Federal Direct Loans

Direct Loans are the Federal Department of Education's major form of self-help aid. If you have financial need remaining after your expected family contribution, Pell Grant, and other financial aid is subtracted from your cost of attendance, you can borrow a Direct Loan to cover all or a portion of that remaining need.

First Time Borrowers - Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN)

All first-time borrowers must complete an Entrance Counseling Session and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before loan funds can be disbursed.

How to Complete Entrance Counseling (pdf)

How to Complete a Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN (pdf)

You will sign your MPN at the direct lending website. Once you have signed the MPN, it will not be necessary to sign another MPN for future years of borrowing. Repayment begins six months after you cease to be at least a half-time student.

Subsidized Direct Loans (MPN)

If you are eligible for a Direct Loan based on financial need, you will borrow a Subsidized loan. For this type of loan, the government will pay the interest while you are in school, for the first six months after you leave school, and when you qualify to have your payments deferred.

The 2019-2020 interest rate is 4.529%.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans (MPN)

If you do not have financial need (or remaining need), you may borrow an Unsubsidized loan. You will be responsible for paying all of the interest on this type of loan.

The 2019-2020 interest rate is 4.529% for undergraduate unsubsidized loans and 6.079% for graduate unsubsidized loans.

Direct Subsidized Loan Time Limitation

Time Limitation of Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their program. Learn more about this 150% limitation on Direct Subsidized Loans.

Parent (PLUS) Loan for Undergraduate Students

This is a loan in the parent’s name and has to be credit approved.

Only parents may apply for this loan to help offset the remaining balance of aid needed for an academic year, up to the cost of education.

Repayment can be deferred until after the student graduates or drops below half-time.  You may elect to pay the interest while the student is in school. 

A parent must apply for this loan.  The interest rate is 7.079%.

How to Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan (pdf)

  1. The student must accept the PLUS loan in their financial aid package on the myLongwood portal
  2. Go to https://studentloans.gov/. The parent will need to log in using the parent’s information and the parent’s FSA ID
  3. Choose "Apply for a PLUS loan"
  4. Sign a Master Promissory Note 

Graduate (PLUS) Loans

Federal Graduate PLUS loans are low-interest loans now available for graduate students, in the student's name, to assist with the cost of education.

Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for this loan.

The interest rate for 2019-2020 is 7.079%.

Eligibility must be determined for the Federal Direct loan before consideration for the Graduate PLUS loan.


The Borrower must

  • Pass a basic credit check
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements 
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours)

Eligible credit-worthy students can borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial aid received. If the borrower is denied the Grad PLUS loan, he/she may still be eligible for the loan with a credit-worthy endorser. 

Students interested in applying for the Graduate PLUS loan should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility and assistance with the process. 

Private Loans

If you need additional funds to help offset the cost of your education, then perhaps a private/alternative loan is an option for you. 

Selecting a private/alternative education loan can be an overwhelming task.

Visit FASTChoice Private Loan Lender Selection Tool for information about Private Loan Lenders that Longwood University students have used in the past 3 years.

There are many more lenders who offer alternative/private student loans and Longwood will certainly certify (based on eligibility) a private/alternative loan from any lender. 

We encourage you to research the loans and the lender to find the best interest rate and terms of your loan to suit your individual need.

Please remember these loans are not backed by the federal government and may have terms and conditions not as favorable as federally funded student and parent loans. Also, some Credit Unions require that you be a member to qualify for their private/alternative loan.  

We encourage all students and parents to first consider and apply for federal student loans, by submitting the FAFSA application, before applying for private loans.

For additional help in determining whether to borrow these additional student loans and to assess your ability to repay these loans, we highly recommend you review some practical money skills which will assist you in understanding how this might affect your personal finances.