Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Federal Direct Loan

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How to Apply:

  1. Complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA form
  2. Complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
  3. Complete your Federal Direct Loan application:

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*Applications submitted will be processed within 7-10 business days for students with completed financial aid files after July 15.

Please allow adequate time for processing when submitting your request.

PLEASE NOTE: This loan application is for the 2023-2024 full academic year (Fall and Spring).

Annual Loan LimitsDependent Undergraduate StudentsIndependent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents are denied a Parent PLUS Loan)
First Year
Second Year
Third Year & Beyond

Note that the actual subsidized loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit. Speak with an officer for individual borrowing eligibility and review the Federal Student Aid website for additional information.

If your parent has been denied a PLUS loan, please contact our office regarding requests for additional unsubsidized funding.

You can review your federal student loan balance by accessing the dashboard page of your account.

  • Interest Rate = 5.50% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024.
  • Origination Fee for student loans is 1.057% Calculate Fee
  • Students can estimate post-graduation monthly loan repayment using the Repayment Estimator

*If your file is incomplete, please submit the required documents as soon as possible. Loan applications for incomplete files will not be processed until all applications and documents are received.

We will contact you if the above steps 1-3 have been completed and additional items are necessary to process your loan.

*Summer loans are processed on a rolling basis.

*If you have applied for institutional financial aid, we will process your loan request after you have received a financial aid eligibility letter.

Related FAQs

What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

Interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan is paid by the U.S. Department of Education while you are in school at least half-time and during your six-month grace period after you leave school. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact our office.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans begin to accrue interest once the loan has disbursed to the student account.

Is there a way to increase my Subsidized Loan eligibility?

Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility draws from the same pool of federal need as Federal Work-Study. You may be able to reduce your Federal Work-Study allotment in order to increase your Direct Subsidized Loan amount.

Can I purchase a computer with my financial aid?

The cost of a computer is not part of the student budget. Student loans are available to cover a computer that is purchased during the academic year. If you are interested in borrowing a loan to cover the cost of a computer please contact us at

If you have an outside scholarship that exceeds the amount of your Student Contribution (SC) and Work Expectation, up to $1500 of the computer cost may be able to be covered by the scholarship. Note this policy is not applicable to tablet purchases.

Whether borrowing a loan or receiving an outside scholarship to cover the cost, you will be asked to provide a receipt of the purchase.

How do I pay for books, travel, and personal expenses?

Student’s individual expenses for books, travel, and other personal expenses vary. In our academic year budget we use average figures to reflect the cost students and families can expect to incur. Many students will subsidize these expenses from summer and academic year earnings, savings, parental assistance, and other financing options.