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Federal Undergraduate Loans

  • Remember that borrowing money is a serious responsibility; you must repay loans with interest.

  • Before you borrow, pursue outside agency scholarships.

  • File your FAFSA by March 2 each year to be considered for the best types of financial aid awards.

  • Submit any additional documents requested by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office before the May 1 deadline.

  • Review prospective undergraduate or current undergraduate eligibility requirements to make sure you're eligible to receive loans (or any other types of financial aid).

  • If you've already exhausted federal loan possibilities, you might wish to consider private loan programs, although these loans may have higher interest rates, and you may have to meet additional requirements such as an approved co-signer.

  • Read more about loans and about the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

Award amount and term:

Annual maximum amounts for dependent undergraduates:

Undergraduate dependent students Base loan (100% subsidized or a subsidized/ unsubsidized mix, depending on your need) Additional unsubsidized-only loan for all dependent undergraduate students Additional unsubsidized-only loan for dependent undergraduate students whose parents have been denied a PLUS loan
1st year $3,500 $2,000 $4,000
2nd year $4,500 $2,000 $4,000
3rd year and beyond $5,500 $2,000 $5,000

Annual maximum amounts for independent undergraduates:

Undergraduate independent students Base loan (100% subsidized or a subsidized/ unsubsidized mix, depending on your need) Additional unsubsidized-only loan
1st year $3,500 $6,000
2nd year $4,500 $6,000
3rd year and beyond $5,500 $7,000

Aggregate maximum amounts for undergraduates:

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500 for undergraduates - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$138,500 for graduate or professional students - No more than $65,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

The aggregate loan limits include any Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans you may have previously received under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of legislation that took effect July 1, 2010, no further loans are being made under the FFEL Program.

If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your eduction reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.

Funded and disbursed by:

The U.S. Department of Education through UC San Diego

Interest rates effective:

2018: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
2019: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Interest rate:

2018: 5.05% fixed for loans first disbursed July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
2019: 4.53% fixed for loans first disbursed July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020

Loan fees:

For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and by September 30, 2019, the loan origination fee will be 1.062%.
For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and by September 30, 2020, the loan origination fee will be 1.059%.

Repayment of principal and interest begins

6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Is the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan need-based?

Yes. You must demonstrate financial need to qualify for a Subsidized Loan. The federal government pays (subsidizes) the interest on your behalf during in-school and authorized deferment periods. You begin accruing and paying interest after you leave school, or when your deferment period ends.

Depending on your financial need, you may not receive the maximum loan amount in a Subsidized Loan. However, you might still be able to borrow unsubsidized funds up to the total maximum annual loan amounts.

Is there a time limit on how long I can receive Direct Subsidized Loans?

Yes.

Is the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan need-based?

No. You may borrow an Unsubsidized Loan regardless of your financial need. However, the federal government does not pay the interest. While you may defer the principal during in-school, grace, and authorized deferment periods, you're responsible for the interest upon disbursement. You may make voluntary interest and/or principal payments to your Repayment Servicer at any time prior to going into official repayment or you may allow the interest to accrue and be capitalized to your principal at the time of official repayment.

To borrow a Federal Direct Loan

  1. File your FAFSA and provide any requested documents.

  2. UC San Diego offers you a Direct Loan.

  3. Accept the award online using the Financial Aid tool.

  4. Sign the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). This document confirms your agreement to repay the loan.

  5. Complete online entrance loan counseling (first-time UC San Diego borrowers only) on TritonLink (and not the Department of Education website).

  6. Loan funds will be credited to your UC San Diego student account (read more about how you get your money).

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Award amount and term:

The annual maximum equals the cost of attendance minus any need-based and non-need-based aid.

Need-based/subsidized?:

No.

Awarded and disbursed by:

The U.S. Department of Education through UC San Diego.

Interest rates effective:

2018: July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019
2019: July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020

Interest rate:

2018: 7.60% fixed for loans first disbursed July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
2019: 7.08% fixed for loans first disbursed July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020

Loan fees:

For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and by September 30, 2019, the loan origination fee will be 4.248%.
For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and by September 30, 2020, the loan origination fee will be 4.236%.

Application:

Complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application in addition to filing the FAFSA.

For parents borrowing the Parent PLUS Loan

UC San Diego is using the electronic Direct PLUS Loan Application process through the studentaid.gov website. To ensure that the Parent PLUS loan funds are available by the registration fee deadline; we encourage you to submit your Direct PLUS Loan Application at least 3 weeks prior to the fee deadline dates.

WHAT DO YOU NEED BEFORE YOU START THE PLUS LOAN APPLICATION PROCESS?

  1. An FSA ID is required and must be set up prior to logging in. You may obtain your FSA ID at https://fsaid.ed.gov. Please note the Parent FSA ID is not the same as the Student FSA ID. The Parent FSA ID acts as the electronic signature for the FAFSA and the Electronic Master Promissory Note. The Endorser FSA ID acts as the electronic signature for the Endorser Addendum, if an Endorser is obtained. Students, parents and endorsers can follow the steps outlined in the How to Create an FSA ID" a one-page guide.
  2. Student Information (name, social security number, date of birth, permanent address and phone number)
  3. Borrower Personal Information (permanent and mailing address, U.S. Address (if permanent and mailing addresses are foreign – contact the lender’s Student Loan Support Center at 1 (800) 557-7394) for instructions), phone number and e-mail address)
  4. Employer’s Information (employer’s name, address and phone number)

THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU APPLY

If you have placed a security freeze on your credit file, you must lift or remove the freeze at each credit bureau before you apply. Your Direct PLUS Loan Application will not be processed if you have a security freeze.


  1. Avoid Delays…Know how much you can borrow before you start the Direct PLUS Loan Application. For each academic year, you may borrow up to – but not more than – the school’s cost of attendance, minus the amount of other financial assistance the student receives. Refer to your student’s official Award Letter. Applications received with an “unknown” borrower requested amount cannot be processed. You will be notified to contact our office for the maximum amount of eligibility available to you, delaying your Application. After you know how much you can borrow, you will need to reapply by completing a new Direct PLUS Loan Application, delaying your Application and the availability of funds.
  2. Consent to Release Information E-Form must be on file in our office. It allows the parent permission to contact our office to inquire about the student’s financial records. To complete the Consent to Release Information E-Form, students should log into the financial aid student portal via MyTritonLink. The completed E-form will update the student’s financial aid file immediately. Our contact information is listed below.
  3. 3. Avoid Delays…Enter the information into the Direct PLUS Loan Application correctly. Enter the parent applicant information in the appropriate parent section and the student information in the student section of the Direct PLUS Loan Application. Applications received with incorrect information cannot be processed. You will be notified to reapply by completing a new Direct PLUS Loan Application, delaying your Application and the availability of funds.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT PLUS LOAN

  • Click “Apply for a PLUS Loan”. NOTE: There is an option to view a Demo or Preview a read-only version of the Parent Direct PLUS Loan Application.
  • Select an Award Year
  • Enter Loan Information
    • Select an Award Year (09/26/2019-06/12/2020)
    • Student Information
    • School and Loan Information
      • Select Schools to Notify: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
    • Complete the Direct PLUS Loan Request
      • Loan Amount Requested
      • Loan Period (09/26/2019-06/12/2020)
  • Borrower Information
  • AVOID DELAYS. Review, update or correct your completed Direct PLUS Loan Application/Request for errors prior to submitting it.
  1. Before you can receive a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, you must complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (Direct PLUS Loan MPN), which explains all of the terms and conditions of Direct PLUS Loans. The MPNs are valid for up to 10 years. You do not need to complete a new Direct PLUS Loan MPN every time you apply for a new Direct Parent PLUS Loan. EXCEPTION: A new Direct PLUS Loan MPN is required if the credit decision was denied and later approved with an Endorser, or if the credit decision was denied and the lender later approved the loan by appeal. The U.S. Department of Education, the lender, will require a new Direct PLUS Loan MPN to be completed each time a new Direct Parent PLUS Loan falls into one of the above-mentioned categories.
  2. If your credit was denied and you wish to appeal or endorse:
    • Appeal A Credit Decision
    • Endorse A Direct PLUS Loan: Endorsers will need an FSA ID.
    • If the loan was Endorsed or the parent completed a successful Credit Appeal, the parent needs to complete PLUS Credit Counseling.
    • Our office receives Direct PLUS Loan Applications and Direct PLUS Loan MPNs electronically daily from the lender. Please allow 5-7 business days for our office to process the Direct Parent PLUS Loan. If an Endorser is obtained or a loan is approved via Credit Appeal, it could take longer to process.

For a quick overview of Direct PLUS Loans (e.g. interest rate, fees, repayment options) please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website for Direct PLUS Loans.

Other Information

  • Eligibility is limited to biological or adoptive parents (with no adverse credit history) of a dependent student.

  • If the Parent PLUS Loan is denied, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.