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Federal Direct Loan Program

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is a federal student loan program under which eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Specific details on Federal Direct Student Loans can be found on the federal student loan website.

Jump to: Important Facts  |  Interest Rate/Fees  |  Application Process  |  Processing Loan Requests


Important Facts

Eligible law and graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year in the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program. The maximum annual and aggregate loans a student can borrow depends on their program and enrollment. Total aggregate borrowing in this program cannot exceed $138,500 for a graduate student, including any undergraduate borrowing. Please be aware that Subsidized Loans are not available to graduate/professional students (only Unsubsidized).

Interest Rate and Fees

The Federal Direct Loan Program sets interest rates on an annual basis and the rate assigned at disbursement is fixed for the life of the loan. Interest rates are set in June for loans disbursed on or after July 1. 

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan charges a fixed interest rate of 6.54% for loans disbursed July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 to graduate/professional students for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. All Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are charged a 1.057% origination fee from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2023.  

Application Process: Incoming Students and New Borrowers

Incoming students and new borrowers who want to apply for a Federal Direct Loan must complete a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at

  • Use your FAFSA login to electronically sign the MPN.
  • If this is your first time borrowing a Federal Direct Student Loan, you will also need to complete Entrance Counseling at
Application Process: Returning Students

If you previously borrowed at Widener Law Commonwealth, you will not need to complete another MPN for your Federal Direct Loans (MPNs are valid for ten years). You will need to complete a Widener Law Commonwealth Institutional Data Form each year in order for us to fully process a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

USE SCHOOL CODE:  E00656- Widener Law Commonwealth

Packaging/Certifying Loan Requests

The Financial Aid Office certifies our student’s request for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans electronically. If you have not completed your Direct Loan requirements at the time we certify your eligibility, you will be contacted to complete the process. If you have any concerns or want to personally notify us that you have completed the application, please feel free to email our office.

Contact Information

Financial Aid Office
3737 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717.541.3961
Fax: 717.541.1964
Email: [email protected]