Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal student loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education to help eligible students cover the cost of higher education at an accredited institution.

To apply for a Direct Loan, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. RIT will use the information from your FAFSA form to determine how much aid you are eligible to receive. Direct Loans are generally included as part of a financial aid offer.

Eligibility

  • You must be enrolled at least half time (or its equivalent) in required coursework towards the completion of your degree.
  • You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. View SAP requirements for Undergraduate and Graduate students.
  • You must complete a current-year FAFSA.

Options for Undergraduate Students

Subsidized Loans

  • Available to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • RIT will determine the loan amount based on a student’s eligibility for all types of financial aid.
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while a student is in school, during the grace period, and during a deferment.
Unsubsidized Loans
  • Available to undergraduate students. There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • RIT will determine the loan amount based on a student’s eligibility for all types of financial aid.
  • Interest will accrue from the time of disbursement and the student is responsible for paying the interest. However, payments can be deferred during the six month grace period.

Options for Graduate Students

Unsubsidized Loans
  • Available to graduate students. There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • RIT will determine the loan amount based on a student’s eligibility for all types of financial aid.
  • Interest will accrue from the time of disbursement and the student is responsible for paying the interest. However, payments can be deferred during the six month grace period.

Learn how to apply

Graduate/professional students may also apply for Federal Graduate PLUS Loans.

Application Process

  1. To apply for a federal direct loan, you must first complete the FAFSA
  2. To receive the loan(s), you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling
  3. To receive the loan(s), you must be enrolled at least half-time. We recommend you view all terms and conditions of awards and offers.
Applying for a Federal Direct Loan

Interest Rates and Fees

The interest rates and loan origination fees are announced by the Department of Education annually.

Interest Rates

Interest is additional money that you pay to a lender as a cost of borrowing money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount that you borrowed.

View current interest rates
View previous years’ interest rates

Origination Fees

An origination fee is a percentage of your loan amount charged by the lender for the processing of your loan. An origination fee is subtracted by the Department of Education from the borrowed amount prior to disbursement. Therefore, the amount you receive as a disbursement will be slightly lower than the amount you accept.

View loan origination fees

Loan Limits

There are limits on the amount of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans that you are eligible to borrow each academic year (annual loan limits). There is also a limit on the total amount that you may borrow overall for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit.

View annual and aggregate loan limits

Repayment

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin loan repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date.

Learn more about loan forgiveness and repayment

Loan Borrowing History

You can view your federal loan history by logging into studentaid.gov. Your profile's dashboard will provide personalized information like your federal student loan balance, disbursement dates, and servicer contact information.

Contact Us

If you have questions at any point in the process, we’re here to help.


Chat
For general questions about the financial aid process, we recommend our live chat.


Email
For general questions about your specific situation, we recommend that you email ritaid@rit.edu.


Call
For detailed questions about your specific situation, we recommend that you call 585-475-2186.

Contacting our office by phone or email allows us to answer specific questions related to a student as long as we are able to affirm the student and the individual requesting information to protect privacy and confidentiality. Live chat is reserved only for general non-student specific information.

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Bausch and Lomb Center
56 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY 14623-5604

Directions to Admissions and Aid

Financial Aid Counseling Team

Consumer Information

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Office Hours

8:30am - 4:30pm
Monday - Friday

ritaid@rit.edu
p. 585-475-2186

f. 585-475-7270