Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct Loan Program

Loan eligibility and amounts are based on class level, dependency status, Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA, and require at least half-time attendance. Loans are borrowed money and must be repaid with interest. The Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have an origination fee and a six-month grace period that begins when a student leaves school or drops below half time. Repayment begins at the end of the six-month grace period. Borrowers are encouraged to consider their potential loan repayment and total loan indebtedness before utilizing loans to assist with their educational costs. The Loan Repayment Calculator can assist in considering repayment information.

Loan Requirements: First time Direct Loan borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to funds disbursement. These requirements help borrowers learn about rights and responsibilities and agree to loan terms and conditions. Note: MPNS are valid for 10 years and must be completed again after expiry.

A Department of Education FSA ID is required to complete the FAFSA and all federal loan requirements. FSA IDs can be requested online and are valid for life.

For more information about the Federal Direct Loan programs, review the Federal Student Aid official website of the United States government.

Direct Loan Interest Rates and Fees

Direct Loan Interest Rates for 23-24
Loan Type July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024
Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized for Undergraduates 5.50%
Direct Unsubsidized for Graduates 7.05%
Direct PLUS for Graduates and Parents 8.05%
Direct Loan Origination Fees
Loan Type First Disbursement Date Loan Fee
Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized On or after 10/1/2020 1.057%
Direct PLUS On or after 10/1/2020 4.228%

Annual Federal Direct Loan Maximum Limits

Dependent Students Loan Limits
Credits Loan Limit
Freshman (0-44) $5,500
Sophomore (45-89) $6,500
Junior/Senior (90 or more) $7,500
Postbaccalaureate* $2,625 - $7,500


Independent Students Loan Limits
Credits Loan Limit
Freshman (0-44) $9,500
Sophomore (45-89) $10,500
Junior/Senior (90 or more) $12,500
Postbaccalaureate* $8,625 - $12,500
Graduate $20,500

(Includes fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters)

* Preparatory course work and certain certificates have reduced limits.
** A student is considered independent for financial aid purposes if they can answer "yes" to at least one of the Dependency questions included on the FAFSA.

Federal Direct Loans are offered based in part on a student’s academic class level as determined by the WWU Registrar’s Office. During the academic year students may progress to the next class level which may allow the student to borrow additional loan. Students who want to increase their loan, or exchange Unsubsidized Loan for Subsidized Loan, must submit a request the Financial Aid Department by using the Reinstate/Increase Aid form available on the Online Forms web page to initiate the adjustment.

In addition to annual Direct Loan limits, there are also aggregate lifetime loan limits. Undergraduate, and postbaccalaureate dependent students, are limited to $31,000. Independent students are limited to $57,500. Graduate students are limited to a total of $138,500.

Loan Default Rates

Federal Direct Loan Default Rates

Federal Direct Loan Default Rates
Cohort Fiscal Year Official Default Rate Number of Borrowers in Default Number of Borrowers in Repayment Enrollment Figures Percentage Calculation
2020 0 0 2897 17,883 16.20%
2019 0.5 18 3009 17,966 16.75%
2018 1.7 51 2954 17,782 16.61%

ENROLLMENT NOTE: To provide context for the Cohort Default Rate (CDR) data, we include Enrollment Figures (students enrolled at any time during the year) and the corresponding Percentage Calculation (borrowers entering repayment divided by that enrollment figure). There is no direct relationship between the timing of when a borrower entered repayment and any particular enrollment year; we have chosen to use the academic year ending on the 30th of June before the beginning of the cohort year.

Cohort Default Rate (CDR) data is not displayed when Number of Borrowers in Repayment (number of borrowers entering repayment in cohort) includes 10 or few borrowers.

Source: https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/cdr-searchable-database/school/search as of January 10, 2024

Perkins Loan Default Rates

Perkins Loan Default Rates
Year Percent
As of June 30, 2023 5.36%
As of June 30, 2022 4.13%
As of June 30, 2021 1.41%
As of June 30, 2020 3.93%