Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

What is a federal Direct Subsidized Loan?

  • A federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a loan an undergraduate student can borrow from the U.S. Department of Education to help fund his/her education
  • The loan is in the student’s name and he/she is solely responsible for repaying the loan
  • A student must demonstrate financial need to help cover his/her educational costs
  • Subsidized loans due not accrue interest while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time or during deferment periods

Applying for and receiving a subsidized loan

  • FAFSA is required each academic year
  • If a subsidized loan is offered to a student on their MU Financial Aid Award Notice (accessed through myZou), and they wish to borrow the loan, the student must accept the loan through myZou
  • Student must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  • Student must complete Entrance Counseling at
  • To view eligibility requirements, visit the Understanding Aid section at

Maximum award amount

  • Amount awarded is based on financial need after consideration of other financial aid sources such as grants and scholarships
  • Total amount of subsidized loans that can be borrowed as an undergraduate is $23,000
  • Annual borrowing limits are based on a student’s total credit hours earned and academic level classification. Refer to the chart below
Maximum award by year
Year Award amount for dependent student Award amount for independent student
1st-year undergraduate $3,500 $3,500
2nd-year undergraduate $4,500 $4,500
3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate $5,500 $5,500
Interest rates and origination fees
Disbursement date range Interest rate
July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 3.73%
July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 4.99%


Additionally, loans disbursed from October 1, 2020 through October 1, 2023 carry an origination fee of 1.057%.

Loan repayment status
Status Definition
Student You will not make payments on your student loans while you are enrolled as a full-time or half-time student
Grace period After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you’ll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you’ll be notified of your first payment due date.
Repayment After your grace period ends, you will begin making payments on your student loans. Payments are usually due monthly.
Deferment Deferment is temporary suspension of making payments. Visit to learn more about deferments.

Loan proration for graduating undergraduate borrowers

If you are scheduled to graduate with your undergraduate degree and will not attend a full academic year, your annual federal loan limits will be prorated.

The amount of your prorated loan(s) will be directly impacted by the number of hours you enroll.

Important Dates

For the 2024-2025 academic year

Dec. 1, 2023 - Scholarship deadline for first-time college students

Feb. 1, 2024 - Scholarship deadline for current & transfer students

March 1, 2024 - MU's recommended FAFSA priority submission date

Apr. 1, 2024 - FAFSA submission deadline

More dates