Undergraduate Student Loans

Undergraduate Student Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers low-interest loans to eligible students to help cover the cost of education.

Loans Frequently Asked Questions

Under the William D. Ford Federal Loan (Direct Loan) Program, the U.S. Department of Education offers three types of loans to eligible Undergraduate, degree-seeking students.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need as determined by both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your school's Cost of Attendance (COA). The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you are enrolled at least half-time, for the first six-months after you leave school (referred to as your “grace period”), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. You are responsible for paying the accrued interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • Direct PLUS Loans are available to parents of dependent, undergraduate students. Like the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. This loan is credit-based.

In general, the requirements for you to receive a Federal Direct Loan include: 

  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Be a degree-seeking Undergraduate student

Learn more about the general eligibility requirements to receive federal student aid

In short, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help students with financial need. Review the table below for an overview of the main differences between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan.




Requires Financial Need



Loan Amount cannot exceed your financial need



Loan amount cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance



U.S. Department of Education pays the interest during certain periods of time



School determines how much you can borrow



Six-month grace period after you leave school (repayment postponed)



Interest accrues during all periods of time if not paid



Find current interest rates and loan fee information on Federal Student Aid.

Your school determines the loan type(s), if any, and the actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year (i.e., at the University of Arizona an academic year consists of the Fall, Spring and Summer terms). There are limits on the amount in loans you may be eligible to receive which is referred to as your annual loan limit and your aggregate loan limit. These limits vary depending on your grade level in school and whether you are a dependent or independent student. 

Learn more Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits

Before you take out a loan, it’s important to understand that a loan is a legal obligation that you will be responsible for repaying with interest. You may not have to begin repaying your federal student loans right away, but you don’t have to wait to understand your responsibilities as a borrower.

Watch this video to learn more about responsible borrowing.

Before you borrow or enter repayment, you can use the Department of Education's Loan Simulator to get an early look at which repayment plans you may be eligible for and see estimates for how much you would pay monthly and overall.

Requesting Additional Federal Direct Loan Funds

To request that additional Direct Loan funds be offered, you must contact our office via the Ask Aid portal or 520-621-1858.

Requesting Cancelation of Your Federal Direct Loan(s)

A written request (fax: 520-621-9473) email: via the Ask Aid portal is required to reduce or cancel a Federal Direct Loan. If the funds have already disbursed to your Bursar billing account, you will be required to return the disbursed funds before the loan will be cancelled. Any account balance created as a result of the reduction or cancelation of a disbursed loan must be repaid immediately.

Your consent is not required if the University of Arizona must cancel or reduce your loans to remain in compliance with Federal regulations. Regardless of the type of cancelation, any account balance created as a result of the reduction or cancelation of a disbursed loan must be repaid by the student immediately.

Fall 2023-Spring 2024 Federal Direct Loan Dates

In general, loans can begin to be accepted in mid-July for the following academic year (fall and spring semester) and must be accepted by the last day of the semester in which you attend. 

A student is no longer eligible for loan funds if they cease attendance or their enrollment becomes less than halftime and the loans were not accepted before the enrollment change.

Federal Direct Loans accepted after the following priority deadlines may not be processed. Please review the important dates below to ensure the timely processing of your direct loan funds.

Students and parents must accept Federal Direct Loans before the end of the academic term for which they (or their students) are registered. If students are not registered for the spring term, their federal loans must be accepted and processed before the end of the fall term.

Fall 2023 deadline to enroll in Web Refund August 10, 2023
Spring 2024 deadline to enroll in Web Refund January 2, 2024
Deadline to Accept loans for December graduates or students not enrolled for Spring 2024 December 11, 2023
Deadline to Accept 2023-2024 Federal Loans April 25, 2024

Accept Your Loans