Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education that are administered by Claremont McKenna College. It is the U.S. Department of Education's major form of self-help aid and is available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Types of Direct Loans

There are two types of loans that you may be offered based on your financial need: subsidized and unsubsidized. For either type, you will begin paying back the interest and principal on the loans six months after you graduate or withdraw.

Name Origination Fee 2022-23 Interest Rate Minimum Monthly Repayment**
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan* 1.057% 4.99%** $50***
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan- Undergraduate 1.057% 4.99%** $50***
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan- Graduate 1.057% 6.54% $50***

* For all new borrowers who receive a federal direct subsidized loan on or after July 1, 2013, a 150% limitation is in effect. This means a student who is eligible for a subsidized loan will reach their subsidized limit at 150% of a program’s length of study. Once a student has reached their 150% limitation, their interest subsidy loan limit will end on all outstanding loans that were disbursed after July 1, 2013, and interest will begin to accrue. Students are therefore encouraged to complete their undergraduate degree in a timely manner.

**For subsidized loans, interest accrual begins six months after graduation/withdrawal from school. For unsubsidized loans, interest accrual begins while in school, upon the origination of the loan.

***Monthly payment may be more depending on total amount borrowed. For more information regarding repayment, utilize the Direct Loan Repayment Estimator

  • Complete the FAFSA. Our school code is 001170. You will need your U.S. Department of Education FSA ID. Login using your Social Security Number, first two letters of your last name, date of birth and your FSA ID. Upon completion, you may wish to print a copy of the rights and responsibilities page for your records.

  • Complete the Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Session. You will need your FSA ID to complete the counseling session.

  • Complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Request Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid- form available via Net Partner. Email us if you do not see the form listed.

  • Complete the Electronic Master Promissory Note. You will need your FSA ID to sign the promissory note electronically.

PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible, you must be enrolled at least half-time and meet other general federal student aid eligibility requirements. 

The federal government requires that students participate in an Exit Counseling Session prior to graduating or withdrawing from college (even if you plan to transfer to another school). To complete this session, students will need the following: Social Security Number; first two initials of your last name; date of birth; and FSA ID.

The counseling session helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower and provides useful tips and information to help you manage your loans.

Receiving your Federal Direct Loan Funds

When CMC is notified by the Federal Direct Loan Processor that they have a valid Master Promissory Note on file for you and that you have completed the Entrance Counseling Session, your loan will automatically be credited to your student account, as long as all other federal student aid eligibility requirements have been met.

Requesting a Reduction or Cancellation of Your Loan

You have the right to reduce or cancel your loan within 14 days after it credits your student account. This can be done by notifying the Office of Financial Aid by email from your CMC email account.

Federal Direct Loan Limits

The federal government sets loan limits on the amount of money a student can borrow. CMC does not package students with unsubsidized loans, however, a student may request to include unsubsidized loans as a revision to their financial aid award. The annual limit applies to the amount a student can borrow in one academic year, while the aggregate limit applies to the maximum amount a student can borrow in a lifetime. Independent and dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a Direct PLUS loan are are eligible for an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. See below.

Freshman: $5,500
Sophomore: $6,500
Junior, Senior, Post-Baccalaureate: $7,500

Independent & Dependent with PLUS denial
Freshman: $9,500
Sophomore: $10,500
Junior, Senior, Post-Baccalaureate: $12,500
Graduate: $20,500

Federal Direct Loan Life Time Limits
Undergraduate Dependent: $31,000
Undergraduate Independent: $57,500
Graduate: $138,500

For additional federal Direct Loan disclosure information, please view this plain language disclosure form.