Direct Loans for U.S. Students

Citizens of the United States studying at Carleton University are eligible to apply for student financial aid through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (U.S. Direct Loans).  Loans are available to students or their parents through Direct Loans.

Types of Loans

Subsidized Direct Loans – awarded to students who demonstrate financial need

  • U.S. government subsidizes the interest, and borrowers are not charged interest while  in school at least half time, during a grace period, or during deferment periods.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans – awarded to students regardless of financial need

  • Borrowers are responsible for interest that accrues during all periods. During the study period, a borrower has the option to pay or have the interest capitalized. Loans may be awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Direct PLUS Loans  for Parents – Enables parents to borrow on behalf of their dependent undergraduate children

  • Undergraduate students must be enrolled in an eligible program at least half time. Borrowers are responsible for the interest that accrues during all periods. Only parents of dependent students can receive PLUS Loans.

Direct PLUS Loans for Graduates – Awarded to graduate and professional students enrolled at least half time.

  • Borrowers are responsible for the interest that accrues during all periods.

How to Apply

To apply for Direct Loans, visit and proceed with the following steps:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  When completing the FAFSA, ensure that you specify Carleton University as an institution you wish to attend.  Carleton’s federal school code is: G08368
  2. Complete and E-sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) .  Parents borrowing funds through a Direct PLUS loan for Parents must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  3. All first time borrowers must participate in a student on-line entrance counseling process.  If this is your first student loan, please also complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling module .
  4. Notify the Awards & Financial Aid Office at Carleton University by completing the U.S student information form or email to advise us that you have submitted your application for U.S student aid.  We will then proceed with determining your eligibility and review disbursement of your Direct Loan funding with you.

Important Information:

  • Students in receipt of Direct Loan funding are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Changes to course load, including dropping a course or withdrawal, may result in ineligibility for all or part of your student loan  funding.  Please review the Return of Title IV Funds Policy and contact the Awards & Financial Aid Office immediately if you withdraw or reduce your course load.
  • Information on tuition fee assessment and financial adjustments is available at under Fee Payment – Fee Assessment.
  • The Higher Education Reconciliation Act (HERA) specifies that a program offered by a foreign school that uses telecommunications as a method of delivery is not eligible for student loan funds.  “Telecommunications” is defined as “the use of television, audio, or computer transmission, including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, computer conferencing, or video cassettes or discs.”   At Carleton University, this includes courses via CUTV, Tapes to You Service and Carleton University OnLine (CUOL).  Students must carefully consider which courses they register in to comply with the legislation and to maintain their eligibility for student loan funding.

Other Useful Resources and Links:

The Student Guide is an annual federal publication that is available free of charge to students who are interested in financial aid. You can access it online at: US Department of Education Title IV Programs Website:

See also for a portal that gives college students access to information on government services.