School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Terms and Conditions of the Federal Direct Loans

There are two kinds of Federal Federal Direct Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. A subsidized loan could awarded to undergraduate students who have financial need and the federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time. An unsubsidized loan may be offered regardless of need. The student is responsible for paying the interest (or choosing to capitalize the interest while enrolled at least half-time) on an unsubsidized loan. Undergraduates may have received a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans. Unfortunately, beginning fall 2012, per new federal regulations, graduate students will no longer be able to borrow Federal Direct Subsidized Loans.

Annual Maximum
For Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine students, the annual maximum Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan cannot exceed $33,000. Beginning in fall 2012, the federal government has removed availability of Federal Subsidized Stafford loans for graduate students. 

Aggregate Maximums
For graduate and professional health professions students the combination of subsidized and unsubsidized cannot exceed $224,000 for undergraduate and graduate study with no more than $65,500 in subsidized loans.

Origination Fee
An origination fee will be deducted from the face value of the loan by the Department of Education.

Interest Rate
Beginning on July 1, 2013, the interest rate for each academic year can be described as variable-fixed.The fixed interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans borrowed between 07/01/17 and 6/30/18 is 6.00%.  In June of each year, the interest rate for the following academic year is determined by the government. Loans taken out that year will have an interest rate that is fixed for the life of that loan (meaning until the loan is paid off). The next year, the process is repeated and the interest rate for that year is determined.

Payments of Interest While Enrolled
Subsidized: the federal government pays Interest as long as you remain enrolled at least half time in a degree seeking program.
Unsubsidized: You are responsible for payment of interest while enrolled. However, you may elect to capitalize interest and add it to the principal upon repayment.

Grace Period
You are entitled to a 6-month grace period before repayment, beginning at the time you cease to be enrolled at least half time.

Repayment begins 6 months after you cease to be enrolled at least halftime. The minimum monthly payment is $50. You may prepay all or part of a loan at any time without penalty.

A deferment period is a time during which repayment of principal is postponed. For subsidized loans, the federal government continues to pay the interest during periods of deferment. Refer to the loan promissory not for details on deferment provisions.

Disbursements of Loan Funds
Federal regulations require at least two loan disbursements per enrollment period. The first disbursement usually occurs at the start of the enrollment period and the second disbursement at the mid-point of the enrollment period. For Public Health students enrolled for a full traditional academic year, this equates to equal disbursements at the start of each semester. Medical students also receive two equal disbursements during their academic year. You must be enrolled; attending classes, and making satisfactory academic progress at the time funds are disbursed.  Schools are prohibited from making subsequent disbursements of a Federal Stafford Loan if you drop below half time or withdraw before the end of the semester/term.

We are required to return to the Department of Education any portion of a disbursement that exceeds the amount of assistance for which you are eligible, taking into account any changes that have occurred since the loan was recommended.


Health Sciences Financial Aid, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-6135