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Guide for Federal Direct Loans

About Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are offered based on your financial need. If you complete a FAFSA and are found eligible, a subsidized loan may be offered as part of your overall financial aid package.

The interest on a subsidized loan is deferred as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. Interest rates vary depending on when the loan is disbursed, but the rate remains fixed for the lifetime of the loan.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available if you complete a FAFSA and have remaining eligibility in your cost of attendance. Interest accrues on this loan while you are enrolled. Interest rates vary depending on when the loan is disbursed, but the rate remains fixed for the lifetime of the loan

Accepting or Adjusting Federal Direct Loans

Log into the ConnectCarolina Student Center. Be sure to click the “Student Center” button.

ConnectCarolina ClickThru


Under Finances, look for the link to Accept/Reduce/Decline Award.

On the following screen, you’ll have the option to accept, reduce, or decline your loan offers. To adjust the amount, check the “accept” box and enter the amount you wish to borrow.

Within two or three days, your ConnectCarolina To-Do List may update with additional items, like entrance counseling or completing a Master Promissory Note. We cannot disburse your federal loans until those steps are completed.


We cannot disburse your federal loans until a promissory note and entrance counseling have been completed. You only have to complete those steps once as an undergraduate.



Completing Entrance Counseling/Master Promissory Notes

The first time you accept a federal student loan, you’ll need to complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note.

Log into your account at studentloans.gov and find the links for Complete Loan Counseling and Complete Loan Agreement.


Both of these must be done before your federal loans can be disbursed.


When completing entrance counseling, you’ll need to specify UNC Chapel Hill as the school to notify, and note that you’re completing undergraduate counseling.