Federal Direct Student Loan

NUNM currently processes Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct PLUS loans through the Federal Direct Loan program, in which borrowers obtain loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education.

Types of Loans

Many students attending NUNM find it necessary to receive some form of financial assistance. However, loans comprise the majority of financial aid at NUNM. Student loan borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) which details the terms of their agreement with the Department of Education. As a condition of signing the MPN the student  agrees to restrict use of student loan funds to pay for current year educationally related expenses only and as such, agree to immediately repay any loan proceeds that cannot be attributed to educational expenses for attendance, on at least a half-time basis, at NUNM.

The maximum amount of student education loans available will depend partially upon a student’s eligibility as well as the student’s program(s) of enrollment. The student should keep in mind that loans are not designed to meet the total student budget to attend programs at NUNM, and that the money borrowed will have to be repaid with interest.  All students interested in federal loans must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Interest rates effective July 1, 2023

2023-2024 Federal Direct Student Loans Interest Rates Effective for Loans First Disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and prior to July 1, 2024.

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Undergraduate Students

  • Fixed Interest Rate: 5.50%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Graduate and Professional Students

  • Fixed Interest Rate: 7.05%

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students and for Graduate or Professional Students

  • Fixed Interest Rate: 8.05%

Interest Rate for the Life of the Loan

The interest rate for a loan, once established, will apply for the life of the loan – that is, the loan will be a fixed-rate loan. As a result, it is likely that many borrowers will have a set of fixed-rate loans, each with a different interest rates.

Federal Loan Servicer Preparation and Notification to Borrowers

Since the amended law specifically provides that the new interest rate determinations apply “retroactively” to July 1, 2015, Federal Student Aid has been working with our federal loan servicers to ensure that: (1) they are prepared to implement the new rates for new Direct Loans they receive; (2) they reset interest rates for all loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2015 that they have already received for servicing; and (3) they notify all affected borrowers of the interest rate change. While this will be accomplished without any action on the part of schools or the students/borrowers, the Department’s Direct Loan servicers will send revised information to borrowers who had been provided interest rate information based on the law prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.

Interest Rates for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans

Interest rates will be established each year for Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans for which the first disbursement is on or after July 1 through the following June 30. The rate will be the sum of a uniform “index rate” plus an “add-on” that varies depending on the type of loan (Subsidized/Unsubsidized or PLUS) and the borrower’s grade level (undergraduate or graduate/professional). Thus, interest rates will be the same for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans taken out by an undergraduate student, with a different rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans taken out by a graduate/professional student1 and for PLUS Loans taken out by parent borrowers or graduate/professional student borrowers.

Under the law, the index rate is determined each year as the “high yield of the 10-year Treasury note” auctioned at the final auction held prior to the June 1 preceding the July 1 of the year for which the rate will be effective, plus a statutorily defined “add-on”. As noted the add-on will differ depending on the type of loan and the student’s grade level. Each loan type also has a maximum interest rate (or cap).

The interest rate for a loan, once established, will apply for the life of the loan – that is, the loan will be a fixed-rate loan. As a result, it is likely that many borrowers will have a set of fixed-rate loans, each with a different interest rate.

Origination Fees

The U.S. Department of Education keeps a percentage of the loan you borrow. Historically, the fee has been 1% for the Direct Stafford Loans and 4% for the Direct PLUS Loans. For additional information, visit

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

Subsidized Stafford Loans are one of three programs in the Federal Direct Loan program.  Subsidized Stafford Loans have both interest and principle payments waived during enrollment (at least half time) periods and during the grace period.  Eligibility for this program is based upon need, class level, annual limits, and cumulative limits.  Only undergraduate students can be awarded subsidized loans.  Students who borrow Subsidized Stafford Loans must complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). For more information go to the student loan website.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

This loan accrues interest immediately upon disbursement and during the grace period. Students are offered the option of paying the interest while they are in school, or they may capitalize the interest (add the interest to the principal) when the loan enters repayment. Maximum unsubsidized loan amounts are determined by subtracting all financial aid received from the estimated COA budget, as well as considering the student’s eligibility and program of enrollment.

2023-2024 Stafford Loan Adjustment Form

Aggregate Graduate Loan Limits for Master Degree Programs

The maximum amount of student education loans is limited federally to $20,500 per nine-month period (academic year), and cannot exceed a maximum borrowing amount of $138,500—of which no more than $65,500 can be in subsidized loans for students who received this loan type prior to July 1, 2012. This aggregate limit includes undergraduate loan debt and applies to students enrolled solely in the Master Degree Programs.

Extended Loan Limits and Aggregate Cap for Naturopathic Degree Students and Dual Track Cap

The Secretary of Education has added naturopathic medicine as an approved discipline eligible for increased unsubsidized Stafford amounts, if the program is offered by a domestic institution that is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). The additional amount, up to $20,000 if the academic year of the program is nine months in length and up to $26,667 if the academic year is 12 months in length, can be awarded only to students enrolled in a program that leads to a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (NMD) degree, Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) degree, or a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree. In either case, loan limits cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance budget. The new aggregate limit for eligible students is $224,000—of which no more than $65,500 can be in subsidized loans for students who received this loan type prior to July 1, 2012. These limits include all loans made to the student for all attendance, including loans received as an undergraduate student. Students enrolled in the dual track are eligible to receive the extended loan limits as long as they have not completed their ND degree program.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

This is a federal fixed rate loan that can be used to help cover the costs of attending college for graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time. You must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. A credit check is required; however, income or assets and credit scores are not considered as part of the eligibility criteria.  Before applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan, a graduate or professional student must also apply for and the school must determine the student’s eligibility for the maximum annual Federal Unsubsidized Loan amount. We expect that a Graduate PLUS applicant would wish to receive a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan to supplement the maximum Federal Unsubsidized Loan amount that he or she is eligible to receive. However, a graduate or professional student is not required to receive Federal Unsubsidized Loan funds as a condition for receiving a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. For more information about this loan, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

2023-2024 Grad-PLUS Loan-Adjustment Form

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The PLUS loan program is available to parents of undergraduate students.  The PLUS loan program is credit-score based. This loan is limited to the difference between the students cost of education and the student’s financial aid.  Parents who want to borrow a PLUS loan must complete a PLUS Loan Certification Request Form.  If a parent borrower is unable to secure a PLUS loan, the undergraduate dependent student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans to help pay for his or her education.

Obtaining Loan Funds for Next Year

As in prior years, you must:

  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Provide any documents requested by our office that were included in your award packet.
  • You will then have to complete a new Master Promissory Note for the Direct Loan program before the Department of Education will electronically disburse your funds to NUNM.  Note: If you will borrow from BOTH the Direct Stafford and Direct PLUS programs, you will need to complete a separate MPN for each loan program.
  • You can complete your Direct Loan MPN online at You will need the same FSA ID that you used for your FAFSA to electronically sign the note. If you do not have an FSA ID, you may obtain one via
  • Students who are borrowing for the first time will need to complete an Entrance Counseling Session. Continuing students who currently are participating in the Stafford Loan Program do not have to complete a new Entrance Counseling session with the Direct Loan Program.