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Florida Gulf Coast University

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FGCU Financial Aid Graduate



William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. There are two kinds of Federal Direct loans available at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Student Loan Practices Code of Conduct

Florida Gulf Coast University has adopted a Code of Conduct for financial aid practices related to student loans. The Code of Conduct can be viewed at Student Loan Practices Code of Conduct.

Entrance & Exit Counseling

Before receiving a Direct Stafford Loan, borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session. This quick and easy interactive counseling session provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and helps you to understand your loan responsibilities.

Students that have graduated, completely withdrawn, non-returning or dropped below half-time status are required to complete the online loan exit counseling. This federal requirement informs students of their repayment obligations, different repayment options and consequences of default.

Student will be notified via email or by letter within 30 days of the date the university determines that the student’s enrollment status has changed to meet one of the situations as noted above.

If the student does not complete the exit counseling within 14 days of receiving the notification, then a second email will be sent with exit counseling materials.

A hold could also be placed that may delay the receipt of transcripts and/or the student’s diploma.

Complete Entrance Counseling Here

Complete Exit Counseling Here

Master Promissory Note

To take out a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). You can complete the MPN online at the website. The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are not awarded on the basis of need. For Unsubsidized Stafford loans, students are responsible for all of the interest that accrues while the student is enrolled in school.

The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for all Federal Direct Loans at Florida Gulf Coast University.

How to Apply

You must complete the steps below before receiving a Federal Direct Stafford Loan:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • If eligible based on your FAFSA, a loan may be offered to you via your Gulfline account.
  • You must Accept, Decline or Reduce your loan through Gulfline.
  • If you are a new borrower, you must complete the online Entrance Interview at Please check Gulfline to see if an Entrance Interview is listed under your "unsatisfied requirements."
  • If you are a new borrower a MPN (Master Promissory Note) will need to be e-signed. You may sign your MPN online at

Interest Rates and Fees 2013-2014

Loan Type

Grade Level

First Disbursement

Interest Rate

Origination Fee

Direct Federal Stafford Loan Graduate Students 7/1/2013 to 6/30/2014 5.41% 1.051%

Borrowing Limits for Federal Stafford and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

The table below shows the maximum amount a student can borrow each year, depending on the student's dependency status, as determined by information on the FAFSA, and the student's academic level.

Independent Students


= Total Annual Amount


Total annual limit

Graduate or Professional $20,500 $20,500

Aggregate Loan Limits

Graduate or Professional: $138,500

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Students

Graduate students in need of additional financial aid resources may apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. Graduates may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid. Federal Graduate PLUS loans are credit based, therefore it is required that the applicant be credit worthy. Borrowers are first required to have applied for their annual maximum loan eligibility in Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans before applying for PLUS loans.

How to apply for a PLUS Loan

PLUS Loan applications can be completed online at for both Parent PLUS Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans. In addition the student must also complete a FAFSA in order to receive a Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS loan. A Department of Education PIN is required to complete the FAFSA application and sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN). This is the same PIN used to complete the FAFSA. FGCU will receive the completed application and credit decision electronically within 2-3 business days and award the PLUS Loan to the student's account accordingly.

Interest Rate and Fees 2013-2014

Loan Type

Grade Level

First Disbursement

Interest Rate

Origination Fee

Direct Federal PLUS Loan

Parent/Graduate Students

7/1/2013 to 6/30/2014





Private/Alternative Loans

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships encourages all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhaust all federal, state, and institutional aid eligibility, including Federal Stafford Loans, before applying for a private loan. It is strongly recommended that students contact a Financial Aid Officer prior to applying for a private loan.

Additional Information on Private Loans

  • You may select any lender of your choice. FGCU does not recommend any particular lender and does not maintain a preferred lender list.
  • The lender will conduct a credit check prior to approval.
  • Interest rates, fees and terms vary among lenders. Contact the lender for detailed information on rates and terms.
  • The borrower (student) must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program and be meeting standards of academic progress.
  • Most lenders require a co-signer with good credit.
  • Processing time for private loans may take up to 2 to 3 weeks.
  • It is strongly recommended that you borrow Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans before considering a private loan.