Federal Direct Student Loan Program
University of Maryland University College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan program, which offers long-term, low interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education. This is the largest federal aid program and the one you’re most likely to find in your aid offer.
Note: Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for a direct loan disbursement.
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. The primary difference is the point at which interest begins to accrue. Your financial aid award may include a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans. For example, a freshman with a subsidized loan of $500 may also receive an offer of an unsubsidized loan for $3,000 to meet the annual limit for a freshman.
No interest will accrue on a subsidized loan, and no principal will be due until the end of the six-month grace period that will begin when you graduate, leave the university or drop below half-time enrollment (6 credits). Subsidized loans are awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
For first-time borrowers applying for Direct Subsidized Loans on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive such loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your "maximum eligibility period." You can find the published length of any program of study in UMUC's course catalogs.
Interest on an unsubsidized loan begins on the day the loan is disbursed and continues until the day that you repay the loan in full. You can pay the accumulating interest while you are in school; during the grace period; during deferment; or you have the option of capitalizing the interest (adding unpaid, accumulated interest to the total unsubsidized amount borrowed when you begin repayment). Capitalizing the interest may give you a way to postpone making interest payments, but it also increases the total cost of your unsubsidized loan.