after the student graduates or drops below full-time enrollment, at which time the loan will begin accruing interest at 5.0 percent.

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents

A Direct PLUS Loan may be obtained by the parent of a dependent undergraduate student. A parent may borrow up to the amount needed to cover the cost of attendance not met by other aid.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the interest rate on the Direct PLUS Loan is fixed at 7.595 percent.  Direct PLUS Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 have a 4.264 percent origination fee.  PLUS Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 have an origination fee which has yet to be set. Interest begins to accrue on the date the loan is fully disbursed. Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement for the academic year unless the parent makes arrangements with the Direct Loan servicer to defer the loan while the student is in school.

Parents interested in borrowing a Federal Direct PLUS Loan will complete the online application process and Master Promissory Note (MPN) through the Department of Education at An instant credit check is a part of this application process. A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is needed to complete the process. Go to to create your FSA ID.

Approval for the Direct PLUS Loan is based on the applicant's credit history. If a parent is denied eligibility for a PLUS Loan, the student will qualify for an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

More information on the Direct PLUS Loan can be found on the Direct PLUS Loan page. Also, see the guide to Direct Plus Loan Basics for Parents published by The Department of Education.

Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students

Graduate and professional degree students enrolled at least half-time, are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance.

The terms and conditions applicable to Parent PLUS Loans also apply to Graduate/Professional PLUS loans. These requirements include a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history, repayment beginning on the date of the last disbursement of the loan, and a fixed interest rate of 7.595 percent for the 2018-2019 school year.

Note: Grad PLUS loans typically go into repayment within 60 days after the loan has fully disbursed; however, you may be eligible to postpone making payments while you are in school by contacting your servicer to request a deferment. If you are unsure of who is servicing your loans, log into the National Student Loan Database at to find out.

Applicants for the Grad PLUS loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied for their maximum loan eligibility under the Federal Direct Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan. Note: Even though it is called the Graduate PLUS Loan program, the loan is in the graduate student's name (not their parents' name). 

In order to finalize your Grad PLUS Loan you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete the Grad PLUS Loan application online at indicating the amount you wish to borrow
  • Sign using your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This is the same FSA ID used to E-sign your FAFSA. If you do not remember your FSA ID or need to create one you can obtain it at

All Graduate PLUS funds will be electronically transferred to the student's account.