Interested in federal direct loans, work study and assistantship opportunities? US citizens and eligible noncitizens please submit the FAFSA by Jan 1 each year of your program. While not a hard deadline, it helps us to give you the most accurate financial aid eligibility estimate. 

Types of Federal aid

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans the annual maximum amount available per aid year is $20,500 ($10,250 per term). This loan has an origination fee of 1.057% that is deducted from the gross amount of the loan when disbursement occurs per term.  Interest is fixed at 7.05% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, for the 2023/24 academic year.  Interest accumulates daily while enrolled. There are lifetime aggregate limits that apply, which include amounts borrowed as an undergraduate.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loans There is a credit check component to this loan. Students must not have an adverse credit history. The Graduate PLUS loan can be borrowed up to your remaining cost of attendance (which includes indirect costs like housing and food). This loan along with your other financial aid like applicable scholarship and grants cannot exceed the cost of attendance budget for your program. This loan has an origination fee of 4.228% that is deducted from the gross amount of the loan when disbursement occurs per term.  Interest is fixed at 8.05% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, for the 2023/24 academic year.  Interest accumulates daily while enrolled. 

Federal Work Study available as determined by data on the FAFSA; annual earning limits typically start at $4,000.  Students whose aid package includes work study will receive additional information.  Work Study pay is not credited towards your Duke Bursar account charges each term, rather it is paid to you monthly as you work throughout the term. Work Study earnings are potentially taxable income. If pursuing a Sanford assistantship, please submit the FAFSA to determine your work study eligibility.

Student Loans & Repayment 

You should communicate directly with your Department of Education assigned lender about choosing the right federal repayment plan for you. Login and view your lenders contact information.

Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years, and are for an amount that will ensure your loans are paid off within 10 years

Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years, and are for an amount that will ensure your loans are paid off within 10 years

Payments may be fixed or graduated and will ensure that your loans are paid off within 25 years.

Your monthly payment is based on annual income, but your loan will be paid in full within 15 years.

Your monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income.

Your monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income.Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.

Your monthly payments will be either 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income

Your monthly payment will be the lesser of 20 percent of discretionary income, or the amount you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over 12 years.

Looking ahead to employment after graduation, as part of your hiring negotiations see if your employer would be willing to contribute to your student loan payments.

  • Federal student loans come due six months after you graduate or cease enrollment of at least 6 credits per term. Interest accrues daily on graduate student loans.
  • Start financial planning early. To get the most realistic student loan repayment prediction use the Federal Student Aid Loan Simulator.
  • Borrowers who would otherwise be in repayment can defer their payments, such as being enrolled in a degree program or graduate fellowship, military or Peace Corps service, unemployment and others. To learn more about how a federal student loan can be deferred.

How to apply for federal aid

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA each year. Our school code: 002920
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA is for students applying to Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025.
  • Sanford's Office of Financial Aid will send you an email with your estimated cost of attendance and how to view and accept your financial aid. Access the DukeHub guide
  •  The requirements for the Unsubsidized Direct loan and the Graduate PLUS loan are to complete an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling for each type of loan you borrow. This is only required the first time you borrow each type of loan.
FAFSA
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Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Students pursuing a career in public service can qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness To qualify you must meet the criteria:

  • Be employed full time by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization
  • Have borrowed direct loans 
  • Repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan
  • Make 120 qualifying payments

Questions? Contact Us!

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Brandon Smith

Director of Financial Aid

Brandon handles all responsibilities for federal checklist completion and FAFSA verification. He determines and awards federal loan funding as well as federal work-study funds. With a comprehensive oversight of financial aid operations and programs, Brandon diligently manages grants while ensuring overall compliance with school and federal funds. For any inquiries regarding student financial planning or questions regarding the cost of attendance, individuals are encouraged to reach out to Brandon for assistance. His expertise makes him a valuable resource in navigating the complexities of the financial aid process and securing necessary funding for students' educational pursuits.

Brandon graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology minoring in history from the University of North Florida (UNF). He continued his studies at UNF, earning a Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree, in which Brandon studied how society can improve access to education and avoid the stratification of higher education. From his time at a small public college in Northeast Florida to New York University, and Columbia University — Brandon has accumulated an array of experience. He's met leaders who are resourceful in first carefully listening to an issue and then responding to challenges in a solution-driven way.

His grandfather, a career Army Medical Doctor, once told Brandon, “service to humanity is the price we pay for living.” Brandon continues to live by those words on a daily. Focusing his abilities to help guide students through the complex world of higher education while doing the utmost to learn from and mentor colleagues. His chief goal is to ensure that students have complete and accurate information so that they can make the best decisions toward following their dreams.

Additional Information

The Duke Student Loan Office website also provides detailed information on the Federal Direct Student Loan Programs. You may also visit the FAFSA website for detailed information on these programs, repayment plans or to file your FAFSA. For students who choose to use private lenders, Duke provides a Recommended Lender List for domestic and international students with and without a US cosignor.