A Direct Loan is funding through the Federal government and requires the student to have a completed FAFSA on file.  Students must be making Satisfactory Progress with NMU and enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 4 credit hours for a graduate student per semester).  These amounts will be limited by cost of attendance limits and aggregate loan maximums.  This loan will be deferred while the student is enrolled in school at least half time status.

Please borrow responsibly by only borrowing what you need.  Remember that students will be responsible to repay all student loans.

Direct Loan Awarding

As a part of your financial aid, you may be offered a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan. If you accept this loan offer, you will be borrowing money from the U.S. Department of Education and agreeing to repay it under the terms and conditions of the loan. Loan information will also be sent to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) and may be accessed by future schools, loan guarantee agencies, and lenders.  Students can view their previously borrowed loans by accessing studentaid.gov/  Your Federal Student ID(FSA ID) will be required to access the site.

First-time Direct Loan borrowers must complete entrance counseling and promissory note requirements (see First-Time Borrower Requirements below).

Direct Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while a student is enrolled at least half-time.  Financial need must be demonstrated in order to qualify for a subsidized loan.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans do accrue interest, even while a student is enrolled and during grace periods. You can elect to pay the interest costs as they are billed or you can defer payment of the interest and it will be added to the loan principle. Financial need is not required to obtain an unsubsidized loan.

Direct Loan Process

Each academic year ALL new and continuing students awarded Federal Direct Loans are required to accept or decline the loan online.  This is the case whether or not you have used student loans in the past.  In order to accomplish this, please follow the directions listed below. 

To accept or decline your Federal Direct Loans and view your financial aid award:

  1. Log in to your MyNMU account 
  2. Click on the Financial Aid tile or search Financial Aid on the left-hand side. 
  3. Click on Award Offer
  4. Follow the directions listed under You have aid which has not been declined or accepted.
  5. To make any adjustments after you have accepted or declined please email fao@nmu.edu
  6. 1st time borrowers only—go to studentaid.gov to complete the Loan Agreement (MPN) and Entrance Counseling

First-Time Borrower Requirements

Entrance Counseling: You must complete an Entrance Counseling session before we can disburse loan funds. This requirement can be met by completing a counseling session on-line at: https://studentaid.gov/entrance-counseling/.  Although the information will be sent to NMU electronically, please print and retain a copy for your records.

Promissory Note:   You are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before loan funds can be disbursed. You can complete an electronic promissory note online at: https://studentaid.gov/mpn/.  You will need your Federal Student Aid ID in order to complete the electronic MPN.  

Click here to view a summary of your Rights and Responsibilities under the Direct Loan program.

You may also contact our office (906)227-2327 to set up a time to complete the document in our office.  If you choose this option, please bring your mobile device to ensure computer access.

Parent information required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Table also available here: nmu.edu/financialaid/dependent-student-federal-direct-loan-eligibility

(All loans are subject to budget maximums)

ProgramGrade LevelSubsidized
Total Eligibility
Diploma $ 3,500$ 2,000$ 5,500
Certificate $ 3,500$ 2,000$ 5,500
AssociateFreshman$ 3,500$ 2,000$ 5,500
AssociateSophomore, Junior, Senior$ 4,500$ 2,000$ 6,500
AssociatePost-Baccalaureate$ 4,500$ 2,000$ 6,500
BachelorFreshman$ 3,500$ 2,000$ 5,500
BachelorSophomore$ 4,500$ 2,000$ 6,500
BachelorJunior and Beyond$ 5,500$ 2,000$ 7,500
BachelorPost-Baccalaureate$ 5,500$ 2,000$ 7,500

Aggregate Loan Limits:  $31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)
Maximum Total Outstanding Loan Debt

No Parent information required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Table also available here: nmu.edu/financialaid/independent-student-federal-direct-loan-eligibility

(All loans are subject to budget maximums)

ProgramGrade LevelSubsidized
Total Eligibility
Diploma $ 3,500$ 6,000$  9,500
Certificate $ 3,500$ 6,000$  9,500
AssociateFreshman$ 3,500$ 6,000$  9,500
AssociateSophomore, Junior, Senior$ 4,500$ 6,000$10,500
AssociatePost-Baccalaureate$ 4,500$ 6,000$10,500
BachelorFreshman$ 3,500$ 6,000$  9,500
BachelorSophomore$ 4,500$ 6,000$10,500
BachelorJunior and Beyond$ 5,500$ 7,000$12,500
BachelorPost-Baccalaureate$ 5,500$ 7,000$12,500

Aggregate Loan Limits: $57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)
Maximum Total Outstanding Loan Debt

No Parent information required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Table also available here: nmu.edu/financialaid/graduate-and-professional-student-federal-direct-loan-eligibility

(All loans are subject to budget maximums)

Unsubsidized OnlyTotal Eligibility

Understand the Timing of Disbursements

Federal Direct Loan Disbursement:

  • Loans made for the regular academic year will have one disbursement for fall and one for winter.
  • For students with one semester loans (fall-only or winter-only), the full loan amount will be paid out at the beginning of the semester if all requirements have been met.
  • For students with summer loans, there will be two disbursements. This means that there will be a delay in the full disbursement of the loans. Summer loans will have both disbursements within that semester, with the second disbursement being no earlier than the midpoint of the semester.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are determined each academic year in June by Federal Student Aid and are fixed for the life of the loans used that academic year.  To view the current direct loan rates and historical rates, click here.

Loan Repayment Information

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Information

The Supreme Court issued a decision blocking the federal government from moving
forward with the one-time student debt relief plan. Learn about the actions President
Biden announced following the decision and find out how this decision impacts you.

In addition, you may qualify for one of their existing student loan forgiveness programs.

Loan Repayments

The U.S. Department of Education's COVID-19 relief for student loans has ended. The 0% interest rate ended Sept 1, 2023, and payments restarted in October. Here is the information on restarting student loan payments: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/prepare-payments-restart

The average amount borrowed by graduates in the academic year. This does not include private student loan use or Parent PLUS Loan borrowing.

Academic Year

Total Graduating

Borrowers in Group

Average Per Borrower





















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