Federal Student Loans

Student loans are an important part of financial aid funding for most families. All loans must be repaid under the terms and conditions of the promissory note. Repayment typically is scheduled to begin after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at the college.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan | Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan | Federal Direct PLUS Loan | Federal Perkins Loan

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

These are low-interest loans available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are not credit-based, and the funds come directly from the federal government rather than from a bank or other financial institution.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Low-interest Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to:

  • undergraduate students who do not qualify for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • undergraduate students who want an additional loan to supplement the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

A student does not have to demonstrate financial need for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan except to the extent that their total financial aid award (including the unsubsidized loan) cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance for the given academic year.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not credit-based, and the funds come directly from the federal government rather than from a bank or other financial institution.

Borrowing Limits for Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Mills determines the loan type(s), if any, and the actual loan amount a student is eligible to receive each academic year. However, there are limits on the amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit.

As of the 2018-19 academic year, the federal loan limits are:

Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans) Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third-Year and Beyond  Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $7,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
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.

Visit the Federal Student Aid web page on subsidized and unsubsidized loans for more information and to view the most current borrowing limits.

Direct PLUS Loan for Parents

Direct PLUS Loans for parents can help pay for education expenses not covered by other forms of financial aid. These loans are available to parents who have no adverse credit history as determined by the US Department of Education. Parent PLUS loan funds come directly from the federal government rather than from a bank or other financial institution.

Federal Perkins Loan

Also referred to as Perkins Loans, these were low-interest student loans available only to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. As of September 30, 2017, the Federal Perkins Loan Program was ended, with the final disbursements issued in June 2018.

Visit our Additional Student Loans Options web page if you believe that you may need aid in addition to the loan programs listed here, federal and state grants, and work-study.