Undergraduate student loan types

Federal Direct Loans

There are two distinct Federal Direct Loan programs:

Subsidized Loan Program: The subsidized program is based on financial need, and the borrower does not pay interest while enrolled at least half-time. 

Unsubsidized Loan Program: The unsubsidized loan program does not have this in-school subsidy and is not need-based. All eligible students may apply for and receive these funds. 

Under the unsubsidized program, interest can accumulate or capitalize until the borrower is out of school, increasing the principal's amount. The borrower can make interest-only payments to avoid capitalization. View up-to-date information on interest rates and loan origination fees.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Parent PLUS 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 PLUS Loan.
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan applicants are subject to credit checks.
  • Parents may borrow up to the cost of the 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 PLUS Loans. You accept the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan through the student's WebOpus account. The parent will need to apply for the loan at studentloans.gov.

If a parent is denied a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, a dependent student may be considered for a different 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 creditworthiness and may have higher interest rates than federal student loans.

The Financial Aid Office advises all students to use the Direct loan programs first.

Undergraduate loan information

Annual undergraduate loan amounts

The amounts that undergraduate students may borrow per academic year depending on the credits earned.

  Dependent Students Dependent Students  Denied a Parent Federal Loan Independent
Students
Grade
Level
Earned Credit Hours Base
Amount
Additional
Unsubsidized
Base
Amount
Additional
Unsubsidized
Additional
Unsubsidized
First-year 0-29 $3,500 $2,000 $3,500 $6,000 $6,000
Sophomore 30-59 $4,500 $2,000 $4,500 $6,000 $6,000
Junior/Senior 60 or more $5,500 $2,000 $5,500 $7,000 $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 get outstanding federal student loan debt of up to $57,500.

What to expect

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.

You have the right to cancel all or a portion of your federal student loan(s) within 14 days of disbursement by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

You must accept loans through your 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 and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before we can disburse the funds. 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. After enrollment is confirmed, the disbursement will occur by the first day of classes each term. The College automatically credits the money to your bill and refunds the balance, if any, to you.

The borrower is responsible for repaying any federal undergraduate student loans disbursed regardless of completion of their educational program (graduation) or employment opportunities.

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. 

Loan repayment information tools

Students 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.