One of the various Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs made available by the U.S. Department of Education is the Direct Loan Program. Direct Loans are low-interest and help students and parents pay for the cost of a university or college degree after high school.
Students often use the Direct Loans Program because of its flexible, low-interest, and convenient way to borrow money from the federal government for college tuition. There are several repayment plans to choose from that meet most borrowers needs, and if their needs change, the borrower has the option to switch to another repayment plan.
To qualify for this loan, the college you are applying to or are enrolled in must be a participant in the Direct Loan program. The student must enroll in a program where they attend school at least half-time and meet other eligibility requirements. After you have this confirmed, you need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. For further information the Federal Direct Loan site provides very good information on Direct Loans.
Federal Direct Plus loans, available to parents with dependent students. A dependent student cannot be 24 years of age or older, someone that has legal dependents, a ward of the court, orphan, or a professional or graduate student. The borrower must also have a favorable financial history. Interest on the Federal Direct plus loan during all periods is charged to the borrower.
Financially in-need students can apply for a Direct Subsidized Loan, an interest-free loan for half or full-time college students. For this type of loan, you must meet specific requirements defined by the government. A Direct Unsubsidized Loan, on contrast, charges interest and is not based on the students financial needs.