Educational loans are a part of a family of aid known as Self-Help Aid. The purpose of student loan programs is to assist students in covering the costs of attending college such as tuition, room and board, and textbooks. After these costs have been paid, the remainder of your student loan funds may be available to cover additional education expenses. Students are encouraged to borrow only what they need to cover direct educational expenses as student loans must be repaid.

To qualify for assistance in the Direct Loan program, students must complete the:

Before the Federal Direct loan funds can be disbursed to any student account, students are required to secure their loans at and complete both the online Entrance Counseling and electronically signing their Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Learn about Loan Entrance Counseling >>

Exit counseling will be required from students upon their graduation or withdrawal from the University. Exit counseling is required by Federal regulation and should be completed within 30 days of graduation or upon withdrawal from the University. 

Learn about Loan Exit Counseling >>

Learn more about Loans >>

What is the difference between the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan?

Direct Subsidized

On this type of loan, the interest which accrues on a loan while a borrower is in school, during their grace period or authorized periods of deferment, is paid by the government. While there are more rigid eligibility requirements to qualify for a Direct Subsidized Loan, it is more beneficial to a borrower because the accrued interest is subsidized while in school.

Direct Unsubsidized

On this direct loan, interest begins to accrue beginning at the time of disbursement and the student borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest that accrues. 

Both loans may be paid when a student is in school without the risk of penalty.

Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Annual Loan Limits
Dependent Freshman
(Freshman=0-29 hours completed)


Independent Freshman
(Freshman=0-29 hours completed)


Dependent Sophomore
(Sophomore=30-59 hours completed)


Independent Sophomore
(Sophomore=30-59 hours completed)


Dependent Junior/Senior
(Junior/Senior=60+ hours completed)


Independent Junior/Senior
(Junior/Senior=60+ hours completed)


Graduate Student



For many students, the number of family resources, scholarships, and grants does not cover the entire cost of education. And, even after students have received low-interest federal student loans, they may still need additional resources. These students and families may benefit from receiving low-interest alternative student loans to help cover the remaining costs associated with attending DBU. We have compiled a list of other federal, state, and private loan resources to help bridge this gap:

Loan funds are normally disbursed to student accounts in equal amounts, per Federal guidelines, twice per loan period. For example, if the student's loan period consists of the Fall and Spring semesters, one disbursement will be made in the Fall and one in the Spring.

Each equal disbursement is applied to the student's account approximately one week after the add/drop period ends for that semester. If the loan period is one semester only (example, Summer), then only one disbursement is made early in the semester (after the add/drop period ends).

DBU participates in Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for loan payments into student accounts.

Undergraduate students who are completing their degrees and will be attending only a portion of the academic year will have their loan amounts adjusted (lower), or "pro-rated," according to Federal regulations. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. This is a credit-based loan. Parents may borrow for their dependent undergraduate students under the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program (PLUS).

Here’s a quick overview of Direct PLUS Loans:

  • The student’s FAFSA must be completed before an application is made.
  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  • Parents must not have an adverse credit history as a credit check will be conducted. If there is an adverse credit history, it is still possible that a parent would still be able to receive a PLUS loan if additional requirements are met.
  • Parents must not be in default on any Federal Student Loans or owe a refund on any Federal Grants.
  • Applying parent(s) must be US Citizens.
  • The maximum PLUS loan amount a parent can receive is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.
  • An origination fee will apply.

NOTE: If the PLUS Loan is denied, the student may then be eligible to borrow additional funds under the Federal Unsubsidized Loan program.
Additional Parent Plus loan information >>

To apply or obtain additional Parent PLUS loan information, please visit

Graduate students who have exhausted the Stafford Loan eligibility may apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan up to the cost of attendance. If there is an adverse credit history, it is still possible that a student would still be able to receive a Graduate PLUS loan if additional requirements are met. To apply or obtain additional Graduate PLUS loan information visit

Do I have to start making payments for my other loans with those lenders now?

As long as you continue to enroll in halftime enrollment, you will not be required to make payments on your loans. 

Am I able to consolidate my bank loans and Direct Loans together?

Yes, to qualify for Direct Consolidation Loans, borrowers must have at least one Direct Loan that is in grace, repayment, deferment, or default status. However, loans that are in an in-school deferment cannot be included in a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Borrowers can consolidate most defaulted education loans if they make satisfactory repayment arrangements with their current loan holder(s). To explore your options, view the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Program for information on consolidating with them:

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Loan?

For new and existing student borrowers simply complete your FAFSA and DBU Supplemental Application, indicating you would like to be considered for loans on each. A financial aid counselor will evaluate your eligibility and you will be notified with an award letter in the mail along with instructions on guaranteeing your Federal Direct Loan.

How do I sign my MPN and Entrance counseling electronically?

You will need your FSA ID (more information here) which was used to electronically sign your FAFSA application. You will only be required to complete this requirement one time for Federal Direct Loans. You may request a copy of this number on the Federal Student Aid website.

What is the grace period for Direct Loans?

The grace period is 6 total months and begins once you graduate or drop to a less than halftime enrollment status.

If I need more of my eligible funds or I need to reduce what I thought I needed in loans, how do I do that?

Students wishing to adjust their original requested or awarded amount in loan funds will need to complete and submit a Federal Direct Loan Adjustment form to the Office of Financial Aid.

How do I contact the Department of Education with any questions or concerns?

You can contact the Department of Education by visiting

Where can I get online information to view my total student loan history?

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of a student’s federal loans and/or grant data provided to NSLDS from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs as a comprehensive resource for students.

View your Federal Educational Funds History >>