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Federal Direct Student Loans

*For information on Coronavirus and Forbearance information for Students, Borrowers and Parents please visit 

The U.S. Department of Education's federal student loan program is the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.  Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. Hartnell College offers two types of direct loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans for eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education. Current interest rate is 
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans for eligible undergraduate students, but eligibility is not based on need.


National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

HEOA Sec.489 amended HES Sec.485B(d)(94)(20 U.S.C. 1092b) 

Institutitons that enter inot an agreement with a potential student, or student regarding a Title IV, HEA loan are required to inform the student or parent that the loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined by authorized users of the data system.


Direct Loans are borrowed funds and must be repaid with interest

  • Interest rates for Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024 is 5.50%
  • Interest rates for Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2024 and before July 1, 2025 is 6.53%


What is Interest?

Interest is paid to a lender as a cost of borrowing money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount. Direct Loans are daily interest loans, which means that interest accumulates daily. Depending on whether you borrow subsidized or unsubsidized loans, you may be responsible for paying the interest that accrues while you are in school. Learn more about interest

Are there any other fees?

Federal student loans have loan fees know as origination fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The origination fee is deducted from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You are responsible for repaying the entire loan amount and not just the amount you received.

Loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2022, and before October 1, 2024, will have an origination fee of 1.057%

Loans should be used as a last resort to pay for educational expense. Please for more information.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Submit a FAFSA and all requested documents. Your file must be complete.
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 6-units
  • Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress 
  • No overpayment owed to Federal Grant Programs
  • No Defaulted Loans

Students who meet the criteria above who wish to borrow should contact the Financial Aid Office by emailing for more information. 

2023-2024 Federal Direct Loan Deadlines

Fall 2023 - October 27, 2023

Spring 2024 - April 12, 2024

Summer 2024 - July 3, 2024

**Funds from federal direct student loans may be canceled prior to disbursement. If you wish to cancel your student loan, please contact the financial aid office at