Degree-seeking students enrolled at least half time may borrow student loans through the Federal Direct Student Loan program. Federal Direct loans are low-interest loans made available directly from the U.S. Department of Education.
Eligible students may borrow up to $5,500 their freshman year, $6,500 their sophomore year, and $7,500 for both their junior and senior years. Additional funds may be available for independent students or for students whose parents are not eligible for Federal Direct PLUS loans.
Subsidized loans are available to eligible undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need determined by filing the FAFSA.
- Interest – Interest begins to accrue six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half time.
- Loan Availability – The amount of available subsidized loans is determined by the annual maximum loan for your grade level and your financial need.
- Repayment Options – You will have a six-month grace period after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you are required to begin repayment.
Unsubsidized loans are available to eligible undergraduate students, regardless of family income or demonstrated financial need.
- Interest – Interest begins accruing the day the loan is paid to you until the day the loan is repaid in full.
- Loan Availability – Unsubsidized loans are available if your estimated cost of attendance is greater than your financial aid and you have not reached your annual maximum loan limit based on your grade level.
- Repayment Options – You have the option to pay the interest while in school or let the interest accumulate, which adds to the principal amount of the loan and increases the amount to be repaid. You will have a six-month grace period after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you are required to begin repayment.
Annual Borrowing Limits
The federal government sets limits on the amount of money a student can borrow.
Widener University awards students that have filed the FAFSA the maximum amount eligible based on the annual limits. The chart below shows the limits a student may borrow in one academic year. Independent students and dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan are eligible for additional funds.
|Year in School
||Subsidized/ Unsubsidized Combined Maximum (A)
||Subsidized Maximum (A)
||Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility (B)
|1st Year (0-29 credits)
|2nd Year (30-50 credits)
|3rd Year (60-89 credits)
|4th Year (90+ credits)
A – For all undergraduate students
B – For independent students and dependent students whose parents are denied a Federal Direct PLUS loan
Applying for and Receiving Federal Direct Loans
- Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Your FSA ID will be used to electronically sign your FAFSA and MPN.
- Complete the FAFSA.
- Accepted students will be notified if they qualify to receive a Federal Direct loan in their financial aid award letter.
- E-sign the Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note (MPN).
- Complete Entrance Counseling.
- Your Federal Direct loan will be credited to your student account at the start of each semester as long as all other federal student aid eligibility requirements are met.
Reducing or Cancelling Loan Funds
If you wish to cancel or reduce your offer of a loan, you may do so by making a notation on your financial aid award letter and returning it to Financial Aid Services.
Prior to leaving or graduating from Widener, the federal government requires that students complete Exit Counseling.