Federal Stafford Loan Program
Federal Stafford Loans are made in the student's name and can be either subsidized or unsubsidized.
A subsidized Stafford loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. This need is determined from the results of the FAFSA. If you have subsidized Stafford loans, the federal government pays the interest while you are in school at least half time, during a grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment. The loan is not based on credit-worthiness, nor is a co-signer required.
An unsubsidized Stafford loan is not awarded on the basis of need. If you have unsubsidized Stafford loans, you will be charged interest from the day the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full, including in-school, grace, and deferment periods. You may choose to pay the interest during these periods, or it may be capitalized. If you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you will repay less in the long run.
You may receive a subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan for the same enrollment period; however, your maximum loan eligibility may not exceed federally regulated limits.
Student borrowers have certain rights and responsibilities as established by the Department of Education.
Requesting a Federal Stafford Loan Students wishing to borrow from the Stafford Loan program must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year. Once your financial aid file is complete, your eligibility will be determined and you will be awarded either the subsidized Stafford Loan, the unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or a combination of the two.
Certifying Your Federal Stafford Loan Before we can certify a loan request, you must accept your loans via the DUCK. Once you accept your loan, it can take up to 14 business days for the Financial Aid to process your loan and transmit it to Direct Loans. Please note that during peak times it may take longer than then 14 business days. All loans must be accepted before the last day of class of the term.
Interest rates for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021 and before July 1, 2022
- Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Undergraduate Students- 3.73%
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Graduate and Professional Students- 5.28%
- Direct PLUS Loans for Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students and for Graduate or Professional Students- 6.28%
For more information on interest rates, please visit: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates
|Annual Loan Limits for Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans by Grade Level|
|Dependent (as determined by FAFSA)|
|Dependent Freshman||$5500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $3500 subsidized)|
|Dependent Sophomore||$6500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $4500 subsidized)|
|Dependent Junior/Senior||$7500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $5500 subsidized)|
|Independent (as determined by FAFSA)|
|Independent Freshman||$9500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $3500 subsidized)|
|Independent Sophomore||$10,500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $4500 subsidized)|
|Independent Junior/Senior||$12,500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $5500 subsidized)|
|Graduate||$20,500 (total subsidized and/or unsubsidized - maximum $8500 subsidized)|
|Aggregate (Lifetime) Limits for all Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans|
|Dependent Undergraduate||$31,000 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)|
|Independent Undergraduate||$57,500 (maximum $23,000 subsidized)|
|Graduate||$138,500 (maximum $65,000 subsidized. Stafford loans received for undergraduate studies are included in the graduate aggregate loan limits.)|
Fees Direct Loans - Borrowers will be charged the origination fee below based on the date of disbursement: For Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, if the disbursement date is on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2022, there is a 1.057% fee that is deducted from each disbursement. For Federal Plus loans, if the disbursement date is on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2022, there is a 4.228% fee that is deducted from each disbursement.
Loan Fees Deducted When a student's loan is disbursed, a guarantee and origination fees will be deducted from the total amount borrowed. A disclosure statement will sent advising the student of the amount of "net" proceeds that have been disbursed and the applicable interest rate.
Repayment Terms Under the subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, repayment begins six months after the borrower was last enrolled at least half time. Under the unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, repayment of interest begins within 30 days from full disbursement of the loan proceeds, and repayment of principal begins six months after the borrower was last enrolled at least half time. Borrowers may elect to pay the interest as it accrues or may capitalize interest payments (interest is added to the loan principal). The maximum repayment term for the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan is ten years with no pre-payment penalty. These loans must be repaid in full, including interest, according to Department of Education regulations, upon leaving school or dropping below half-time.
Deferment and Payment Options There are many deferment and repayment options under the Federal Stafford Loan program that have been designed to make it possible for borrowers to repay their loans even when special circumstances make repayment difficult.