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Financial Aid

Loan Information

Federally Guaranteed Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs

Direct Loan programs provide federal education loans to students and parents of undergraduates. Federal student loans are guaranteed, meaning there is no credit check.

Sign onto MyCWU > Sign In > Financial Toolbox >  Accept/Decline Awards to accept or decline aid. Central Washington University uses the active confirmation process, meaning we will not process this aid unless you accept it. 

First-time Direct Loan student borrowers:

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan

A subsidized loan indicates that the student is not charged interest while enrolled in school. Repayment begins six months after the student is enrolled less than half time. Interest begins to accrue when the student ceases to be enrolled at half time. The interest rate is fixed and interest paid is tax deductible. There is a loan origination fee. The amount of the loan is determined by the student’s need and year in school (see below). Need = Cost of Attendance (COA) – (Expected Family Contribution (EFC) + resources + other aid). Graduate Students are eligible for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  Also, the interest subsidy for Undergraduates and Post-baccalaureates during the 6 month grace period will be eliminated. Interest accrual for Subsidized Loans will begin at the time of separation.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan

The unsubsidized loan accrues interest while the student is in school. You can either pay the interest or it will be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance, thus increasing the amount you’ll repay). Independent undergraduate students may borrow an additional unsubsidized  loan; this additional loan is also available to dependent students whose parents have been denied the PLUS. The interest rate is fixed and repayment of the loan begins six months after the student is enrolled less than half time. There is a loan origination fee. Interest is tax deductible.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parent loan eligibility is not guaranteed. The parent must pass a credit check, and if denied, the dependent student may borrow at the independent student level. A PLUS is an unsubsidized loan for a parent of a dependent student and may be used to meet “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC). Parents may borrow an amount up to “Cost of Attendance” less any other aid. Parent loans have a loan origination fee and the interest rate is fixed and tax deductible. PLUS Borrowers may begin repayment 60-days after the final disbursement of the year OR upon request, defer payments while the student is in school. An additional request can be made to defer for 6 months after the dependent student graduates or drops below ½ time. Deferment request information will be sent to the borrower from the US Department of Education or one of their contracted servicers. You will have an opportunity to reduce the amount of the loan through the online PLUS Request process at Please accept or decline the Parent loan at > MyCWU > Sign In > Financial Toolbox >  Accept/Decline Awards

In order to receive a Parent Loan, the parent must apply online through the PLUS Request process and sign an electronic Master Promissory Note at with their FSA ID. This note is for one parent and one student. The parent who accepts this offer may be either a biological or adoptive parent (does not have to be the parent whose data is included on the FAFSA) or, a step parent (step-parent data must be on the FAFSA).

How much can I borrow?

All loans are limited to Cost of Attendance (COA) less other aid. Students may borrow a student loan annually up to:

  • $3,500 freshman.
  • $4,500 sophomore.
  • $5,500 junior/senior/post baccalaureate/Teacher Certification.

This loan will be subsidized to the extent that you have financial aid need. Post baccalaureates and all undergraduates are eligible for another $2,000 in unsubsidized loan.

Independent students or a dependent student (whose parent is denied a  PLUS loan due to the credit check) can borrow annually additional  unsubsidized loan up to:   

  • $4,000 freshman.
  • $4,000 sophomore.
  • $5,000 junior/senior/post baccalaureate.

Graduate students (Master candidates) may borrow up to $20,500 Unsubsidized Loan annually and a Graduate PLUS loan up to COA.

Lifetime limits:

  • $31,000 as a dependent undergraduate or post baccalaureate student. No more than $23,000 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.
  • $57,500 as an independent undergraduate or  post baccalaureate student. No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
  • $138,500 as a graduate student. $20,500 annually unsubsidized Loan. The graduate debt limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.


For students who are not eligible for sufficient federal student loans, private alternative loans may be available.

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