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Federal Direct Loans

Undergraduate and graduate students should first maximize their Stafford Loan options before considering private loans.

At Citizens Bank, it’s our goal to keep you as informed as possible on all of the financial aid that’s available to you such as Federal Direct Loans, which are funds that you borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education.

There are a couple of Federal Direct Loan options depending upon your borrowing status.

  • The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program includes a low-interest loan option granted to eligible undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time. Students can choose between two types of Stafford loans:
    • Subsidized: Available only to undergraduate students that demonstrate financial need, which is calculated by subtracting your overall cost of attendance from your expected family contribution, along with grants and scholarships, the federal government pays the accrued interest while you are in school.
    • Unsubsidized: Available to all students without regard to their economic need, but the student is responsible for paying all the interest.

  • The Federal PLUS program is for parents of dependent students who rely on their parents or legal guardians for financial support, and for graduate/professional students who are enrolled at least half-time as well.
To apply for a Direct Loan you first start by submitting your FAFSA. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if they require additional paperwork.


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