University of South Carolina

Financial Aid & Scholarships


Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan Program

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program provides long-term, low interest loans to undergraduate students and is disbursed through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Interest payments are subsidized by the federal government while the student attends at least half time. Eligibility is determined by a student's financial need.

The interest rate on Subsidized Loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 is 4.66%. For specific information about the interest rate on your loans, please contact your servicer.

Students may borrow up to $3,500 for the first year of study, $4,500 for the second year, and $5,500 per year for subsequent undergraduate study, not to exceed a maximum of $23,000. Graduate/Professional students are not eligible to borrow Subsidized Loans. Borrowers will not be required to begin repayment of these loans until six months after ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time.

New borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Loan Counseling before any loan funds will be disbursed.

Federal regulations require the proration of a Subsidized Loan if the borrower is an undergraduate, applies for a Federal Direct Loan, plans to enroll less than a full academic year (fall and spring semesters) and will complete all degree requirements by the end of the semester or term for which the loan is requested.

Generally, we are required to disburse your loan in at least two installments. Equal installments will be disbursed at the start of each semester if your loan covers multiple semesters. A loan that covers only one semester or term, however, will be disbursed in full at the beginning of the semester or term.

If, after the time your Subsidized Loan was certified, you receive any type of additional financial aid or your tuition fee status changes, your eligibility for your Federal Direct Student Loan may be reduced. Such changes may result in your being required to immediately repay amounts in excess of your revised loan eligibility.

For information about how to apply, click here.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Program

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program provides long-term, low interest loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and is disbursed through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. It is similar to the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program except that eligibility is not based on financial need and interest payments are not subsidized by the federal government but rather are the responsibility of the borrower.

Interest begins to accrue at the time of the first disbursement and is not automatically deferred. You may choose to pay the interest, which is encouraged, or request that it be deferred which will result in the deferred interest being capitalized when you enter repayment, creating an increased debt.

The interest rate on Unsubsidized Loans disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 is 4.66% for undergraduates and 6.21% for graduate and professional students. For specific information about the interest rate on your loans, please contact your servicer.

Undergraduate dependent borrowers have additional unsubsidized eligibility of $2,000 per year above their base eligibility, with a career maximum of $31,000. Undergraduate independent borrowers have an additional unsubsidized eligibility of $6,000 per year for the first and second years of study and $7,000 for the third and fourth year of study above their base eligibility, with a career maximum of $57,500. Graduate and professional students may borrow $20,500 per year, with a career maximum of $138,500 (including any amounts borrowed as an undergraduate). Medical students and graduate students in public health and clinical psychology may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loan limits.

New borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Loan Counseling before any loan funds will be disbursed.

Federal regulations require the proration of an Unsubsidized Loan if the borrower is an undergraduate, applies for a Federal Direct Loan, plans to enroll less than a full academic year (fall and spring semesters), and will complete all degree requirements by the end of the semester or term for which the loan is requested.

Generally, we are required to disburse your loan in at least two installments. Equal installments will be disbursed at the start of each semester if your loan covers multiple semesters. A loan that covers only one semester or term, however, will be disbursed in full at the beginning of the semester or term.

If, after the time your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan was certified, you receive any type of additional financial aid or your tuition fee status changes, your eligibility for your Federal Direct Student Loan may be reduced. Such changes may result in your being required to immediately repay amounts in excess of your revised loan eligibility.

For information about how to apply, click here.