William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Student Loans are long-term, low-interest loans awarded to students by SUNY ESF which are funded directly through the federal government. Student loans offered through this program are guaranteed, meaning that eligibility is not based on credit history or income. All students who meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid and have not reached the aggregate loan limit, defaulted on a previous loan, or do not owe a repayment for a federal grant are eligible for Direct Loan consideration.
Types of Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Student Loans are available as subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of both types. Students are not required to make payments on either type of loan while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible educational institution. However, students may choose to make regular or interest-only payments while enrolled.
Subsidized Direct Loans are awarded based on each student's demonstrated financial need, as determined by the SUNY ESF Financial Aid Office. These loans are interest free while the student is enrolled at least half-time at an eligible educational institution or during authorized deferment periods. Interest is charged when the loan is in a repayment or forebearance status. If you received a Direct Subsidized Loan that was first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.
Unsubsidized Direct Loans are awarded regardless of each student's demonstrated financial need. These loans begin to generate interest charges immediately after disbursement. These charges may be defered during at least half-time enrollment, grace, and deferment periods.
Federal Direct Student Loan Amounts
The amount available in Federal Direct Loan funding will vary for each student. The type and amount of each loan is determined by the SUNY ESF Financial Aid Office based on demonstrated financial need, class level, other financial aid, and previous borrowing totals. Maximum loan eligibility is as follows:
Dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to $5,500 in the first year (no more than $3,500 may be subsidized); $6,500 in the second year (no more than $4,500 may be subsidized); $7,500 in the third, fourth, and fifth years (no more than $5,500 may be subsidized), up to a total of $31,000 aggregate balance (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized).
In addition to the amounts listed above, independent
undergraduate students and students whose parents are unable to borrow
through the Federal Direct PLUS Program
can borrow up to $4,000 in the first and second years; $5,000 in the
third, fourth, and fifth years, up to a total of $57,500 aggregate
balance (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized) for all Stafford
Loans. These additional loan amounts can only be in the
unsubsidized form of loan.
Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 per year, up to a total of $138,500 aggregate balance (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized).
Undergraduate Loan Amounts - Dependent Students*
|Class Year||Base Loan Amount
Undergraduate Loan Amounts -
Independent Students* -OR-
Students Whose Parents are Unable to Borrow Through the Direct PLUS Program**
|Class Year||Base Loan Amount
Graduate Loan Amounts*
|Class Year||Unsubsidized Loan||Total|
*These amounts indicate the federal maximums. Individual
student loans are based on the student's need level, expected costs,
other financial aid, and additional factors.
**Based on the denial of a Direct PLUS loan application or pre-approval. New loan amounts will be automatically offered upon receipt of denial documentation.
***Starting July 1, 2012: Graduate students are no longer eligible for subsidized student loans.
Federal Direct Student Loan Terms and Conditions
Direct Student Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 have a fixed interest rate. The rate assigned to each loan will change every July 1 according to the following chart:
|Academic Year||Degree Level||For
|2014-2015||Undergraduate||7/1/14 to 6/30/15||4.66%|
|2014-2015||Graduate||7/1/14 to 6/30/15||6.21%|
|2015-2016||Undergraduate||7/1/15 to 6/30/16||4.29%|
|2015-2016||Graduate||7/1/15 to 6/30/16||5.84%|
|2016-2017||Undergraduate||7/1/16 to 6/30/17||3.76%|
|2016-2017||Graduate||7/1/16 to 6/30/17||5.31%|
Previous Years Interest
All loans disbursed between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013 have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%. However, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act adjusted the fixed interest rate on all undergraduate subsidized Direct Loans according to the following chart:
Federal Direct Student Loans disbursed before July 1, 2006 have an annually variable interest rate which is capped at 8.25%.
All Federal Direct Student Loans are subject to an origination fee taken from the value of the loan at the time it is disbursed to the school. The loan amounts listed above and on financial aid award notifications represent the gross amount (amount before the fees have been paid). Orgination fees will be charged according to the following chart:
Loans First Disbursed
|10/1/14 to 9/30/15||1.073%|
|10/1/15 to 9/30/16||1.068%|
|10/1/16 to 9/30/17||1.069%|
In most cases, regular loan payments begin after the loan grace period, or 6 months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. Repayment will initially be scheduled for fixed monthly payments over a 10 year period. Other repayment options will be available for interested students.
Students should complete the following steps to apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Accept the desired loan(s) using the online Financial Aid Award Notification System
Students accepting a Federal Direct Student Loan for the first time at SUNY ESF should also:
- Complete online William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Entrance Counseling
- Complete an online William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Last updated on June 6, 2016
Financial Aid and Scholarships
113 Bray Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 470-4734 (Fax)
SUNY-ESF Federal School Code: 002851
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