Learn about Undergraduate Student Loans

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for all the following student loans:

Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) - Federal Direct Parent Loan

Note: If we confirm your eligibility for the Federal Direct Loan Program we will send you an Award Notification with details of the offer and instructions about how to begin the loan process.

Special Notice: If you have an undergraduate student loan, you have the right to cancel all or a portion of the loan within 14 days of disbursement by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

It is the borrower’s responsibility to repay any federal undergraduate student loans disbursed, in full, regardless of completion of their educational program (graduation) or employment opportunities.

The terms and conditions under which students receive Federal Direct Loans and Perkins Loans can be viewed on the Federal Student Aid website.

Federal Direct Loan

Students who completed the FAFSA are automatically considered for direct loans. There are two distinct Direct loan programs. The subsidized program is based on financial need and the borrower does not pay interest while enrolled at least half-time. The unsubsidized program does not have this in-school subsidy and is not need-based; therefore all eligible students may apply for and receive these funds. Under the unsubsidized program, interest may accumulate or capitalize until the borrower is out of school. Capitalizing increases the amount of the principal. The borrower may make interest-only payments to avoid capitalization. Up to date information on interest rates and loan origination fees, can be viewed on the interest rate page on the Federal Student Aid site. These loans are disbursed through the College. The amounts that undergraduate students may borrow per academic year depends on the amount of credits earned. See the chart below.


Dependent Students
Whose Parents are
Denied a Federal Loan
Credit Hours
Freshman 0-29 $3,500 $2,000 $3,500 $6,000 $3,500 $6,000
Sophomore 30-59 $4,500 $2,000 $4,500 $6,000 $4,500 $6,000
Junior/Senior 60 or more $5,500 $2,000 $5,500 $7,000 $5,500 $7,000


PLUS (parent) Loan: Limited to Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid such as grants, scholarships, work-study, student loans, etc.

A dependent undergraduate borrower may accumulate a maximum of $31,000 in outstanding federal loan debt. The undergraduate independent borrower may accumulate outstanding federal student loan debt of up to $57,500. The Financial Aid Office sends you an award letter when we confirm your financial aid eligibility. You need to accept loans through the student WebOpus account on the Fort Lewis College website. It may take up to four weeks, during peak volume periods, to transmit data to the US Department of Education.

First time Fort Lewis College borrowers must complete loan entrance counseling online before we can disburse their loan funds. First time borrowers at Fort Lewis College must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. Available computers on campus may be used for this purpose. After the initial MPN, a promissory note will not be required for subsequent loans.

The US Department of Education will transmit the loan proceeds to the school after you sign your MPN. Loans are disbursed in two equal installments. Disbursement will occur by the first day of classes each term, when enrollment is confirmed. The College automatically credits the money to your bill and refunds the balance, if any, to you. Please note, that any loan origination fees will be deducted from the loan upon disbursement. Origination fees are subject to change and can be viewed on the Federal Student Aid interest rate page

Direct Loan 150% Loan Limit Rule

As of July 1st, 2013, any first-time borrower, (which is defined as someone who has no outstanding balance on a FFELP or Direct loan when receiving a Direct loan on or after July 1, 2013), will only be able to obtain Federal Direct Subsidized loans for a maximum of 150% of the published program length in which they are enrolled. Additionally, the subsidized loans that had been borrowed up to the 150% point will lose further government subsidy and interest will begin to become the student's responsibility if they do not graduate by the 150% point (and continue to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program). From that point forward, these subsidized loans will become unsubsidized loans.

Here are a few facts that you need to know:

  1. Students may receive Direct Subsidized loans for no more than 150% of the length of the current academic program. For example, a student enrolled in a four-year program will have six years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility.
  2. Once a student reaches the 150% mark in a particular program, their future subsidized loan eligibility in that program will end. They may, however, be eligible for unsubsidized loans.
  3. A student who reaches the 150% limitation will have their interest subsidy end for all outstanding subsidized loans if the student does not graduate and continues to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program. Repayment does not begin, but like unsubsidized loans, the student (rather than the government) would become responsible for interest that accrues from this point forward.
  4. Unlike other measures in determining continued aid eligibility, this provision is not affected by the total dollar amount borrowed. Any and all periods of subsidized loan borrowing will count against the 150% time limit.
  5. This policy is in addition to, and not in place of, the lifetime aggregate loan limits that are currently in place.

For more information go to the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Direct Parent Loan

  • Federal Direct Parent Loans are for parents who wish to borrow to help pay for their student's education.
  • You must complete the FAFSA before applying for a Federal Direct Parent Loan.
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan applicants are subject to credit checks.
  • Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance budget, minus any other financial aid, each year.
  • Repayment begins within 60 days after the loan has been completely disbursed. Go to the interest rate page on the Federal Student Aid site to view up to date information on interest rates and loan origination fees.

The US Department of Education funds Federal Direct Parent Loans. Accepting the Federal Direct Parent Loan will be done through the student's WebOpus account on the Fort Lewis College website. The parent will need to apply for the loan at studentloans.gov. If a parent is denied a Federal Direct Parent Loan, a dependent student may be considered for an additional portion of the unsubsidized Direct loan. Origination fees will be deducted from the loan upon disbursement. Origination fees are subject to change.

Alternative Loans

Private loans have no government subsidy. These college loans require a more stringent qualification of credit worthiness, and may have higher interest rates than federal student loans. The Financial Aid Office advises all students to use the Direct loan programs first, which requires the completion of the FAFSA application is strongly encouraged.

Loan Repayment Information/Tools

Student and parents can find comprehensive information about undergraduate student loan repayment options on the Federal Student Aid website.

There is also a repayment estimator you can use if you are:

  • Curious about what your payment might be based on what you have borrowed so far;
  • Beginning repayment of your federal student loans for the first time; or
  • Exploring repayment options based on your income.

We also recommend contacting your loan servicer to explore the best repayment option for you.