You are not required to begin repayment of Federal Direct Loans until six months after you: 

  • graduate
  • totally withdraw from classes during a term or
  • drop below half-time enrollment

As long as you maintain half-time enrollment and participation each term, you are not required to immediately begin repayment of your loans. This is called In-School Deferment.

The six month period between when you “leave school” and are officially required to begin repayment of your loans is called your Grace Period.

Half-time enrollment is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as participation in 6 to 8 credit hours that are eligible for financial aid.

Should you totally withdraw from classes before the end of a term or stop attending at least 6 eligible credit hours within a term, you enter your grace period effective the day that you dropped.