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Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan

Loans through this government-sponsored loan program are in the student’s name and do not require a co-signer or credit check.

For questions about Federal Direct Loan Servicing, please see the FAQ Page.

Subsidized loans are awarded to students with financial need based on FAFSA results. The 2022-2023 interest rate is fixed at 4.99%. No interest accrues while the student is enrolled at least half-time.

Unsubsidized loans are awarded to students who do not have remaining financial need after other aid is awarded. The 2022-2023 interest rate is fixed at 4.99%. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the time that the loan is received.

Note: If a student’s parent applies for and is denied a Federal PLUS Loan, the student may qualify for additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. At the first-year and sophomore levels, the student may borrow to a maximum of $4,000 in additional funds each year. During the junior and senior years the amount increases to $5,000 per year.

The standard repayment period for all Direct Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized) is 10 years and begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. For more information about repayment options, visit

2022-2023 loan origination fee: 1.057%

Additional information for first-time borrowers

To apply for a Direct Loan:

  1. If you have not already done so, complete the FAFSA.
  2. After you receive a notice of financial aid eligibility from Macalester, login to 1600Grand to accept all or part of your loan.
  3. Complete your Direct Loan Entrance Counseling online: First time borrowers must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling prior to applying for the Federal Direct Loan. Visit and log in with your FSA ID. Your results will be sent to us electronically. (Parents should NOT complete the session on behalf of their students, as this is a federal requirement designed to benefit each student’s understanding of their rights and responsibilities.)
    NOTE: If you previously borrowed under our Federal Direct Loan process, you do NOT need to complete Entrance counseling again. However, if you would like a refresher, please visit and select “Complete Entrance Counseling”.
    For more information about Federal Direct Loans and Entrance Counseling, please review the Department of Education’s Entrance Counseling Guide .
  4. Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN) online: Borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at If you are continuing your application after completing the Entrance Counseling Session you will not need to “sign in” for a second time. Simply proceed to the ‘Master Promissory Note’ section.

To apply for a Federal Direct Loan:

Printable/PDF instruction sheet

  1. Complete the FAFSA.
  2. Accept your loan on 1600grand.
  3. Complete a Master Promissory Note.
  4. Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling.