Direct Stafford Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. Apply online by completing the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1st. The Office of Financial Aid determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need. You will need to complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the funds can be applied to your account.

Subsidized Stafford Loan
This is a federally subsidized loan, which means that the government pays the interest (3.86%) while the student is enrolled at least half time, and for a six month grace period after you leave school, and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments). Please note that if you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, you are responsible for paying interest that accrues during your grace period. The interest will be added to your principal balance if you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
You may be eligible to borrow both the Unsubsidized Stafford loan and Subsidized loan. If you are not eligible for the Subsidized loan (or if your parent has been denied a Federal PLUS loan) you may borrow an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. Interest rates are fixed for disbursements between July 1st 2013 – June 30th, 2014, and all interest charges are the responsibility of the borrower: 3.86% (undergrad), 5.41% (graduate). Borrowers can choose to make interest payments online. Students may borrow up to their grade level maximum, which is the same as the Subsidized Stafford loan (plus an additional $6000 to $7000 for undergraduates, if due to a PLUS denial.)

Though the Office of Financial Aid determines the loan type and the actual amount you are eligible to receive each year, there are yearly and aggregate loan limits:

Stafford Loan details referenced from studentaid.ed.gov

Federal Stafford Loan Limits Annual Limits

 

Subsidized

Total (subsidized & unsubsidized)

Dependent Undergraduates

 

 

First Year

$3,500

$5,500

Second Year

$4,500

$6,500

Third Year and Beyond

$5,500

$7,500

Independent Undergraduates (and dependents whose parents are unable to borrow under the Parent PLUS   program)

 

 

First Year

$3,500

$9,500

Second Year

$4,500

$10,500

Third Year and Beyond

$5,500

$12,500

Graduate & Professional Students

N/A

$20,500 - Unsubsidized Only

Aggregate Limits

Dependent Undergraduates

$23,000

$31,000

Independent Undergraduates (and dependents whose parents are unable to borrow under the Parent PLUS program)

$23,000

$57,500

Graduate & Professional Students

$65,500

$138,500

A dependent student is any student who is an undergraduate, under 24 years of age, unmarried, has no dependents, and is not a veteran. All other students are considered independent.



First disbursement of a loan 

Interest rate on
the unpaid balance

Made on or after

And made before

1-Jul-08

1-Jul-09

6.0 percent

1-Jul-09

1-Jul-10

5.6 percent

1-Jul-10

1-Jul-11

4.5 percent

1-Jul-11

1-Jul-12

3.4 percent



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