Direct Stafford Loans from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program are low-interest loans to help eligible students cover the costs of higher education at a four-year college or university; community college; or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students at participating schools borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Stafford Loans include: 

Direct Subsidized Loans are based on financial need. Your school will review your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and determine how much you can borrow. You are not charged interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you remain in school at least half-time or during grace periods and deferment periods. 

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need. Your school will determine how much you can borrow. Interest accrues (accumulates) on the loan from the time it is first paid out. You can pay the interest all along – while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods – or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (added to the principal amount of your loan). Students should note that choosing the second option will increase the total amount they have to repay (they will be paying interest on a larger loan amount). 

The Parent PLUS Loan is for the parents of dependent students. Parents should first complete the FAFSA and all follow-up paperwork; they should then print the Parent PLUS loan request form and return it to the Financial Aid Office. The Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note may be completed online at htpps://

NOTE: You must reapply for financial aid each academic year

To apply for William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized or Unsubsidized): 

Students who have completed the FAFSA will be informed of their eligibility and must then accept or reject their loans electronically, through Self Service (under financial aid). 

Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Counseling (EC) session at htpps:// under First Time Borrower. 

The Financial Awareness Counseling on is optional but highly recommended. 

Wake Tech requires that all student loan recipients complete our Financial Literacy course. The course offers helpful advice about when to take out a loan, how to manage repayment, and how to budget. 

Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is used to make William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans. The MPN can be completed and signed online at using your FSA ID and Password. Designate Wake Tech as the institution. Allow three to five business days for electronic confirmation of this transaction. 

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling (EC)
The federal government mandates counseling for first-time borrowers, and Wake Tech requires a loan entrance interview. The interview includes information about loans, and student rights and responsibilities. It can be completed online at and takes about 30 minutes. 

Amount Students May Borrow
There is a limit on how much a student may borrow in a single academic year (annual loan limit) and in total (aggregate loan limit), shown below. Your school will determine how much you can borrow and in what form (what kinds of loans), depending on your year, whether you’re a dependent or independent student, your financial need, and other factors. For example, you may be eligible for a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan, provided you do not exceed the combined annual limits for both kinds of loans. 

Loan Limits: Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans 

Year Dependent Undergraduate Student (except students whose parents are unable to obtain Plus Loans) Independent Undergraduate Student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain Plus Loans)
First Year   (less than 30 hours earned  in your current program)


No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.



  No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Second Year   (30 or more hours earned in your current program)


  No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.


  No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Maximum Total Debt from Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits)


  No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.


  No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Disbursement of Loan Funds
You will be paid through your school in two or more installments; no single installment may exceed one-half of your loans. The money will pay for tuition and fees, housing, and other school charges.

*Note: You must be enrolled and actively attending at least six credit hours at the time loan funds are disbursed. Pre-curriculum students are limited to one academic year of loans for the completion of pre-curriculum coursework. 

Interest Rates 
If the first disbursement of your subsidized or unsubsidized loan is between July 1, 2017 and before June 30, 2018, the interest rate on your loan is fixed at 4.45%.  

View interest rates for federal student loans first disbursed prior to July 1, 2016.

*Note: Any loan borrowed by the student or parent will be submitted to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.  

Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities Statement 

Repaying Loans 
Repayment of student loans begins six months after you graduate – or after you drop below half-time enrollment. Various repayment plan options are available when you enter the repayment period. For more information on those options.

Upon Graduation (or leaving Wake Tech)
Federal Direct Loan recipients are required to complete a Direct Loan Exit Counseling (ExC) session when they graduate or when they withdraw from school or drop below half-time enrollment. Direct Loan Exit Counseling includes a review of the terms and conditions of the loan and the repayment process. More information is available at the Financial Aid Office; students should follow the Quick Guide to Exit Counseling

You may want to consider consolidating your student loans when you graduate or leave school, so you will have a single payment instead of several payments to different lenders. More information is available at Direct Consolidation Loan

To find out your Federal Stafford Loan balance and/or total debt go to: