Federal Student Loans

Student loans have become an essential component in financing students' educational expenses. Loans, by definition and regulation, must be repaid and therefore should be used sparingly and wisely. If you accept a loan, you are responsible for repaying the loan plus interest. Remember that the more you borrow, the higher the monthly repayment will be, so only take as much loan money as you will need. To calculate your monthly repayment, use the following link: Repayment Calculators.

Each loan program has specific eligibility criteria, repayment, cancellation, and deferment conditions. Follow the links below for more information.

Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan Program is a federally sponsored and regulated national student loan program for undergraduate and graduate students. The Federal Direct Loan is awarded to you by the Financial Aid Office after completing an annual FAFSA application and can come in the form of a Subsidized or an Unsubsidized Loan (or a combination of both). Funds are borrowed directly from the federal government, and an origination fee is applied to each loan. Your loans will be assigned to a servicer, who will be your point of contact in regards to repayment. You will receive a disclosure statement from your servicer regarding the amount of your loan and the anticipated disbursement dates. No payments are required until 6 months after you graduate or drop below half time enrollment. The maximum repayment period is 10 years, although through consolidation, that period may be extended.

Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

Eligibility for the Subsidized Loan is based on financial need as determined by the federal processor and the Financial Aid Office. The Subsidized Loan does not accrue interest until a student graduates or drops below half time enrollment. Direct Subsidized Loans disbursed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 have a fixed interest rate of 4.53%. Graduate students are not eligible for this type of loan.

Effective July 1, 2013, a first-time borrower is allowed to receive Federal Direct Subsidized loans (if eligible) for up to 150% of the published length of the program of study. You are a first-time borrower if you have no outstanding Federal Direct Stafford Loan balance as of July 1, 2013. For a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period of subsidized loan eligibility is 6 years. Read more information on the 150% Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Time Limit

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

Unlike the Subsidized Loan, financial need is not a requirement for the Unsubsidized Loan, and the interest on the Unsubsidized Loan begins to accrue immediately upon disbursement. Loans that disburse between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 have an interest rate of 4.53% for Undergraduates (6.08% for Graduates). Students can pay the interest quarterly or allow the interest to add to the principal.

Federal Direct Loan Limits (Annual)

  Dependent Independent
Freshman $5,500 (up to $3500 Subsidized) $9,500 (up to $3,500 Subsidized)
Sophomore $6,500 (up to $4500 Subsidized) $10,500 (up to $4,500 Subsidized)
Junior $7,500 (up to $5500 Subsidized) $12,500 (up to $5,500 Subsidized)
Senior $7,500 (up to $5500 Subsidized) $12,500 (up to $5,500 Subsidized)
Graduate   $20,500

Federal Direct Loan Limits (Lifetime)

  Dependent Independent
Undergraduate $31,000 (up to $23,000 Subsidized) $57,500 (up to $23,000 Subsidized)
Graduate   $138,500

First time borrowers of the Federal Direct Loan are required to complete two steps in order to secure the loan(s). Using your FSA username and password, log into the studentloans.gov site. You'll see two links:

  • Complete Entrance Counseling
  • Complete Master Promissory Note

These steps will take approximately 45 minutes to complete. Students normally only have to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Direct Loan Master Promissory Note once in their academic career.

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Federal Perkins Loan

PLEASE NOTE: The Federal Government has allowed the Federal Perkins Loan program to expire. As of October 1, 2017, no new Perkins Loans can be awarded. For those students with a Federal Perkins Loan balance, no payments are due and no interest accrues on the loan until 9 months after leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment status (6 credits for undergraduates and 5 for graduate students). Once in repayment, the loan has a fixed interest rate of 5%, and borrowers have a maximum of 10 years to repay. Cumulative lifetime borrowing limits are $20,000 for an undergraduate and $40,000 for a graduate student. To calculate your monthly repayment, use the following link: Repayment Calculator.

Although UW-Green Bay is the lender of your Perkins Loan, you will receive information about loan repayment from UW-Madison, who services our loans. Their contact information can be found below. UW Madison utilizes ECSI (Heartland ESCI) to provide you with online payment options and services. You can also view and print any loan documents from ECSI’s website. If you have questions about repayment, contact:

          Bursar’s Office - Student LoansUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
          333 East Campus Mall #10501
          Madison, WI 53715-1383


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