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SFA participates exclusively in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, in which borrowers obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education. For more information on Direct Loans go to

For information regarding the terms and conditions under which students receive Federal Direct Loans and Perkins Loans, please click here.

150 Percent Rule for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans (also known as SULA)

Effective July 1, 2013, federal regulations added a provision to the Direct Loan requirements that limits a first-time borrower's eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower's educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150% limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans. For more information regarding Direct Subsidized Loan timeframes, please visit

FY 2014 Sequestration Changes to Title IV Student Aid Programs

The loan fees on Direct Loans where the first disbursement was or will be made on or after October 1, 2014 and before October 1, 2015 will be 1.073% for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and 4.292% for Direct PLUS Loans. As of October 1, 2015, the sequester decreases the origination fees to 1.068% for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and 4.272% for Direct PLUS Loans.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan - A need based loan where the federal government pays the interest while the student is in school and during the grace period before repayment begins. You must be enrolled at least 6 hours per semester to receive these funds.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan - Non-need based loan. You, the borrower, are responsible for the interest on the loans as soon as the funds are disbursed. The interest is accruing while the student is in school. You must be enrolled at least 6 hours per semester to receive these funds.

Federal Perkins Loan - A low-interest loan offered to both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. This loan also has cancellation options based on after-graduation employment. The maximum award amount for eligible undergraduate students is $5500 per year. The maximum award amount for eligible graduate students is $8000 per year.

Federal Parent PLUS Loan - Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least 6 hours each semester. Your parents' credit history is checked to determine eligibility for this loan. Parents may borrow up to the student's Cost of Attendance.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan - Available to graduate students who are enrolled at least 6 hours each semester.

Emergency Short-Term Loans for Tuition and Fees - Stephen F Austin State University sets aside funds each semester for student who have a temporary need for money to help with tuition and fees. Please make sure that if you need to add classes that you do so before applying for the Short-Term Loan. Short-Term loans are billed through the student's account for half tuition & fees. A service fee of 1.25% will be charged to your student account. Any payments crediting your student account after the Short-term loan is disbursed will be used to repay this loan only after all other student account charges have been paid. For more information on qualifying and applying for short-term loans, click here.


Entrance Counseling is a requirement that must be met in order to receive Federal Direct Loan funding. Entrance Counseling guides the borrower in the understanding of what it means to take out a federal student loan. To complete Entrance Counseling, please click here. Note: Transfer students with prior loan history have the option of sending a copy of your complete Entrance Counseling by using our Transfer Student Entrance Counseling guide.

Exit Counseling provides guidance on managing debt and understanding your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Find more information on this topic by clicking here.

Student Loans are an excellent form of financial aid to assist with educational expenses. While some loans have forgiveness provisions, loans are a debt and MUST BE REPAID. Please borrow wisely. For information on student loan repayment plans and calculators, please click here.

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