With Direct Loans, you:

  • borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact (the Direct Loan Servicing Center) for everything related to the repayment of your loans, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
  • have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.

What kinds of Direct Loans are available?

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
    Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time, during your grace period and during deferment periods.
    Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods.
  • Direct PLUS Loans
    Direct PLUS Loans are low interest loans available to parents of dependent students or for graduate/professional degree students. Interest is charged during all periods.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans — Direct Consolidation Loans are loans for borrowers who want to combine different eligible federal student loans into one Direct Consolidation Loan.

What are the eligibility requirements?

You must be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program, be a US citizen or eligible non-US citizen and you must meet general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.

How do I apply for aid?

  • You apply for a Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan and other federal student aid by completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid – FAFSA.
    (The school code for The American University of Rome on the FAFSA is G31025.).
  • After your FAFSA has been submitted online and processed, the information from your application will be shared with The American University of Rome and AUR will notify you through an award letter of the types of aid for which you are eligible. Read carefully the award letter, complete, sign and send back the original letter to AUR (attention: Financial Aid Office).
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legally binding agreement to repay your loan to the US Department of Education. Before receiving your Direct Loan, you must sign an MPN.  You may complete the MPN online at StudentLoans.gov. First time borrowers must also complete an entrance counseling you will find on the direct loan site a link to complete this counseling.

How much can I borrow each year?

When you receive your financial aid award letter you will find listed the amounts of the Stafford Loans and if applicable the Parent PLUS Loan amount. Annual loan limits vary by the student’s year in school. The actual loan amount may be reduced by the expected family contribution and/or other aid. Undergraduates may borrow up to the following amounts from the Direct Loan program:


Dependent Undergraduates Subsidized Total (Subsidized+Unsubsidized)
First Year: 0-29 credits $ 3,500.00 $ 5,500.00
Second Year: 30-59 credits $ 4,500.00 $ 6,500.00
Third Year and Beyond: 60+ credits $ 5,500.00 $ 7,500.00
Independent undergraduates and dependent students whose parents can’t get PLUS are eligible for the following amounts: Subsidized Total (Subsidized+Unsubsidized)
First Year: 0-29 credits $ 3,500.00 $ 9,500.00
Second Year: 30-59 credits $ 4,500.00 $ 10,500.00
Third Year and Beyond: 60+ credits $ 5,500.00 $ 12,500.00


What are the Total Aggregate Limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

  • $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
  • $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
  • $138,500 for graduate or professional students (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized; includes loans for undergraduate study)

See our Federal Loans F.A.Q. for more information