Federal Direct Student Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

Federal Direct Student Loans are used by many students to help finance their education. Students must file the FAFSA and be enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program to be eligible. Renewal borrowers must also meet satisfactory academic progress standards.

Eligibility for the subsidized portion is based on the verified expected family contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA, college costs for the year, and all other sources of aid. A subsidized loan will not accrue interest while the student is in school.

Students who do not qualify for the subsidized portion may still apply and borrow under the unsubsidized program. Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed. Students qualifying for the subsidized loan may also borrow through the additional unsubsidized eligibility.

An origniation fee will be proportionately deducted by the government from each loan disbursement. The current origination fee is 1.057% and is updated annually. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half time.

Borrowing Limits

The annual loan amounts for dependent undergraduate students are indicated below. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Dependent Student Federal Direct Loan Limits Base Eligibility Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility Total Student Loan Eligibility Additional Unsubsidized Loan*
First-Year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500 $4,000
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 $4,000
Junior & Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 $5,000

*Independent students or a dependent student whose parent PLUS loan has been denied may apply for the unsubsidized loan funding by filling out this form.


The current interest rates for subsidized and unsubsidized direct student loans:
(updated annually)

First disbursement of a loan Interest rate on the unpaid balance
Made on or after And made before
July 1, 2023 July 1, 2024 5.50% fixed

This rate does not affect any prior loans made to borrowers.


A FAFSA must be completed.

First-Time Borrowers
  • Log on to your My Lafayette account and accept or decline all or part the Direct Loan funds that have been offered in your financial aid award.
  • On or after June 1, go to StudentAid.gov and complete Entrance Counseling (this provides information about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower) and the Master Promissory Note.
Prior Borrowers

Log on to your My Lafayette account and accept or decline all or part of the Direct Loan funds that have been offered in your financial aid award.

If you are not applying for need based aid but wish to apply for loan assistance you must file the FAFSA and contact the loan coordinator at financialaid@lafayette.edu or call 610-330-5055.


Loan proceeds are received by the College and applied to the student’s account in two disbursements, one each semester. If a credit balance results after applying the loan to the student’s account, the excess will be refunded to the student by the Student Accounts Office within two weeks of the disbursement.


Repayment of the loan begins six months after the student leaves Lafayette College, graduates, or ceases to be enrolled at least half time. The six-month period between graduation and repayment is considered the grace period. You Can Deal With It provides calculators to help project your monthly repayment at various interest rates.

Exit Counseling

Students who have borrowed through the Federal Student Loan programs are required to complete exit counseling if they are no longer enrolled at least half time. Lafayette College will be notified electronically when this requirement has been completed.

Go to StudentAid.gov.

For loan-related questions, please contact us at financialaid@lafayette.edu or

Mengel and Milligan Loan Programs

These loans are limited to International Students as part of a need based financial aid award. The interest rate is 5% per year. Interest is not charged during full time enrollment at Lafayette and during the first six months after graduation, or during such time as the recipient is engaged in full-time graduate study. Repayment is made in monthly installments of not less than $40.00, beginning six months after graduation, with the full amount to be repaid in 10 years or less. There are no prepayment penalties. If the recipient withdraws prior to graduation, repayment begins on the first day of the second month following such departure.

Log on to your My Lafayette account after June 1 and accept or decline all or part the loan funds that have been offered in your financial aid award. A Master Promissory Note and Disclosure Statement is also required and will be provided by ECSI, the loan servicer after the loan funds have been accepted.