University of South Carolina

Financial Aid & Scholarships


Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan Program

The Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan Program provides long-term, low interest, need-based loans to undergraduate students.

The Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan Program is disbursed through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

The interest rate on these loans disbursed between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, is 3.4%. For specific information about the interest rate on your loans, please contact your lender/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 limitation or reduction of the amount of a subsidized (or unsubsidized) Federal Direct Student Loan under certain prescribed conditions. These conditions are as follows: (1) the borrower is an undergraduate, applies for a Federal Direct Student Loan and is enrolled less than a full academic year (fall and spring semesters) or (2) the borrower will complete all degree requirements by the end of the semester or term for which the loan is requested. If these conditions occur, a loan amount may be reduced. Borrowers will be advised to review their revised award notification on SSC.

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 Subsidized (or 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 more information about subsidized Federal Direct Student Loans, including how to apply, click here.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Program

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Program provides long-term, low interest loans to undergraduate, graduate and professional students. It is similar to the Federal Direct Subsidized Student 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.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Program is disbursed through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Interest begins to accrue at the time of the first disbursement and is not automatically deferred. You may choose to pay the interest or request that it be deferred which will result in the deferred interest being capitalized and creating a greater expense during repayment. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%. For specific information about the interest rate on your loans, please contact your lender/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. As a graduate or professional degree student, borrowers may borrow 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 limitation or reduction of the amount of a Federal Direct Unsubsidized (or Subsidized) Student Loan under certain prescribed conditions. These conditions are as follows: (1) the borrower is an undergraduate, applies for a Federal Direct Student Loan and is enrolled less than a full academic year (fall and spring semesters) or (2) the borrower will complete all degree requirements at the end of the semester or term. If these conditions occur, a loan amount may be reduced. Borrowers will be advised to review their revised award notification on SSC.

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 (or Subsidized) 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 more information about unsubsidized Stafford Loans, including how to apply, click here.