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Federal Direct Loans


Rice University continues to work diligently to lower student indebtedness. Loan funding is available to assist students and parents with meeting their educational expenses. Please review the information below regarding the different types of federal loans offered at Rice University. 

The Direct Loans require applicants to have a citizenship status of either U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled at least half-time for funds to disburse to the student's account. For undergraduates, this means enrolling in at least six (6) credit hours. Graduate students must enroll in a minimum of four and one-half (4.5) credit hours. All loans are disbursed into two equal parts, unless you specifically request one semester only. The lender for these loans is the U.S Department of Education. On July 1st, borrowers will be able to view interest rates for the new academic year. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education for additional detailed information. 


The Direct Loan Program includes:   

The Direct Subsidized Loan - a need-based loan available to undergraduate students with a fixed interest rate.  The government pays the interest subsidy while the student is enrolled at least half-time.  Repayment begins after the 6 month grace period when the student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment.

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan - a non-need based loan available to both graduate and undergraduate students with a fixed interest rate. Repayment begins after the 6 month grace period when the student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment.

The Direct PLUS Loan for Parents - a credit-based, fixed rate loan that parents of undergraduate students can borrow on the student’s behalf to meet educational expenses.  For more information, please visit Direct PLUS Loans.

The Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students - a credit-based, fixed rate loan that enables graduate or professional students to borrow funds to meet their educational expenses.  For more information, please visit Direct PLUS Loans.

 

Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) Loan Requirements:

  • Log into your Esther account to accept your loan offer. You may accept, reduce, or decline your loan.
  • Complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) through www.studentloans.gov. 
    • Entrance Counseling is an interactive online session for first-time borrowers.
    • The Master Promissory Note is a legal document you must sign promising to repay all loans and accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education.
    • You have the option to reduce or cancel you loan prior to disbursement or within 14 days after the funds have disbursed.  If there is no loan award offered, email fina@rice.edu to submit your request.

            For more information about Federal Direct Loan interest rates and aggregate limits, click Federal Direct Loan rates.


            Important Update on Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan
            :  All new first-time borrowers or students without prior loan balances who receive a loan on or after July 1, 2013, will be subject to a 150% limitation of subsidized loans.  Once the student reaches the 150% limitation of their current educational program, their interest subsidy will end on all outstanding subsidized loans that were disbursed on or after July 1, 2013.  The student will lose their grace period and the interest will begin to accrue. For additional details on the Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility, visit the Department of Education’s official notice.

            For the Impact of Sequestration on Rice Financial Aid Programs, click 
            2016-2017 Sequestration Update.