US Students

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are made directly to students through the US Department of Education in subsidized and unsubsidized loans.  Loans are borrowed money you must repay. Your program year determines your maximum loan amounts. You cannot exceed either your yearly borrowing limit (see Undergrad Loan Maximums or Grad Loan Maximums ) or your estimated cost of attendance (see  Undergrad FAQs and Graduates FAQs).

Distance Education Courses

If you take any Distance Education and/or an online course as a part of a credential, you will be ineligible for US Direct Loan funding for the duration of your program. For more information about Distance Education and US Loans.

Consumer Disclosure Information

The US Department of Education requires schools to develop a consumer information document that includes links on such things such as financial aid information, academic programs, tuition and fees, transfer credits, refund policies, SFU Retention and Graduation Rates, student health and safety. Please see SFU's 2019 Consumer Disclosure Information.

SFU will be entering into an agreement with you, the student, or the Parent Borrower (if Parent Plus Loan), regarding your Direct Lend loan. You information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System and will be accessible by servicers determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans

Subsidized loans are awarded to undergraduates only based on your financial need.  There is no interest charged on these amounts while you are in school.

Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need and interest is incurred from the time the loan is disbursed until it is repaid in full.  

See the the Office of Federal Student Aid for information on subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

See the US Department of Education's Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students

Eligibility Requirements: Enrollment Status


    Half time                        

    Three Quarter time      

    Full time                           


    8-11 units 12-14 units 15+ units

    (Per Unit Program)             

    5 units 6-9 units 10+ units
    (Research Based Program)                             
    Full time if registered in program

How will SFU Calculate my Cost of Attendance?

Students can borrow up to the Cost of Attendance and no more.

The cost of attendance calculated by the University includes tuition, student fees, books, a return transportation allowance, and a standard living allowance for your academic study period. SFU calculates the Cost of Attendance based on an average of 12 units per term.

If you will be registering in additional units, and you have remaining borrowing room (before your reach your yearly and/or aggregate loan maximums), and you need additional loan funding, contact us at to reassess your loan.

If you will be registering in less than 12 units and you want to cancel or reduce your loan prior to disbursement, contact us at to reassess your loan.

What are the other eligibility requirements?

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) while at SFU
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program at SFU
  • Be a US citizen, national, US permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent (e.g., GED)
  • Comply with the US Selective Service Registration requirements.  You can register online at:, if you're a male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Be in good standing with any previous loans
  • Not have obtained loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate loan limits.

You can verify information on your previous loans and/or aggregate loan amounts at:

Find more details about eligibility requirements at

Exit Counselling

Exit Counselling provides students with information about repayment plans. It is mandatory for all graduating students with subsidized, unsubsidized and GRAD PLUS loans. 

Online Exit Counselling must be completed during the final semester of studies and prior to graduation. An acknowledgement will be sent to the University upon completion. If you withdraw from the University without completing your credential, you are obligated to fulfill this requirement.