Direct Loans for Graduate Students

CU Boulder participates in the Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan program (known as Direct or Stafford Loans). The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. You are automatically considered for a Direct Loan after submitting your FAFSA.

Loan Features

  • Students can borrow up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loans per year, if eligible.
  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time (4 credit hours) to be eligible for federal loans.
  • Interest begins to accrue on the loan as soon as it is disbursed.
  • Loan origination fee is 1.069%.
  • Unsubsidized
  • Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, drop below half time or withdraw Learn more about managing repayment of your student loans.

Fixed Interest Rates

Date of First Disbursement Interest Rate
Before July 1, 2016 5.84%
7/1/16 - 6/30/17 5.31%

Loan Limits

Graduate/Professional Students have an annual loan limit of $20,500 and a lifetime loan limit of $138,500.

How to Apply

  1. Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Accept the loan online (view instructions)
  3. Complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling online at

Important Note: Loans must be processed by our office by the last day the student is enrolled in at least 4 credit hours.