Direct Loans

NU - Online Course IconStart Date: April 1, 2019
Duration: 8 weeks
Cost: $499 per registrant (members and non-members)



In this 8-week course, you will learn the fundamentals of the Federal Direct Student Loan (Direct Loan) programs, including loan types, loan features, and borrower eligibility. With this foundation, you will be able to calculate loan amounts, which includes an understanding of frequency of borrowing, annual and aggregate loan amounts, proration, and the 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limitation.  

You'll also learn about the various features of Direct Loan and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) repayment, including repayment plans, deferment options, forbearance, and cancellation. In addition, the course also reviews loan forgiveness options, Direct Loan entrance counseling requirements, and exit counseling requirements for both Direct Loan and FFEL borrowers

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Types of Direct Loans, Application and Origination Process
  • Lesson 2: Factors for Calculating Loan Amounts
  • Lesson 3: Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits
  • Lesson 4: Frequency of Annual Loan Limits
  • Lesson 5: 150 Percent Subsidized Eligibility Limitation
  • Lesson 6: Repayment Features of Direct Loans and FFEL
  • Lesson 7: Available Repayment Plan Options and Loan Consolidation
  • Lesson 8: Loan Counseling Requirements 

Course Structure

This course utilizes multiple teaching and learning methods to ensure participants develop a true understanding of the material. Live instruction, reading assignments, discussion forums, and assessments will reinforce key course concepts. 

As a participant of this course you will be asked to:

  • Review educational video lessons
  • Complete learning assessments
  • Engage in online discussions
  • Collaborate with other financial administrators 

Weekly due dates for assessments are included in the course syllabus, and all assessments must be submitted by the course end date. The live instruction classes last approximately one hour and are recorded for on-demand viewing by the course attendee. While attendance in the live sessions is optional, we do encourage you to attend due to the collaborative nature of the courses. Please see the Get-Together schedule below for this course (subject to change at the discretion of the course instructors).

Live Instruction Schedule

Date Time Session 
04/01/19 2:00 pm ET Intro Session and Lesson 1 Instruction
04/04/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
04/08/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 1 Review and Lesson 2 Instruction
04/11/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
04/15/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 2 Review and Lesson 3 Instruction
04/18/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
04/22/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 3 Review and Lesson 4 Instruction
04/25/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
04/29/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 4 Review and Lesson 5 Instruction
05/02/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
05/06/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 5 Review and Lesson 6 Instruction
05/09/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
05/13/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 6 Review and Lesson 7 Instruction
05/16/19 2:00 pm ET Application Session
05/20/19 2:00 pm ET Lesson 7 Review and Lesson 8 Instruction
05/23/19 2:00 pm ET  Application Session
05/28/19 2:00 pm ET  Lesson 8 Review*
    (*Please note this is a Tuesday session due to federal holiday.)

Credential Test Access

Complimentary access to the credential test is provided after successfully completing and passing the course.  

Course Instructors

Cheryl HuntCheryl Hunt joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2018 as a NASFAA U Instructor. She has worked nearly 30 years in the field of financial aid. Cheryl began her career as a financial aid director at a small private college in Southern California. She later worked in a variety of roles in the financial aid offices at Chapman University and Azusa Pacific University. Prior to joining NASFAA, Cheryl provided financial aid training on behalf of USA Funds. Being an instructor for NASFAA U allows her to fulfill her passion for training. Cheryl lives with her husband in Eugene, Oregon. She enjoys hiking and is a devoted Oregon Ducks football fan.

Amanda SharpAmanda Sharp is the Online Training & Instruction Manager at NASFAA. Amanda joined NASFAA in 2013 where her primary responsibilities involve the management of NASFAA's online training instruction programs including NASFAA webinars and NASFAA U online courses. She also takes part in updating NASFAA publications, researching and writing NASFAA training materials and webinars, presenting at conferences, instructing facilitated online courses, and responding to technical questions regarding regulatory issues through NASFAA's AskRegs program.

Tonya Hsiung 2018Tonya Hsiung joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2019. Prior to joining NASFAA, she was the Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Franklin & Marshall College. She has worked professionally in financial aid for over 16 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education and Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a second bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Millersville University. She is married to her husband, Danny, and they have a six-year old daughter, Alana.

NASFAA U Course Policies

Attendance Requirements and Due Dates

While there is flexibility built into our online courses to accommodate busy work and life schedules, our courses have weekly due dates, and all assessments must be submitted by the course end date. These due dates will be available in the syllabus, which becomes available on the first day of the course. 

We also strongly encourage participation in the live instruction sessions, but archives will be available for on-demand viewing. 

Technical Requirements

Your online course will be fully browser-based. We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox as your internet browser for the live instruction meetings. Internet Explorer will not function correctly. The audio portion of online courses will be delivered directly through your computer's speakers or attached headphones. We recommend you test your computer's ability to stream audio prior to joining the first live session.  We encourage you to have a microphone set up so you can participate in our live instruction sessions, although it is not required. 


If you require any special accommodations for this course, please contact us at Accommodations must be requested at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.


By submitting your registration, you agree to the following cancellation schedule:

  • $25 cancellation fee before March 28, 2019
  • $50 cancellation fee March 28 - March 31, 2019

If you do not cancel by 6:00 am ET April 1, 2019, you will be responsible for the full amount of the registration fee. Medical emergencies will be re-scheduled to another available course with a doctor's note.

Requests to cancel must be sent to

Additional Questions

For additional questions, please review the helpful guide of Online Course Frequently Asked Questions.

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