Federal Direct Loans

JWU participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Under this low-interest program, the funds for your loan come directly from the federal government.

The Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans:

  • Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
  • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

Accepting a Direct Loan
Following the processing of your FAFSA, JWU will notify you of your loan amounts in an award letter that lists all of your proposed financial aid awards (your award package). You have the right to decline or lower your loan amount.

In the case of loans, keep in mind that whatever amount you borrow must be paid back with interest to the federal government. See Calculators and interest rates.

Entrance Counseling (Required)
If you haven't previously received a loan, you must complete entrance counseling before JWU can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan.

Master Promissory Note (Required)
To take out a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), a binding legal document that lists the conditions under which you're borrowing and the terms under which you agree to repay your loan.

To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued personal identification number (PIN). If need be, you may request a PIN from the official PIN site.

Completing the Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Loans

More than 95% of JWU students who apply for aid are eligible for some form of a Federal Direct Loan, which is one of the lowest cost ways to pay for school and is administered by the federal government.

Before these funds can be processed, you must complete a master promissory note (MPN), a binding legal document that lists the conditions under which you are borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan.

We strongly recommend that you complete an MPN now. You may decline any loan that is offered to you and incur no loan repayment obligation.

If not completed, the university will not be able to receive or process Federal Direct Loan funds to your account, resulting in a hold that could prevent you from beginning or adding/dropping classes.

How to complete a new MPN:

  • Sign in to the MPN site, then select Complete Master Promissory Note, then Subsidized/Unsubsidized
  • Be ready with your social security and driver’s license numbers, as well as two separate adult references (including complete US addresses and phone numbers in the 111-222-3333 format)
  • For school state, select Rhode Island (even if your campus is not Providence), then select Johnson & Wales University
  • Read each section (C-G); click the confirmation box as you complete each section
  • When prompted, enter your name and sign
  • Wait for signature authentication
  • Review the HTML version of the MPN when it opens in a new window 
  • In the original window, select Continue in order to complete your new MPN
  • Save/print an HTML or PDF copy

In most cases, you will only have to fill out one MPN, no matter how many Direct loans you receive. Once your MPN is accepted, you'll receive a disclosure statement with specific information about any loan that JWU plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.

Processing Fees
There is a 1.057% processing fee, which is deducted from your loan amount before loan funds are sent from the federal government to JWU.

Loan limits
The maximum amount you can borrow each year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans depends on your grade level and on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student.

The following table shows the maximum amount of money you may borrow each academic year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive for an academic year may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown.

Dependent student 1 Independent student 2
1st-year undergraduate $5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized) $9,500 ($3,500) 3  
2nd-year undergraduate $6,500 ($4,500) $10,500 ($4,500)
3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate $7,500 ($5,500) $12,500 ($5,500)
Graduate/professional NA (All graduate and professional students are considered independent.) $20,500

1 Except those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan.
2 These limits also apply to dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan.
3 The numbers in parentheses represent the maximum amount that may be subsidized.

Below are the aggregate (total) limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans:

  • $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
  • $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
  • $138,500 for graduate or professional students (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized; includes loans for undergraduate study)

These aggregate limits include both Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and any subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans received through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

With a Direct PLUS Loan, a graduate/professional student or the parent of a dependent student can borrow up to the cost of the student's attendance minus other financial aid the student receives.

Graduating/Leaving JWU & Required Exit Counseling
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This “grace period” is six months for a Federal Stafford Loan. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period. The US Department of Education explains in detail what happens to your loans once you graduate or leave school.

Exit Counseling is required before you graduate or withdraw.