Processing Your Student Direct Loans


Please click HERE to view an attachment regarding your eligibility for receiving the Federal Direct Subsidized loan. This regulation could affect the subsidy you receive on Federal Direct Subsidized loans. After you have read through this attachment, if you still have questions please contact our office.


DBU processes what was formally known as 'Federal Stafford Loans' through the Federal Direct Lending program as of the 2010 Summer semester. The University no longer uses the Federal Family Education Loan Program (private lenders) to process student loans, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS Loans. In the FFEL program, funds came banks, credit unions, or other lending institutions that participated in the program. In the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the Department of Education serves as your lender and your loan funds will be delivered by them to DBU. Under the Federal Direct Loan program the funds for your Federal loans come directly from the Federal government. Eligibility rules and loan amounts are identical under both the FFELP and FDL programs. You may still choose a private lender to fund any private alternative loans. Of special note to borrowers:

  • All students are required to complete loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before receiving loan funds.
  • Continuing borrowers will not need to do Entrance Counseling or a new MPN.
  • After you graduate (or drop below halftime enrollment), you will have an opportunity to consolidate all of your Federal loans (including your FFELP loans) through the Federal Direct Loan program so that you will not have to make payments to multiple lenders.
  • Parent borrowers using Federal Parent PLUS Loans and Graduate borrowers using Graduate PLUS Loans obtain loans through the Federal Direct Loan program, also. DBU no longer processes Parent PLUS/Graduate PLUS loans through private lenders. Borrowers are able to consolidate previously borrowed PLUS Loans from the FFELL program into the Federal Direct Loan program.

Some Federal Direct Loan Facts

The difference between Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans

     Direct Subsidized means that interest, which accrues on a loan, while a borrower is in school, grace, or authorized periods of deferment, is paid by the government.

     Direct Unsubsidized means that the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest that accrues on the loan. Interest on an Unsubsidized Loan accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.

It is more beneficial to a borrower to have a Subsidized Loan, but there are more rigid eligibility requirements to qualify for a Subsidized Loan.

Repayment Information

As long as you continue to enroll in halftime enrollment, you will not be required to make payments on your loans. However, when you are expected to make payments – you will make payments to your lending institution (for your FFEL), as well as to the U.S. Department of Education (Direct). Again, you may consolidate your loans with the Federal Direct Loan Servicing Center. You will need to contact them in order to set this up.

Loan Consolidation Information

You may explore your options with either private lenders or follow this link to the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Program for information on consolidating with them.

Applications for Direct Loans

Because we use the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program exclusively for our Direct Stafford and PLUS loans you will need to secure your loans for the semester.  For both new and existing student borrowers to be reviewed for and awarded any loan funds for which you are eligible be sure to complete your online FAFSA ( and online DBU Supplemental Application (, indicating you would like to be considered for loans on each. A financial aid counselor will evaluate your eligibility and you will be notified with an award letter in the mail along with instructions on guaranteeing, or securing, your Federal Direct Loan.  Navigate HERE to secure your loan and sign your Master Promissory Note

You will be required to complete both your MPN and Entrance counseling session in order to ensure receipt of your loan disbursements. It is only necessary to complete this requirement one time for Federal Direct Loans. Each Federal Direct Loan you have from that point forward will not require you to complete a new MPN or entrance counseling.

You will need to obtain a copy of your Federal PIN Number, used to electronically sign your FAFSA application. If you have lost or forgotten this pin number you may request a copy of it at

Direct Loan Reduction and Increase Requests

Should you wish to reduce your loan funds, you will need to fill out and submit a Federal Direct Loan Reduction form to the Office of Financial Aid. Conversely, should you need more funds, you must first consult the Office of Financial Aid. Once it is determined that you are eligible for additional loan funds, you will need to fill out and submit a Federal Direct Loan Increase form to the Office of Financial Aid. These forms are found on our Financial Aid Forms page. (See the link at the top or bottom of this page.)

Since Direct Loan amounts are based on dependency status and grade level in school, DBU will need to confirm (through the registrar's office) the total number of transfer hours accepted into your degree program. Please see the eligibility chart below. Once it has been determined that you are eligible for additional loans funds due to your status, you may submit a Direct Loan Increase Form and indicate that you are requesting an increase based upon your grade level change. A financial aid counselor will review this information and make the appropriate adjustment.

Contacting the Department of Education

For Federal Direct Loan information, you may contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 or (315)-738-6634. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00 am EST to 8:30 pm EST

Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized ANNUAL Loan Limits

Dependent Freshman            

(Freshman=0-29 hours completed)  


Loan totals of $5,500 not to exceed $3,500 Subsidized

Independent Freshman       

(Freshman=0-29 hours completed)                                           


Loan totals of $9,500 not to exceed $3,500 Subsidized

Dependent Sophomore         

(Sophomore=30-59 hours completed)                  


 Loan totals of $6,500 are not to exceed $4,500 Subsidized

Independent Sophomore     

(Sophomore=30-59 hours completed)                                      


Loan totals of $10,500 not to exceed $4,500 Subsidized

Dependent Junior/Senior      

(Junior/Senior=60+ hours completed)                


Loan totals of $7,500 are not to exceed $5,500 Subsidized

Independent Junior/Senior   

(Junior/Senior=60+ hours completed)                                    


Loan totals of $12,500 not to exceed $5,500 Subsidized


Graduate Student     Loan totals of $20,500 (Unsubsidized Only)


AGGREGATE (Accumulated or Total) Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Limit

Dependent Students Undergraduate

except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans

$31,000 for dependent undergraduates

With no more than $23,000 of this amount in subsidized loans

Independent Students Undergraduate

and Dependent Undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans


$57,500 for independent undergraduates—

With no more than $23,000 of this amount in subsidized loans.


Graduate and Doctoral

and Dependent Undergraduate students whose parents Are unable to obtain PLUS Loans

$138,500 for graduate or professional students—

With no more than $65,500 of this amount in subsidized loans.


NOTE: The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.




Financial Aid Forms Questions about Fees & Payments Contact Financial Aid


The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is currently unavailable and is expected to continue to be unavailable until fall 2017.

This inconvenient outage does not prevent students and parents from completing the FAFSA. It may still be completed using their 2015 tax information for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 financial aid years. 2015 tax information will, however, need to be entered manually in those fields on the FAFSA as long as the DRT is unavailable.

For more information, view this video.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 214-333-5363 or


Financial Aid Questions? Get Video Answers Ready to Apply? Thinking About DBU? Grants Scholarships Loans Tuition & Housing Costs

Information regarding specific yearly amounts for each Federal Aid program is available in the FINANCIAL AID STUDENT GUIDE, published annually by the US Department of Education.

Click HERE to view that publication online.