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Student Financial Aid

Direct Loan Program

  • What is a Direct Loan?
  • Accepting your Direct Loans
  • Completing your Direct Loan MPN and Entrance Counseling
  • Loan Consolidation
  • Direct Lending FAQs

What is a Direct Loan?

Direct Loans are low-interest federal loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. With Direct Loans, you:

  • Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact, the Direct Loan Servicing Center, for everything related to the repayment of your loans.
  • Have online access to your Direct Loan account information any time by visiting StudentLoans.gov.
  • Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower and you can change repayment plans as your needs change.

Accepting your Direct Loans

Check Your Financial Aid Status Online to accept your federal direct subsidized, unsubsidized and graduate PLUS loans.

NOTE: If you are reviewing financial aid for the Summer 2017 term, please select the "Show me my Financial Aid Status" for Fall 2016/Spring 2017.

  1. Log in using your Directory ID and password.
  2. Once you log in, click “Awards” tab to view your award offer.
  3. Enter the total Direct Loan amount you are accepting for the year under the “Total Accepted” column.
  4. Review items 2 and 3.
  5. Click “Submit”.

Completing your Direct Loan MPN and Entrance Counseling

If this is your first federal loan from the University of Maryland College Park, you must complete the Entrance Counseling requirement. Click the "Documents" tab, and then follow the instruction under "Document Status" to complete the requirement. First time Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must also complete a separate Graduate PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling.

All students must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Click the "Documents" tab, and then follow the instruction under "Document Status" to sign the MPN.

Please note: You will need your FSA ID to electronically sign the MPN. If you have forgotten your FSA ID, please visit the Federal Student Aid ID website to request a duplicate or reactive the FSA ID.

Direct Loan for Parents and Graduate Students

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program is a credit based loan program available to parents of undergraduate students and to graduate students. A parent of an undergraduate student may borrow up to the total Estimated Cost of Attendance less financial aid resources received by the student. Likewise, a graduate student may also borrow up to the total Estimated Cost of Attendance less financial aid resources received by the student. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for the Direct PLUS Program. Parents can apply for the PLUS loan by visiting StudentLoans.gov. Graduate students need not complete a separate application, they will be automatically packaged and it will appear in their award offer.

Loan Consolidation

If you have borrowed prior federal student loans with private lenders, the Department of Education offers the opportunity to consolidate your loans. For more information on the Loan Consolidation process, please feel free to visit StudentLoans.gov and click “Direct Loan Consolidation”.  Please read the small print. If you choose to consolidate, you will go immediately into repayment and the terms of your prior loans will not apply.

For further information, please check the Frequently Asked Questions