Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federal student loans offered by the Department of Education. They help eligible students cover the cost of higher education. This can be at a four-year college or university, community college, trade, career or technical school. Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are sometimes called “Stafford Loans” or “Direct Stafford Loans.” These are not the official loan names.
Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergrad students with financial need. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergrad and graduate students. There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need for the unsubsidized loan.