Financial Aid :: Types of Aid
Direct Loans have the same annual and aggregate loan limits; the same deferment and cancellation provisions; the same interest rates; and most of the same repayment plans (Standard, Graduated, Extended, Income-Based) as the Stafford Loan program. Direct Loans also have some benefits that are available only in the Direct Loan Program:
- Lower interest rate on Direct PLUS Loans (7.9% vs. 8.5% for Federal PLUS Loans)
- Up-front Interest Rebate
- Income Contingent Repayment Plan (in addition to the Income-Based Repayment Plan)
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
- No interest charged (for up to 60 months) during qualifying periods of active duty military service (for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008)
For additional information about Direct Loans, visit http://www.direct.ed.gov/student.html or the Financial Aid office.
For information on consolidating an existing Stafford Loan with a Direct Loan, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation or call 800-557-7392 (TDD/TTY: 800-557-7395).
To apply for a Direct Student Loan, students must meet the same basic eligibility criteria as other listed financial aid.
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or Renewal Application.
- If you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower and also have not received a Stafford Loan, complete Direct Student Loan Entrance Counseling.
If you are a first-time borrower, you must also review this document about subsidized loan limits from the US Department of Education: Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers. (PDF)
- Complete a Direct Student Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is the legal document with which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans.
- Complete and submit a Loan Request Form (PDF) to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or in-person.
Students are required to complete Exit Counseling if:
- you drop or withdraw classes to less than half-time or begin to attend as a less than half-time student.
- you withdraw fully from the college.
- you do not begin classes in a subsequent semester.
- you complete and graduate from a program.
You will be notified by email to your Virginia Western email account, or, if you are not longer attending, via a mailed letter to the address on file. Exit Counseling is completed through http://www.studentloans.gov.
To apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, students must meet the same basic eligibility criteria as other listed financial aid.