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Federal Education Loans

Federal education loans are money that you borrow which must be paid back over a period of time, usually after you leave school. PSU participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. In the Federal Direct Loan Program (DL), students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education through their school.

Federal Student Loans | Learn More | Learn the basics about student loans and how to manage debt.

Borrow Smart, Create a Budget | Create a monthly or yearly budget

Loan Repayment | Repayment plans and calculators

 Retrieve your federal student loan information | Financial Aid Review
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) student access provides a centralized, integrated view of student's complete federal education loans. This is the U.S. Department of Education's central loan data system where all student federal loans are recorded regardless of lender or school of attendance. 

 Federal Perkins Loan

A low-interest loan available to Undergraduate and Graduate students attending at least half-time. To be considered for this loan in the fall, you should apply before March 1. Repayment begins nine months after recipients are no longer enrolled at least half time. The interest rate is fixed at 5%. New borrowers will need to sign a Master Promissory Note for the Perkins loan. The Perkins Master Promissory Note can be electronically signed here. For more information about the Perkins Master Promissory Note, contact Student Financial Services at 503.725.3440 or visit the Perkins Loan information Page.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

A need based loan available to eligible Undergraduate and Post-baccalaureate students. Repayment begins six months after recipients are no longer enrolled at least half time. This six months is referred to as a "Grace Period". The annual federal maximums are as follows: Freshmen $3,500 | Sophomores $4,500 | Juniors, Seniors, and Post-baccalaureate students $5,500.

Year Interest Rate
Subsidized Stafford Loans
(Undergraduate Students)

Interest Rate
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
(Undergraduate & Graduate 

 Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/13

and before 7/1/14


3.86% Undergraduate

5.41 % Graduate 


Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/14

and before 7/1/15


4.66% Undergraduate

6.21 % Graduate


For all subsidized Stafford Loans, the federal government "subsidizes" the interest (pays the interest) while the student attends at least half time.

Loan origination fees of 1.072% (for loans disbursed on or after Dec. 1, 2013 and before Oct. 1, 2014) and 1.073% (for loans disbursed on or after Dec. 1, 2014 and before Oct. 1, 2015) are deducted from the principle of each disbursement made.

Effective July 1, 2013 New Borrower Subsidized Stafford Loan Time Limitations | If you receive your first federal student loan on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on how long new borrowers can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The new limit is 150% of your total program length. For more information visit Federal Student Aid

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

A loan available to eligible Undergraduate, Post-baccalaureate, and Graduate students enrolled at least half time. Unlike the Subsidized Federal Stafford loan, interest does accrue on this loan while the student attends school. Students may borrow subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans at the same time. For dependent students the total of both loans cannot exceed the appropriate annual federal limits of Freshmen and Post-baccalaureate: taking graduate preparatory courses $5,500 | Sophomores $6,500 | Juniors, Seniors & Post-baccalaureate: seeking a second bachelor degree $7,500.

For dependent students | Dependent undergraduate students [Freshman | Sophomore | Junior | Senior & Post-baccalaureate students seeking a second bachelor degree] are eligible for $2000 of Unsubsidized Stafford loan in addition to their Subsidized Stafford loan eligibility.

For independent students | The combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loan maximums are: Freshmen $9,500 | Sophomores $10,500 | Juniors, Seniors, and Post-baccalaureate $12,500 | and Graduate students $20,500.

This loan is not need-based. Loan origination fees of 1.073% are deducted from each disbursement made.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a federal loan for parents to borrow on behalf of their dependent students. The parent PLUS loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.21%. For parents to be eligible to borrow this loan, students are required to be enrolled at least halftime (6+ credit hours) and have submitted the FAFSA. Parents must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen and pass a credit check. The PLUS loan has a 4.292% origination fee. For more information, visit the Parent's Page.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Online Application for the Graduate PLUS Loan 

2014/2015 Paper Graduate PLUS Application

2015/2016 Paper Graduate PLUS Application 

The Graduate PLUS loan is a federal loan for graduate and professional students in an eligible program with a fixed interest rate of 6.84%. To be eligible for this loan, graduate students must be enrolled at least halftime, have submitted a FAFSA, be awarded Federal Stafford Loans first, be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen and pass a credit check. The PLUS loan has a 4.292% origination fee. Students may borrow a Graduate PLUS loan up to their full cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received.

Once Portland State receives and certifies the Graduate PLUS loan application, the school will then send your application to Direct Loans for processing. If you have previously signed a Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), Direct Loans will match your active MPN with your PLUS loan, notify the school and authorize the school to disburse the PLUS loan funds according to the school’s disbursement schedule. If you do not have an active MPN, you will receive a request via mail from the Direct Loan Servicer with your MPN electronic and paper signature options.

New Graduate PLUS loan borrowers will be required to complete a new borrower entrance counseling session. If you are a new PLUS borrower, the PLUS Loan entrance counseling will be posted as an Outstanding Requirement in the Financial Aid Section of your PSU Student Account.