Federal Direct Loan Information

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Cambridge has elected to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program for the federal Stafford, PLUS loan programs. Listed below are the loan types, eligibility and steps that you must follow to complete your loan process from application to disbursement.

Loan Types

Subsidized – is awarded to student’s demonstrating a financial need as determined by the federal processor as a result of your FAFSA application. Your loan eligibility is also based on your academic level (see chart below). Interest payments on this loan is subsidized (you are not charged interest) by the federal government while you are in school or during authorized periods of deferments. You begin repayment six months after you graduate or stop attending at least half-time.

Unsubsidized – a student does not have to demonstrate financial need to receive this loan. You may borrow the cost of attendance minus all financial aid awarded and based on your academic level (see chart below). Interest payments on this loan are not subsidized by the government. You can choose to pay the interest while you are enrolled halftime or it can be accrued and added to the part of the principal of the loan that you owe. You begin repayment six months after you graduate or stop attending at least half-time.

Parent Plus – PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) Loan enable parents to borrow for each of their dependent children enrolled in at least six credits and meet all eligibility requirements. Parent can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. Parents have the option to defer payment until six months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled on at least half-time basis. Interest payments on this loan are not subsidized by the government.

This loan is a credit-worthiness loan which will require a credit history approval that is performed by U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Services Department. Loans are not automatically renewed. Parents must reapply annually.


Recipients of federal loans must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application annually
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Admitted to a degree seeking program or an eligible certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half time (6+ credits) when loan proceeds are received.
  • Not be in default on a previous student loan or owe a repayment on a previous federal aid award received at any institution.
  • Applicant cannot have an adverse credit history (for Parent Plus loans only).
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.

If you are a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower, using your Federal FAFSA PIN, complete and submit the electronic Master Promissory Note at: http://studentloans.gov/

Parent Plus Loan Application Process

  • A completed FAFSA must be on file.
  • Complete an electronic PLUS Master Promissory Note(eMPN) for Parents at http://studentloans.gov/
    • You must submit copies of the parent applicant’s citizenship or permanent resident documentation.
  • Upon receipt of your completed application with all required documents, your application will be processed.
  • If your PLUS Loan is approved you will receive notification from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • If your PLUS Loan is rejected, you will receive notification from the U.S. Department of Education. You will be given the option, at that time, to obtain an endorser (co-signer) to continue the loan process.
    • If you choose not to submit an endorser application, you should contact the Financial Aid Office for information on student eligibility for alternative loans
  • When Plus Loan is approved Cambridge will notify student/parent of the amount of Plus Loan Funds Needed. The Parent will need to confirm the amount requested and submit the signed confirmation to the financial aid office.
    • Plus Loan funds will disburse after the financial aid office receives the signed confirmation.

Is there a charge for this loan?

Yes. In addition to interest, you pay a loan fee of 1.0% of the principal amount of each Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you borrow. The loan fee for PLUS loans is 4%. According to the US Dept of Education, – these fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The US Dept of Education deducts the fee before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.

Receiving Your Loan Disbursement

All Federal Direct Loan funds are disbursed directly to the Financial Aid Office to confirm that enrollment criteria are met at the time of disbursement. Funds are first used to pay any current outstanding balance due. Any remaining funds are sent to the borrower per payment period. Students must maintain at least half-time enrollment to receive any loan funds as required by federal regulation.

Loan Cancellation Procedure

If loan proceeds have been accredited to your student account and you would like to CANCEL/RETURN all of a portion of the disbursement of this loan(s) you have 14 days from the date of the disbursement of the loan to inform the Financial Aid Office of this request. Please send an email or visit the financial aid office to request a cancellation of your disbursement.

Please Note: if you cancel all or a portion of the loan, any remaining balance due on your account or refunds you may have received from the proceeds of this loan is your Reponsibility to repay. Failure to pay any outstanding balance due to the cancellation or reduction of your loan will result in a HOLD. HOLD means the student has an Outstanding Balance due and will not be allowed to attend class or receive an official transcript until any outstanding obligation is paid in full.

Academic Level Subsidized Unsubsidized for Dependent Students effective 7/1/08 Unsubsidized for Independent Students effective 7/1/08 Aggregate Limits
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $6,000 Undergraduates: Dependent $31,000 ($23,000 sub and $8,000 unsub) Independent: $57,500 ($23,000 sub and $34,500 unsub)
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,000
Junior $5,500 $2,000 $7,000
Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,000


Direct Loan Servicing OnLine
Direct Loan Borrower Servicing Center
1-800-848-0979/ TTY users can call 1-800-848-0983

NSLDS Loan History

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan) US Department of Education as lender.
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