Ok, I did some investigation--check page 8 of this Entrance Counseling website offered by the Feds (I guess you have to pass this test to get your federal loan).
The loan fee, or borrower origination fee, is another expense of borrowing a Direct Loan. The loan fee is subtracted proportionately from each loan disbursement. The loan fee charged for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans is currently 3 percent of the amount you borrow. This fee will be reduced annually according to the following schedule:
(and then it goes on to say that next year, the fee will be 2.5%).
http://www.dlssonline.com/borrower/Entr ... ingPage.do
However, later on it talks about a 1.5% up-front interest rebate amount. (If you miss one of your first 12 payments, they add this back to your principal--you lose the rebate).
So the 2.5% origination fee less the 1.5% up-front rebate is where I get my 1% figure from. All of this looks to be done at the Federal level, so I would guess it applies to all students. But maybe some schools kick in that extra 1% to get rid of the fee completely. I dunno.