Types of Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. Steps to complete a FAFSA are listed under the FAQ & Hints tab.

If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your financial aid offer at JSU. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. 

If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans. Additional loan information is located on

A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. These loans usually have low interest rates and offer attractive repayment terms, benefits and options. Generally, repayment of a federal loan does not begin until after the student leaves school. Federal student loans can be used to pay school expenses such as tuition and fees, housing, books, supplies, and transportation. Jacksonville State University participates in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. (See more information on the Direct Stafford Loan Program below.)

The Annual Loan Limits (combined maximum for subsidized and unsubsidized) under the Federal Loan Programs:

  • For undergraduate dependent students include a maximum aggregate loan eligibility of $31,000 and award amounts for each academic year up to $5,500 (freshmen), $6,500 (sophomores) and $7,500 (juniors and seniors).
  • For undergraduate independent students a maximum aggregate loan eligibility of $57,500 and award amounts for each academic year up to $9,500 (freshmen), $10,500 (sophomores) and $12,500 (juniors and seniors).
  • For graduate/professional students a maximum aggregate loan eligibility (including undergraduate loans) of $138,500 and the award amount of up to $20,500 per academic year. 

The amount a student may borrow is limited to the cost of attendance set annually by JSU minus any other financial aid. You may contact our office for more information on the cost of attendance. A student who receives a loan must be enrolled in at least half time in financial aid eligible coursework within a financial aid eligible program and complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before disbursement of funds.

The U.S. Department of Education has two federal student loan programs:

  • The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. There are four types of Direct Loans available:    
    • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a JSU. 
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.
    • Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.
    • Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.

Students receiving a Federal Direct Stafford Loan at JSU must complete Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling during the term that you expect to graduate and/or if you drop below half time enrollment, you will be asked to complete an Exit Counseling/Interview if you have had a Federal Studen Loan while at JSU. Your FAFSA ID will be required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling. It is very important to notify your lender(s) of address changes so that you will receive your repayment information when your grace period ends.

Additional Limits on receiving Federal Direct Loans

Terms and Conditions of Title IV, HEA Loans

Disclosures for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Loan interest rates and fees information

Repayment Checklist

Repayment Estimator

Sample Repayment Schedule for Federal Student Loans

For total amounts borrowed, students may use his/her FSA ID to log in to

Alternate/Private Loans

Alternate/Private Loans are nonfederal loans issued by a lender such as a bank or credit union. Private student loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check, and do not provide the benefits of federal student loans. A student must be enrolled in at least half time and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in most cases.  Some lenders do allow students to be enrolled in less than half time and/or not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. JSU highly recommends exhausting all federal eligibility before pursuing Alternative/Private Loans because they are generally more expensive than federal loans. Steps to apply are listed under the FAQ & Hints tab. Information to compare private loans to federal loans is located on