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Federal Direct Loans

Temporary Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers Due to COVID-19

Payments on federal student loans that are held by the Department of Education are suspended through January 2021. View the Federal Student Aid website for more information. 

*Student loans held by banks are not included in this relief. 

New Mexico State University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Loans made through this program are referred to as Direct Loans. Eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Loans include Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans. You repay these loans directly to the loan servicer assigned by the US Department of Education.

Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan

  • Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) are given to students attending school at least half-time.
  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender, and you receive the loan money through your school.
  • You may receive a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or both for the same academic year.
  • A student qualifies for a Direct Subsidized Loan based on financial need, as determined under federal regulations.
  • A student’s need is not a factor in determining eligibility for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Students may qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan regardless of their financial need.
  • Undergraduate students may receive both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans for a single academic year, if eligible. Graduate students may only receive Unsubsidized Direct Loans.

Subsidized Direct Loan Eligibility is Limited to 150% of an Academic Program

Effective for new Direct Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2013: Subsidized Direct Loan eligibility is limited to a maximum of 150% of the student’s current academic program length.

  • Borrowers may receive Subsidized Direct Loans for no more than 150% of the length of the current academic program (ex: 6 years for a 4 year degree)
  • Once a borrower has received Subsidized Direct Loans for 150% of the length of their program, the borrower’s future Subsidized Loan eligibility will end.
  • A student who has received Subsidized Direct Loans for 150% of the length of their program and continues enrollment beyond that point will lose all subsidies on previously received Subsidized Direct Loans and would be required to pay all accumulated interest.

This policy is in addition to, and not in place of, the lifetime aggregate loan limits currently in place.

For more information, please review the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid announcement concerning this time limitation.

Fall Graduate Loan Proration

For graduating students attending only one semester of an academic year (attending and graduating the Fall semester), the Financial Aid Office must prorate subsidized and unsubsidized loan amounts. Proration limits the amount of subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans a graduating student can borrow. If you have applied for Fall graduation or have attempted 120 credit hours or more at New Mexico State University, a Financial Aid Advisor will recalculate your loan amounts and you will be notified with an updated Financial Aid Award letter via your NMSU email.

Teachers in the last semester of the Teaching Licensure Program are not subject to proration of Federal Direct Loans, however, your Cost of Attendance will be changed to a Fall only term and your total financial aid award cannot exceed your total cost of attendance.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is an Unsubsidized Direct Loan for parents of dependent students. A Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan enables parents with good credit histories to borrow money. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan does not require demonstrated financial need. Repayment begins 60 days after the last loan disbursement. To apply, parents must complete a separate Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application provided on the Department of Education’s website.

Apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Students pursuing a graduate or professional degree can borrow from the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program. The terms and conditions applicable to Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans (made to parents of dependent students) also apply to PLUS Loans made to graduate and professional degree students. Unlike Parent PLUS applicants, graduate and professional degree student PLUS applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Loan Amount Limits

Dependent Students Independent
Subsidized Unsubsidized Total  PLUS Denial  Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
1st Year Undergraduate $3,500 $2,000 $5,500 $4,000 $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
2nd Year Undergraduate $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 $4,000 $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
3rd Year Undergraduate $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 $5,000 $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
4th Year Undergraduate $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 $5,000 $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Aggregate Limit $23,000 $8,000 $31,000 $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Graduate Students Yearly: $20,500 / Total Aggregate Limit: $138,500