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Undergraduate Aid
(413) 545-0801
Graduate Aid
(413) 545-0801

Loans Available for Graduate Students

William D. Ford Federal Direct
Subsidized Loan


Subsidized Loan- Not available fall 2012/spring 2013

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal loan program, serviced by the Direct Loan Servicing Center. This program provides need-based loans and requires students to have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while students are enrolled in school and during a six-month grace period after graduation or withdrawal from school. There are several flexible repayment options offered.This loan program will not be available to graduate students as of the start of the 12-13 school year.

William D. Ford Federal Direct
Unsubsidized Loans


William D. Ford Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans are available to eligible students, regardless of family income or financial need. However, students must complete the FAFSA or the Renewal FAFSA to be considered for this program. A promissory note for this loan is completed with Financial Aid Services. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8 %. Interest payments for Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans begin the day the loan is disbursed and can be paid monthly, quarterly, or capitalized (adding the interest to the loan principal). Students can receive subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the same loan period, although the combination of both cannot exceed the Direct Loan limits, and they must apply for the subsidized loan first.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan


The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program enables creditworthy graduate students to borrow directly from the federal government to help pay for their educational expenses. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid. The interest rate is fixed and is set each year on July 1, but will never exceed 9%. PLUS Loans are disbursed directly to the student's UMass Amherst account, generally in two installments. The program charges interest on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full. To apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit a complete Graduate PLUS Loan Pre-Application and Entrance Counseling Form to Financial Aid Services.

Borrowers of Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans begin repayment 60 days after the second disbursement. Graduate student borrowers may defer principal and interest payment, but must request a deferment for every term of enrollment by contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center's Borrower Services (800-848-0979). A choice of repayment options allows borrowers to repay the loan in a way that best suits their financial circumstances. Applications and detailed information on repayment options are available at Financial Aid Services.

Alternative Loans

Before considering private loan options, you should apply for federal financial aid first and maximized federal student loan eligibility. Most graduate students at UMass Amherst finance their education through Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and through Teaching Assistantships. However, whether or not you qualify for need-based financial aid, you may want to consider other programs to help finance all or part of your cost of to attend UMass Amherst. More information>


Promissory Note

To receive a loan, you will need to sign a Promissory Note. Your lender will contact you with procedures for signing this.

Loan Links

Loan Deferments

Direct Loan Maximum Borrowing Limits

Direct Loan Information:
Learn about applying for Direct Loans and the options you have for repayment, use the interactive calculators, download Direct Loan deferment and forbearance forms, and get information about Direct Loan Consolidation.

Direct Loan Master Promissory Note:
Complete your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan promissory note online.

Direct Loan Servicing Online:
This Web site is for students who have Direct Loans or are considering financing an education and want to know more about Direct Loans. You may use your PIN to access specific information about your account and payments due.

The National Student Loan Data Systems:
An online tool to obtain information regarding your student loan history, overpayments, and enrollment history.